Yesterday saw two of our ladies teams compete in play off finals as they sought promotion to higher leagues after excellent seasons.
The ladies 4s were cruelly denied promotion by the league a few days after being led to believe they had secured automatic promotion with a 2nd place finish in their division. However due to other promotions, relegations and miscommunications, the 4s were informed 5 days after their celebrations that they had to have a play off against Sheffield Hallam 3s who had also been led to believe they had been automatically promoted.
An early start at Doncaster still saw the usual strong Adel support on the sidelines and despite going a goal down early on, the 4s weakened by the absence of some key players who 3 weeks earlier were not even aware of a possible fixture on this date, fought back, played some great hockey and displayed the typical Adel spirit. Chasing the game in the second half in a winner takes all match, they were caught late on by the Hallam forwards on a couple of counter attacks but all of the team can hold their heads high and be confident that next season with another year of experience and practice over the summer they will be a match for anyone in their league and promotion is the target from the outset. Well done to Hannah and all of the 4s for having a great season.
A couple of hours later the 2s went into battle with a strong Lindum team looking to move from the East leagues to the North East leagues in order to reduce their travelling commitments to away games. Lindum were not to be feared having looked at their league table for last season and with the 2s having only lost 1 game all season they knew they had a good chance of promotion to the North East leagues for the first time for any Adel 2nd team. Whilst there were few clear cut chances, Adel threatened from an early short corner but Lindum were particularly strong on the counter attack with some speedy distribution, pacy running and direct approach. However the Adel defence stood up to the task and as the half time hooter approached the game looked evenly balanced. However, Lindum struck a cruel blow with a goal from a penalty corner on the stroke of half time which raised their belief and confidence levels. In the second half they extended their lead from another penalty corner and scored a 3rd from a penalty stroke which looked to kill off the game. Lindum were also quite professional in the back knowing when to concede fouls although the excellent umpiring made sure they knew the punishments they would get if they continued with this approach. With 10 minutes to go, a penalty corner for Adel saw Laura Pantelli (Twedds to most of us) finally beat the Lindum keeper who had made an outstanding save low to her right on the previous corner. Despite some final effort, the 2s could not quite get the other goals needed to take the tie into extra time or penalties and at the hooter whilst defeated, the team had done the club proud and shown that they are more than capable of competing at the higher level.
Defeat in the final games for both teams should take nothing away from their excellent seasons and with both teams having strong representation from the junior section, several new players settling in to the teams and the experienced old heads to pass on their knowledge, the ladies section continues to go from strength to strength.
Thanks to all the officials (the umpires were excellent yesterday), the YHA for organising the play offs, the opposition and last but not least the strong orange army of spectators on the sidelines cheering the teams on.