So what did sporting activity did you get up to on Sunday on your last day of covid-related restrictions?

The British Grand Prix saw 140,000 spectators watch Lewis Hamilton shunt his way to victory.

The last round of the Open at Royal St Georges saw 32,000 spectators cheer on a rookie to victory in his first Open.

And nearer to home, 18,000 cricket lovers went to Headingley to see England defeat Pakistan in the 2nd T20 international, whilst making beer snakes in their various fancy dress outfits.

But the biggest battle of the day saw the North of England over 65 Masters hockey team play their final warm up (and boy was it warm!) match before their regional tournament next weekend at Wakefield.  Leeds Adel HC were delighted to be asked to provide opposition for the final match in their preparation and not surprisingly a season of limited playing activity saw skipper Greg Hilton with some selection headaches, cruelly axing former North over 65s club veteran, David Margerison from his match day squad.  Whilst the original intention was to try and raise a side of over 50s, a couple of our more youthful veterans seized the chance to play a game where they might be able to display some blistering pace and actually leave an opponent in their slipstream.  Having successfully done it once, Giles Primmer tried it again and promptly limped off to the bench to recover.

The North Over 65s included representatives from as far north as Sunderland and as far south as Lincoln with a squad of around 14 players who had clearly played the game at a high standard in their younger days but were just as competitive at this stage of their careers.

Adel shaded the early exchanges with well taken goals from Ben Henley and Stefan Palenski but the North fought back and at the three quarter point in the game the home team had a narrow 3-2 lead thanks to a 3rd goal via the post from Andy Hedge.  Simon Taylor had an excellent reverse stick volley chalked off by the umpire and as the game entered the final quarter there was all to play for.

It may have been the heat, coupled with the slight age gap, but Adel finished the stronger with further goals as everyone tired.  Henley roofed a 2nd goal, Palenski tapped another one home but the biggest cheer of the day was when Ian “Sniffer” Phillips came off the bench for a cameo appearance (immediately boosting the Adel average age to closer to the North team) and poached a classic close range sniffer-like finish.  The 7th goalscorer has slipped my mind, it may have been the ever youthful Rich Partner, who when subbed off towards the end positively sprinted to the dug out like a teenager.

Whilst not quite attracting the crowd numbers of other sporting events yesterday (by my reckoning there was Giles Primmer’s Dad and son, one of the North players wives, a relieved David Margersion able to watch from the dugout shade rather than running around the pitch and Andy Miles wife Lisa who generously brought him his water bottle at half time that he had left behind), the entertainment and enjoyment levels were probably as high as they were for the wins by Hamilton, Morikawa and the England cricketers.  The drinks on the AWMA decking area post game were certainly much appreciated!

Good luck to the North over 65s next weekend as they do battle with the other regions – we hope the weather is not quite as hot as it was yesterday and that the bodies have recovered from yesterday’s exertions.

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