This weekend should have seen the mid-point of the season with all teams having played each of their opponents once and league tables starting to take shape. Sadly a couple of frosty weekends have led to a number of postponements, some opponents have pulled out of the league and pitch availability and games v student sides has resulted in some games moving to Sundays later in the year. Our fixture secretaries are working harder then ever to rearrange games, find pitch slots and make sure the opposition turn up to play.
But as things stand at the mid point, our teams are well placed to kick on in the second half of the season and continue the success of the last three seasons with double promotions. We currently have 2 teams topping their divisions with another 2 just behind the leaders in 2nd place.
Yesterday saw 2 home Sunday games at Adel featuring our table topping ladies 2s and the invincible mens 4s. The ladies 2s had come back from Harrogate the day before with a hard fought 1-0 win courtesy of a goal from Laura Pantelli and had a full squad out for the Sunday derby match against the Leeds Uni students. The game was pretty much won in the first quarter as Adel raced to a 4-0 lead with Tina Parson scoring a hat trick courtesy of some great crosses from the right hand side from Gaby and Woody and Twedds continued her goalscoring streak with a well taken strike from a penalty corner. Tina grabbed another just before the interval after great persistence from Jane Holmes who thought she had scored the goal but missed Tina poach it on the line. The second half Adel continued to dominate and Woody finally got her goal after a solo run from the half way line, Twedds bagged another and was then denied a hat trick as Robyn Lindsay stole in at the far post to deflect a well taken corner to complete the scoring. The 2s are now top of the league by 3 points and have a huge game next weekend away at Selby who lie in 3rd place.
The 4s also had a good win on Saturday scoring half a dozen goals without reply and on Sunday they took on Bradford 4s with some new faces as the team welcomed Matt Cooper for his debut in goal and the returning Joe Sutton to play his first game of the season due to work commitments alongside younger brother Charlie. After some early misses, Adel eventually settled in to the game and worked out that a couple of quick passes would take them from one end of the pitch to the other and gradually the goals started to come from young Joe Grier, not so young Stefan Palenski, the evergreen Rich Bingham and the Sutton duo although I am not sure which of them bagged more than the other to have the satisfaction of the family bragging rights around the Sunday dinner table. It was also great to see the reliable Bob Sibley manning the back line in the absence of his normal full back colleague, Nic Crocker with Pete McAleer watched by his dad (former 1st team keeper and ex club Chairman Frank) stepping in alongside Bob on several occasions to deny any Bradford threats.
Saturday saw the mens 3s miss out due to frozen pitches in York and the 5s were sadly on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline at Halifax but the 1s maintained their 100% start with a perhaps less than comfortable narrow away win at Harrogate by 3 goals to 2 with new boys Ball and Harris scoring the goals. Bradford also won narrowly which means the rearranged game will still be a mouthwatering prospect and go a long way to deciding which team becomes the red hot favourites for the one promotion spot. The 2s will be disappointed to only get 1 point from their game against York after a good run of results but they still sit in 2nd place in the league and are well placed with the players at their disposal to be stronger after Christmas.
The ladies managed a full set of fixtures with the 5s having a great win at home 2-1 and the 4s also grabbing the 3 points. The 3s looked to be heading for victory as well when they went into a 2-0 lead but Thirsk fought back to score 3 times and take the points. The showpiece game of the day on Saturday was the ladies 1s local derby against Harrogate with the team welcoming back Helen Goacher to fill the midfield gap left by injuries to Anna and Claire. The 1s looked to be finally getting some of the luck that has deserted them this season as they led 2-1 going into the final 5 minutes but Harrogate were not to be denied and scored a late equaliser from a well worked routine to share the points. I wasn’t at the game but I am reliably informed there was also a memorable penalty stroke from skipper Katy Blyth.
Next weekend fingers crossed the weather does not intervene and everyone comes back with three points so the evening Xmas social can be celebrated more enthusiastically although those teams with a rearranged game on the Sunday may regret things the following morning!