Words by Paul Lewis
Kingston upon Hull 2nd XI 2: 5 Leeds Adel HC 1st XI
Love (verb): to have great attachment to and affection for – Collins English Dictionary
Sometimes you just have to tell somebody that you love them. So whilst Mayhew was away on St Valentine’s Day telling his best friend (other than Tino) just that, the rest of the Men’s 1st XI travelled to Hull hoping to make the most of an early start against the lowly Kingston upon Hull HC 2nd team.
The day began inauspiciously as Tim ‘Timmy’ Brazier managed to locate the wrong meet point. This would prove to be one of many ‘off radar’ moments for the boys in black. The match itself began well as the midfield pushed high from the first whistle. Watkins opening the scoring following a deft one-two with skipper Butterworth. A smart corner routine saw Purdy notch the second shortly afterwards and Adel seemed to drift into cruise control. Hull proved to be stubborn opposition as Adel lost control of the game in the second quarter.
With injuries to Jaap Kastelik and regular goalie Tom Taylor on High School Musical duty, Hardaker (jnr) and Coach Walker stepped into the side filling these crucial spots. Walker was soon picking the ball out of his net as slack marking allowed Hull to capitalise from a long-corner. Adel restored the two goal cushion through Andy Reid Ben Hendley, sweetly supplied by Evans. However shortly before halftime, more casual play from the Adel forwards saw Hull turnover and counter-attack. A driving run into the circle and a cruel deflection from Lewis’ size 13 saw the ball spin past the floundering Walker, who will be disappointed to have conceded twice.
Basic errors, compounded by the pudding of a pitch, saw frustration continue into the second half, and none of these was more confusing than Hendley’s forward aerial pass to no one in particular (he later told reporters “I definitely heard a call”). Chances were squandered and good attacking movements finished with poor final passes or shots from silly angles. However, on the positive side Adel defended more compactly and worked harder without the ball. Watkins netted a fourth for the travelling side with an exocet from the top of the circle before Hill finished the scoring. This takesthe former Newcastle legend’s personal tally to five for the season, with a cumulative shot distance of 1.6m. The final result reflected the balance of play, but Hull’s endeavour and the ability of their junior players will give them encouragement as they seek to avoid relegation.
Good news followed the completion of Saturday’s fixtures, Adel now sit top of Yorkshire Division 1 with five fixtures remaining. Although teams around have games in hand, there are still crucial matches against our immediate rivals. Neutrals are hoping this goes all the way to the wire but I’m sure Adel would like to seal promotion at the earliest opportunity. No doubt this side will need to play better than they did in winning this game, but they have shown resilience and a will to win which will be vital in these final five matches.
Thanks to the officials and the Ultras who support us home and away.
MoM – Hemming. “Il Pivote” The Solihull Xavi back to his best.
DoD – Hendley. Mortaring the Hull backline was not his finest moment in a distinguished career.