Following a fine performance to open the season on Saturday, Leeds Adel Ladies’ 1st XI were keen to test themselves further. A midweek fixture against North Prem side York Ladies, an ambitious side with hopes of national league hockey was a perfect fixture in which to make this test.
The game started at a blistering pace, Adel retained possession for three minutes before York were able to touch the ball, quick passes and fluid movement demonstrating class through the outfield team. There were doubts as to whether this pace could last until halftime let alone full time, and when York broke early and took the lead, it would have appeared that league stats would prove these sides worth.
Adel however had other ideas. Hesslewood, A Blyth and H Goacher, started to win the key midfield battle, the interchanging half backs of Warburton, Jeavons and Henry, stepping through to support the midfield as they seeked the front line.
Cracks now starting to appear, K Blyth, Wood, Bickley and Straughan were now much more threatening and as pressure often proves, the equaliser was followed by not just another, but a third. Hesslewood finding the top corner to follow close range finishes from Wood and K.Blyth.
The half pressed on, slight chances for York easily dealt with Hurst in net, C.Goacher working through the midfield, holding shape as others took a quick break.
The half rounded off with a fourth goal and a second for Wood, hunting the posts to finish off a short corner routine. 4-1 and a deserved and needed 10 min break!
York started the second half much more alert, and quickly asserted themselves in control. Byers and Gibson holding the centre of defence and protecting the change in net of McCall. York’s dominating possession were now starting to create some solid chances, however the goal so desperately needed continued to allude them.
Whilst the pace never relented, Adel started to bring themselves back into the game. K.Blyth, Bickley and Straughan forced to drop deeper, leaving Wood somewhat isolated as a forward. This slight adaptation seemingly worked and Adel started to hold possession further up the pitch but unable to add to their own tally.
The second half stalemate saw the final whistle. A 4-1 win for the orange army.
Many thanks to Jim Cockburn, traveling umpire, and also to the supporters who made the journey and were left not disappointed.
On to the North Challenger Cup, six games against six different clubs on one day! We will be sure to update progress!