An exciting day of Hockey at Adel on 25th February culminated in the match that the 4s had signposted since mid – December, 1st vs 2nd, with promotion, potentially a title on the line.
Having previously talked the talk but failed to walk the walk in crunch games earlier on in the season, (or at least failed to win as emphatically as the talk beforehand would suggest) the adrenaline was flowing.
Adel were highly focused and composed from the start, racing into a 2-0 lead (both well worked goals, passed around defenders followed by neat finishes, I think by Whytock then Matt Brown.)
With a team of 16, the ensuing substitutions disjointed us slightly. However the ever-reliable central partnership of Crocker and Sibley held back any Thirsk challenges, and Adel were able to add a couple more before half time. (From Harry Ellis, a tidy finish, and Damian, a trademark strike into the back of the net, not necessarily in that order.)
4-0 at half time, and 4-0 it remained, although Adel did rediscover their shape and dominance throughout the second half. A goal-line aerial pick by Bob Sibley was a highlight. Damian is convinced he added a fifth but no one else seems to remember it.
The result on its own secured promotion. Celebrations began. News filtered through from Boston of the all-important clash between the 5s and Boston Spa. A great result for the former handed the 4s the title, with 4 games to spare! (And was also well received by Thirsk, who despite the score-line also deserve credit for having provided a tough challenge and motivational title race this season.)
From then on, my memory is very hazy. I know at least Beer, Prosecco, Gin, Jägermeister and interestingly, peach schnapps have something to do with that, as the 4s celebrated into the early hours.
Thank you to those who came to support us, both from within the club and outside, thank you to the 5s, whose fantastic results against both Boston Spa and Thirsk have helped us on our way, and from myself, to the rest of the squad, for bringing their ‘A’ game.
MOTM – Myself, for the unfortunate task of co-ordinating this bunch of motley renegades. DOTD – Matt Brown, for his unexplainable confusion over the start time.
(Apologies for the delay. Most of the ensuing week was written off.)
The 4s now remain focused on achieving an unbeaten season, and the attention turned to this past weekend’s game, away to Bradford.
With a more manageable squad size of 13, Adel managed to play some attractive passing Hockey in a 7-2 victory. Four of the goals came from Damian Greig, two for Joe Morris, and a lovely top corner finish for Ross Nichols, who opened up his league account for the season. Bradford played a youthful side alongside some very strong ball carriers in the middle who pulled a couple back. It could have been more on both sides, if it weren’t for some good saves by Sholto Rowe, and some less than clinical Adel finishing.
A mention goes to Kiran Prem who had a debut goal caulked off, and was ultimately rewarded with DOTD (I suspect simply because he is in my fantasy team.) MOTM was a tie between Nic Crocker and Damian Greig.
The 4s were then rewarded for their movie night enthusiasm with a chance to meet Gary Barlow, and watch David Haye fall from grace. An enjoyable Saturday, topped off with some excellent news for the 1s. I will leave that to their match report. Thanks to Rich Poll for organizing the gig. (I have nothing witty to add and am still mardy about getting DOTD votes for winning MOTM the previous week.)