Most of the previous weekly round up blogs have tended to begin with a win for another of our sides who are topping their league or a side who have banged in a hatful of goals. Last weekend saw 4 of our teams on top of their tables on Sunday evening, we had 4 players score 5 goals apiece in their match, another 2 or 3 bagged hat tricks and we even saw “hell freeze over” with a rare goal from a 50 year old veteran, rumoured to be his first league goal for over a decade.
But sometimes, its not always a high scoring big win by a table topping team that is the stand out game of the weekend. On Saturday, our ladies 5th team who started the day in 9th place in their league took on table toppers Epworth who had not lost a game all season. In the reverse fixture Epworth had won handsomely 7-0 and most people would have put this game down as an away win banker long before the 10.30am start at Adel. There were some encouraging early signs as at 10.25 Epworth had about 5 players at the pitch, Adel had a squad of 15 and at least there was no frost to intervene either. The 5s started well, created some great chances through good passing, teamwork and strong running down the right wing and took the lead after 15 minutes to calm any nerves. Epworth were a mix of some wise old heads who had played at a higher level and some talented youngsters and posed a few threats so it was no surprise when they equalised mid way through the half and you expected them to go on and run away with the game. But Adel responded almost immediately with a well taken 2nd goal and at half time the team talk would have been about continuing to keep doing what they had been doing – it was clear that the weekly training sessions were paying dividends with so many of the 5s relative beginners to hockey yet they had soon grasped the basics and showed great spirit.
The second half saw chances for both sides but perhaps with the fresh legs a squad of 15 gives you over a bare team of 11 players and perhaps due to some injuries to a couple of Epworth players towards the end, the 5s clung on for a huge victory and plenty of time over the rest of the day to celebrate. Well done to Ffion and all the team for a great start to the day.
The ladies 1s followed proceedings against a strong Ben Rhydding 2nd team and Adel were 2-0 down at the interval but still in the game despite soaking up plenty of pressure. Despite several great saves (one of which was Hinch-esque with a diving stick save at full stretch) from Sarah McCall, the opposition scored 2 further goals as Adel tried to chase the game to get something from the match and perhaps the 4-0 final scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of the play overall.
On Sunday, the 1s went into battle once more against Chester who are also in the lower half of the table so a six-pointer for both sides. Sadly, (especially for coach Paul Lewis who is a former Chester player!) the away team were victorious 4-2 meaning the 1s stay in 11th place in the league and needing a couple of wins, especially in a few weeks time when they entertain Didsbury Greys who are level on points but below on goal difference.
The ladies 2s were away at lowly Airedale and once again they went into the interval 1-0 down after a sluggish first half but again the half time team talk woke up everyone and 3 second half goals from Sophie Lancaster (assisted by borrowing Gaby’s stick…), Jane Holmes and Tina Parson and are now 5 points clear with a huge game in hand on Tuesday evening away at Selby who lie in 4th place. Ben Rhydding and Slazengers are still in the mix with the 2s having a tricky away game at Slazengers still to come and if the 2s can start to play for the whole of the game rather than just the 2nd half then there chances of title success will be much easier!
The 3s also had a double header with a Saturday away game at Colne Valley where a 3-2 victory was then followed by a competitive 2-2 draw v Harrogate on Sunday. The 4s sadly went down 2-0 to local rivals Leeds 4s but battled hard and will play less well in the future and win games.
On the mens side of things, for the first time in years, all 5 teams were winners, total goals scored 44 and goals conceded only 6. There will not be many weeks when the top 5 mens sides in any club score 14, 10, 6, 9 and 5 goals respectively and most sides in the leagues have not even scored 44 goals all season!
Individual plaudits go to Will Purdy, Miles Buller, Peter Sym and 13 year old Charlie Sutton who all scored 5 goals each with hat tricks elsewhere for Sam Harris and Will Powley.
The 1s had what on paper could have been a tricky away game with an earlier than usual start at Halifax but they ran away with the game from the start to have their biggest win of the season, 14-1 to boost their goal difference over local rivals Bradford ahead of the head to head clash of the 100%ers next Sunday at Adel (1.30pm start). Simon Ball, James Moorhouse and Phil Bayford all jug-ducked with a couple of goals each so I hope they have saved their hat trick goals for when it may be more valuable on Sunday.
The 2s were also playing Halifax and Buller and Sym took turns at scoring goals throughout the game as they notched 5 a piece but both were pipped for the man of the match award by junior Paddy who provided the legs and distribution to help set up many of them. With Hallam 3s not winning on Saturday the 2s are now top but face their nearest rivals in a couple of weeks to effectively determine where the trophy will go at the end of the season.
The 3s travelled to York under the watchful eye of coach Clare Hesslewood and an early goal from skipper Tom Beale followed by a couple of penalty corner strikes from Will Powley settled any nerves after the see saw game against Mirfield the previous week. Further goals from Beale and Powley to complete his hat trick would have been satisfying enough but the game still had a final twist with the silver fox, Greg Hilton ghosting forward from his defensive midfield duties to send a thunderboult of a shot into the top corner (lets overlook the deflection via a York foot that saw the ball loop beyond the keepers reach). The last time Greg scored a league goal his hair had not gone grey and he was playing with another Powley alongside him but from a different generation….
The 4s bounced back after their defeat the previous week and soon got things back on track with a 9-0 win over Sheffield Hallam with Charlie Sutton’s pace and devastating finishing proving too much as he joined the 5 goal club for the day. And finally the 5s travelled to Slazengers with a longer current winning streak than the 4s and were worthy 5-3 winners, although it should be noted that standards are slipping as they went from being the top scoring mens team in the club the previous week to the lowest scorers this week and only scored as many goals as 4 players did alone!
Sunday also saw the mixed team finally overcome postponements and despite going down 3-0 to Kendal they had a good time and ran off some heavy hangovers from the previous evenings trip down the Otley Road.
Every weekend ahead sees at least one Adel team have a huge game that could determine the outcome for their season so please get along and support your club, cheer on the teams and encourage each other as we target another successful end of season dinner!