Words by Paul Lewis
Leeds Adel HC 4:1 Airedale HC
You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets – Arnold Schwarzenegger (also Jimmy Mayhew on a regular basis)
Adel Men’s 1st XI sent a strong message out to the rest of Yorkshire Division 1 on Saturday afternoon with a ruthless and disciplined performance against fellow title challengers Airedale. This was the first game in a run of four where Adel can secure promotion by winning each fixture, and they completed the first part of this promotion quartet with aplomb.
There was confusion at the start of the match when Ransley appeared in a light blue umpiring shirt, but Airedale had brought their own official. This denied both teams the undoubted pleasure of seeing Sam in what can only be described as “his colour”.
The game itself was a fast and furious affair throughout, the Adel shirts still soaking from Norman’s dryer didn’t seem to weigh the players down though. Both sides understanding the importance of the fixture, where the game was won and lost in the midfield. Adel took the lead ten minutes into the first period, a string of attacking passes was finished by token Welshman Evans. Purdy thought he’d double the lead from a penalty corner, but the Airedale postman made a spectacular block.
The second Adel goal followed ten minutes after the first, and was a joy to behold from the side-lines. An incisive counter attack with quick leading and ball pace saw a fifteen pass move finished off at the back post by Captain Butterworth. Nearly all the team touched the ball in the course of this move and it was perhaps the dénouement of all goals scored on the new pitch to date. Adel saw out the half well against the 10 men of Airedale, Coach Walker in goal had little to worry him, protected ably by Brazier, Bishop, Partner and the newly tanned Hill.
As would be expected for a side challenging near the top of the league, Airedale were not taking this result lying down. The fierce battle continued after the break with some strong tackling and vocal opinions being expressed. However, pasta magnate Purdy pushed the game further beyond them with a class finish. Airedale hit back through questionable circumstances, but Adel looked secure. Purdy grabbed his second meaning that the watching crocked pair of Kastelik and Lewis could lower their pulse rates.
All to a man the Adel team didn’t leave a drop of exertion of the pitch, and the beers no doubt tasted all the sweeter after the match™. Evans, Butterworth, Reid Hendley, Norman and the redoubtable Mayhew worked their socks up front, and their endeavour was matched by Hemming, Purdy and Watkins in midfield. With solid defending from Brazier, Hill, Partner, Bishop and Walker, this was a great team performance and demonstrated that the next three fixtures can be approached with fortitude and quiet confidence.
The Men’s 1st XI now have three games left where they will seek to emulate the Ladies 2nd XI and 4th XI who both secured their own promotions at the weekend. The Men’s 1st XI offer hearty congratulations and a kiss on both cheeks to them.
Thanks to the officials and the Ultras who support us home and away.
MoM – Purdy. Our favourite import from the North East?
DoD – Norman. He knows his ankles, but doesn’t know where the dryer is.