It’s been a full eighteen months since Adel Ladies’ 1st XI made the short away trip to Ilkley for a league fixture. Last time out in 2015, a draw sealed the team’s fate as runners up to Ben Rhydding in North Div 2 with only one team promoted. With Adel successfully navigating their way to promotion last term, these two sides met again for what was an eagerly anticipated league fixture. Adel this term have had good success but have struggled to turn draws into victories, Ben Rhydding in contrast were quick out of the blocks with three wins, but had not picked up any points in their last two games.
Both teams started somewhat nervously and despite the local rivalry, the early exchanges were somewhat subdued, neither team creating clear cut chances. The defensive line of Gibson, Taylor, Love, Fowdon and Hairsine looking more like a solidified unit, playing with confidence and dealing with any early dangers. As the half rolled on past ten and twenty minutes it looked like it would remain scoreless until Ben Rhydding grabbed the lead with a well worked goal. Adel now sprung into life and immediately creted pressure at the other end. Wood and Bickley combining well but not able to find the backboard. Smith and Wright now applying the press with much more aggression and Adel began to apply more and more pressure. The equaliser grabbed just before the break, Jones with a typical gentle finish and a well deserved goal.
If the first half was guilty of being subdued, the second half was to be a five goal thriller…
Ben Rhydding restored their lead early on the half, only for the equaliser to quickly follow again. A.Blyth with a break out from the middle, as she guided her shot low across the goal, Hesselwood with a deflection past the keeper. As normal with Primal time, Leadbitter took control of the middle of the pitch to allow K.Blyth, A.Blyth and Hesselwood freedom to attack and Jones grabbed her second of the game with another poachers goal, Adel lead for the first time.
The lead was short lived, Ben Rhydding had other ideas and quickly brought the game back to level. Now with fifteen minutes to go, both teams went in search of the equaliser. Adel finally grabbed a penalty corner, a warward injection no problem for Leadbitter who took control before unleashing a powerful shot across goal, passed the keeper, and score her first league goal in at least three years.
Adel would now need to manage the game out, something that has not always been easy this season. The defence however now marshalled by McCall, slowly but surely saw the game out, McCall still being called upon maybe a little too often, however comfortable to guide the team out to their third league victory of the year.
Adel now jump Ben Rhydding in the table and look forward to welcoming Lymm next week to Church Lane.
Many thanks to the very chilly travelling support, Umpires Zak and Steve who did a stellar job considering their Lancashire heritage!
MOM- Claire Leadbitter and Jaclyn Smith- Everyone loves a double buns, and these two put in a big shift yet again.
DOD- Katy Blyth for personal hygiene reasons.