The mid season break seemed to last a long time although the absence of outdoor hockey allowed some the chance to venture indoors and a few others to have a well earned rest from all the activity associated with getting out 12 teams on some Saturdays and multiple junior teams on Sunday mornings.
Whilst a couple of teams were quick out of the blocks the weekend before last catching up with fixtures (well done the mens 6s and ladies 4s) last weekend saw all the other teams bar the mens 1s recommence their league campaigns. The ladies 2s opened proceedings in the early push back at Adel against table toppers Driffield. Having dusted off the cobwebs and quickly settled back into a smooth rhythm, goals from stand in skipper Jenny Hopkins (aided by a huge deflection) and a coolly converted penalty stroke from Steph Bradbeer were enough to secure the 3 points for Adel.
The ladies 1s followed at noon in a mid table clash against Sheff Uni Bankers who they had drawn with back in November in the reverse fixture. The 1s were another team to overcome any rustiness and first half goals from Jenny Wright and Rosie Baker gave Adel a 2-0 half time lead. However Sheff Uni Bankers were clearly a talented squad and threatened from corners in particular, one striking an upright of the goal and a slick routine getting them a second half goal to make the game more interesting. The Adel defence stood firm and some outstanding saves from keeper Charlie Hall were enough to see Adel across the line and bag their first 3 points of 2019 as they look to push up the table.
The mens 2s had a local derby against Boston Spa who were relegated from the Yorkshire Premier league last season. The 2s have trained hard since the winter break and were champing at the bit to get back into competitive action with early goals from Buller with a diving far post finish, Hinds with a reverse stick bobbler that the keeper watched into the net, Bishop following up at a penalty corner to unleash a first time volley and another from Buller saw a 4-0 score at the interval with the Adel defence in little trouble. The expectant crowd were hoping for more goals in the second half as goal difference at the top of the table could be crucial at the end of the season with Leeds and Harrogate both level on points with Adel at the break. However, the Boston Spa defence was more solid and it took the move of the day with a Barcelona-esque passing move seeing Buller get his hat trick and a further goal from midfield maestro Rich Partner to put Adel into a 6-0 lead although further chances were spurned to the frustration of skipper Holford. Boston did grab a late consolation goal but the 2s maintained their top of the table spot and have a tricky away game this weekend at Doncaster and then a huge home game v Harrogate the week after which could go some way to deciding the destination of the title.
The mens 4s and 6s followed later in the day with both sides having comfortable victories with the 4s winning 4-2 v York and the 6s beating the team at the top of their league, Huddersfield, 8-0. The 6s are no doubt keen to catch up the fixtures they missed in the first few weeks of the season following their late entry to the league but are already proving the benefit of the decision to field an extra Adel side.
the 5s enjoyed the hospitality up at Ralph Thoresby as they also took on a team topping the table in Airedale. A 6-1 scoreline isn’t a fair reflection of the effort and commitment put into the performance with many junior players in the Adel team still in their first few months of senior hockey whilst the opposition are a side with experience and too good for the division. Everyone enjoyed a game played in good spirit and the juniors will be better for the experience.
the 3s travelled away to Huddersfield and cruised to a 5-1 victory with juniors Tom Aldred and Charlie Sutton scoring goals along with Jackson and Beale who were grateful to be back out on the pitch after a few weeks of hockey related domestic admin issues to address.
Sadly our ladies teams who travelled on the roads to Skipton, Pickering and Huddersfield were unable to bring back any points but they will be training hard this week to get back to winning ways on Saturday.
Thanks to all those who blew a whistle, helped coach during the week or on matchdays and came along to support our sides. I hope you are all there again this weekend for another busy week of fixtures as well as a mixed cup game at 3.30 on Sunday as the Mighty Adel take on Durham in the EH Cup!