This week’s bitter and twisted write-up is brought to you by Andy Hedge

They say revenge is best served cold, but due to the vagaries of the Yorkshire weather Adel 5ths travelled south down the M1 in comparatively tropical weather, hoping to make amends for a 2-0 home defeat in the reverse fixture.  The young Adel team had not been strong enough earlier in the season, but now Chapeltown 4s were in for a shock. Three of our players’ combined age was 164, and the other eight totalled less than 130, but they were still more than a match for our South Yorkshire opponents.

One of our older members was absent due to illness (although the night before he admitted that he hadn’t sorted out the Mother’s day gifts), so Hedgie had to impersonate Holden Senior with the pre-match team talk. Not wishing to go for the inspirational ‘we can win or lose this game’ genre he produced what turned out to be a truly prophetic effort. The gist of it was that if you take the ball up to the opposition’s older players they would tackle you, but if you passed around them you would create chances. He then added that George Chaffer was very quick.

Chapeltown started strongly but Adel weathered the storm and then produced a flowing move which had more triangles than your average geometry lesson, and ended up with Matty Snow and George combining well to set up Tom Aldred to score with a first time finish into the bottom corner.

This was followed up by almost total dominance (apart from when people didn’t listen to the first part of the pre-match talk) for the rest of the half, and three more goals followed. Max Holley showed that a month long absence due to weather / half term / school field trips had done nothing to diminish his uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time, with a finish from a few centimetres out. Next came a delightful breakaway where Tom A played a perfectly weighted pass to George, who sped away from the Chapeltown defence for a one-on-one with the keeper. Thinking this too easy, he let the keeper make a save but put the rebound away to score a much more difficult chance for his first senior goal, to the delight of the travelling crowd and to show that a badly broken leg (skateboarding is very dangerous) had not diminished his speed (did I mention that he was fast?) or skills.  The total age of the three scorers was then more than doubled when Hedgie drilled in a short corner and followed up with the traditional perfectly executed forward roll, as demanded by the baying crowd.

At half time Skully was optimistically looking for double figures, but the start of the second half was marred by Chapeltown scoring, when they slotted home from close range. Our team showed that many ages can play in the same hockey team; their goal showed that many different builds can make up a team too.

Adel soon rectified matters and scored two more goals with Finn Holden (once again still not the best looking Holden at the match, since Mrs H was on the touch line) deflecting a shot in at the far post. Then Tom Poll shelled the ball from just inside the 23 and the keeper let it go, knowing full well that you can’t score from that far out, only to turn in despair as Max popped up from nowhere to score from millimetres out this time. The keeper was a little upset about this, and as somebody was voted DoD for making a keeper cry earlier in the season, it seemed bizarre that Max was given the MoM for his two goal performance. (Only joking Max, the award was fully deserved).

DoD was awarded to Murph for an unfortunate incident where he stopped playing when the whistle had not gone (only following Skully’s example) and was robbed by a Chapeltown player. This should not detract from another solid performance from him, and anyway the DoD often goes to the best player in the team, or so I believe.

The whole team once again played really well and this was shown in the many nominations for MoM, with Finn coming second. A special mention goes out to Simon Sutton who has coached the U14 and U16 players for a long time now, and although it may not always look like it on a Friday night at the Grammar School, they have clearly been listening to his wise words.    After one particularly slick move on Saturday, somebody commented “that was just like one of the drills we do”.  Who’d have thought?

Andy H.