For once, the weather gods did not conspire against us as a busy weekend of fixtures for all Adel teams went ahead with a mixture of handsome victories, narrow defeats and plenty of goals.
The ladies 1s and 3s both bagged 9 goals apiece without reply and both teams continue to head their respective leagues playing a brand of competitive hockey thanks to excellent coaching and commitment from the players to train and listen to the game plans and strategies.
The ladies 2s went head to head with Leeds 2s who are top of the table and unbeaten in the league and the 5-2 scoreline was not a true reflection of the closeness of the game with Leeds scoring a couple of late goals as Adel pressed hard for an equaliser. Promotion prospects will be tough now although a win next week v Leeds Uni 2s who are second in the division would still mean it is mathematically possible for a triple crown of promotions for the top three ladies teams.
The ladies 4s also had a closely fought game against the local rivals down the road at Weetwood but went down 4-2.
The mens section had a disappointing day on Saturday with all 4 teams being defeated. The 1s fought hard away at Rotherham, keen to avenge the defeat at the Adel Astro just before Christmas but went down 3-1 and need to now regroup and get back to winning ways to maintain the promotion challenge.
The mens 2s suffered the worst defeat of the day letting in 6 goals without reply against York 3s but on the plus side we have not seen any complaints from the opposition over the Adel teas for a change.
The mens 4s went down 3-1 to Halifax and the 5s had the best result of the day for the men but still lost 3-2 to Airedale.
Fortunately, Sunday was a different day altogether and the 3s restored some pride with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield, although this was then nullified when the Mixed team came back from York (not them again!) having gone out of the EH Mixed Cup on flicks after a ding dong battle.
In the absence of boys under 14 coach, Simon Sutton who had taken himself off to Barcelona for a long weekend to celebrate his wife’s birthday, I went along to see how the next generation of Adel players were doing. There were a number of surprises, firstly the weather which was almost pleasant and secondly arriving at Harrogate to see that we had 17 boys available. In previous seasons we have struggled to raise a 5-a-side team and this has been a contributory factor in a number of our talented boys moving on to other clubs to aid their hockey careers.
Under the watchful eye of stand in coach (former player John Holden) our under 14 boys went in to battle against Northallerton and Wakefield. Northallerton had not brought an umpire so I had the pleasure of umpiring all 6 games and was impressed by the talent we have coming through in the junior section. In the first game Adel went 1-0 up after 20 seconds against Wakefield and then went on to win 3-1 with some fine passing hockey, good movement off the ball, strong running by the forwards all backed up with resolute tacking at the back and Sholto in goal stopping anything the Wakefield forwards could throw at him. In the next game Northallerton were despatched 1-0 with the defence bravely stopping some tricky Northallerton forwards. We then played the same 2 teams again and won 2-1 and 3-0 respectively with the last game in particular showing the advantages of a 17 man squad, good use of the substitutes by Coach Holden. A number of these boys look ready to make the step up to the senior teams on Saturdays and this can only help them improve further in a short space of time. Finlay Holden has the same pace as his dad used to have many years ago but he also has a keen eye for goal that John is still looking for. Sholto in goal was brave, decisive and an excellent shot stopper and Paddy in the middle bossed all the games, carried the ball strongly and distributed it to the pacy forwards at the right time. It was a real pleasure to see the boys putting into practice all the drills they do on a Friday night and with the under 12s also competing well the future looks to be bright (well we do play in orange shirts) for the mens section.