Tom Poll set off for work bright and early Saturday morning, only to find when he got to his desk at the airport that he had in fact booked a week’s leave, so he was available for hockey after all. Team mates were surprised and delighted to see the speedy winger on the pitch at 3pm, but there was a grim inevitability about the fines session afterwards. That’s DoD sorted, then.

We’ve had a win, a draw and a loss already this season, so you can forget about those other Adel teams who score 10 every week. If you want real drama and excitement, it’s the Men’s 5s who bring the crazy. Once again the squad featured a random assortment of youths, super vets, and 5th team debutants having a mid-life crisis …. Andy Hedge, for goodness sake, caressing the ball and arguing with the opposition like he’d never been away. At the back Skully was an absolute rock, with multiple outlets down the left through Tom H (another fine game from the relatively new guy) and Tom P, and on the right through flying Finlay and new guy Stef. (Editor’s note: remember to say Stef was rubbish). Sadly Stefan had a very bad game, can’t pass, can’t tackle and definitely can’t dribble. It is probably best if he stays in the 5s for a long time while he tries to find his form again.

Mikey showed once again that he is the best keeper for his age in West Yorkshire and maybe the north east, with a commanding performance, standing up tall whenever Slaz got a shot on goal. Richard Poll joined in the fun at regular intervals, with a bit of abuse from the opposition who said “all he can do is hit”. Which may be true, but resulted in a succession of 100mph rockets straight through the Slazengers ring to pick up out an orange shirt with pinpoint accuracy. Maybe hitting is not such a bad thing after all?

And so to the goals: two in the first half from living legend Ian “Snifffer” Phillips, who broke the deadlock after about 15 minutes with an absolute screamer from the top of the D (Editor’s note: nobody will believe you) and then doubled his tally with a sprint from the halfway line ending in a reverse hit into the roof of the net (seriously?…).

We’d been two-nil up at half time the previous week and only finished with a draw, so the general mood at half time was “please don’t screw up”. Given that Ian was now desperate to avoid buying a jug, we had to find the goals from somewhere else, but who could we turn to?

Cometh the hour, cometh the Max. The 5s forward line is a blend of youth and inexperience, and we are proud of our talented, fast and hardworking attackers, Max Holley, Tom Alldred, and Matty Snow. Regular readers of this column will know that the boys take it in turns to torment opposition defenders, and this week it was Max who finished off the collective effort, with a couple of well-taken goals, firing in from close range for the first and then a cheeky flick for the second. Voting was tight in the bar afterwards, but Max deservedly triumphed as MoM. Slaz got a consolation goal which was fair enough; they were a nice bunch and we made them wait about an hour in the bar for a plate of stodgy garlic pasta, so the least we could do was give them a goal.

So – two wins and a draw from the first four fixtures, everyone’s having fun, and some attractive passing hockey that looks pretty good for this level. Half term next week, usual selection crisis due to family holidays etc. Bring it on. #atid