Leeds Adel Hockey Club

Ladies 1s Yorkshire Champions with the first piece of silverware of the season!

by Katie Hall

The Adel Allstars turned up bright and early at Slazengers HC on Saturday morning ready to build on last weeks 7-1 mauling of Driffield.

A club debut was given Helen Goacher and the welcomed return of Nat Mellor to the ladies 1s who has been missing for seasons due to injury.
The first game saw Adel face Leeds Uni, a team who has been promoted 2 seasons on the run and will face the Allstars in the league this season. As the teams were warming up keeper Carolyn/Nan was injured as a ball struck her arm during a save. Nan was quickly unkitted and taken to hospital as Nat Mellor bravely donned the kit. It must be said the Leeds Uni team were younger, quicker and lighter than the majority of Adels’ but the game was Adels to win. Some good play was seen throughout the pitch, in particular from make shift keeper Nat. Adel were unfortunate not to score with 2 minutes to go when a short corner went inches wide. The game finished 0-0 not a terrible result for the first game after the keeper was injured!
In the hours break Charlie Hall turned up to go in goal and make her club debut and Big Bird arrived to bolster the defence. The next game against Slazengers HC was a disappointing affair ending once again 0-0. Adel would have expected a win and deserved one after a short corned came out to Froggy, was lifted over a stick to big bird who put the ball in the goal, however the umpire forgot the development of the rule that allows balls to be lifted into the D (10 years ago) and disallowed the goal. The hockey was not the best and the team went off for the next hrs break unhappy with the performance.
The next game against Wakefield was the crunch match. After losing twice to Wakey last year in the league the team was well motivated to show how much we have improved in a short space of time and this is exactly what happened. With an outstanding performance from everyone the game ended 1-0 to Adel but could have easily been 3 or 4 nil. A fantastic team effort saw the goal come from pressure in the D from Big Bird and Froggy leading to a tackle which then enabled the ever galloping anna blyth to drive through the Wakefield midfield and defence, link up with Helen and a cross found Sacha at the P spot who finished the ball in a glorious way putting it in the roof of the net! This was probably a relief for Sacha who minutes earlier following good play from Jac Smith found herself celebrating a shot which hit the post, seeing the ball bounce past her whilst her stick was mid air celebrating...... Alice showed she had learnt a lot in her many years with the Adel 1s before she left for uni by accidently falling over and taking out a Wakefield player at the same time, safe to say many of us were very proud!
A great effort from the defence and some good save from Charlie saw the game end 1-0 to Adel. We went into the last break knowing the results of the next few games would leave us knowing what we needed from our last game to win the tournament. With Leeds Uni and Wakefield playing out a goalless draw after some light hearted banter from the sidelines we knew a win would see us lift the trophy.
Adel started strong and were unlucky to miss several rushed chances. Big Bird challenged Sachas early attempt for dick of the day with an air shot at a short corner with no defence in sight! Some great attacking play from Jade, Sacha, Helen, Anna, Fie and Jac eventually saw the break through goal coming again on the break and again Sacha getting her name on the score sheet. Adel were unlucky not to score more but the defensive line of Nobby, Emma, Big Bird and Ali were once again outstanding keeping the fourth clean sheet of the day and finishing the tournament without conceding a goal. With the game finishing 1-0 Adel were looking forward to lifting the cup when we were informed Leeds Uni never returned it from last year so we had to settle for a small trophy in the mean time! Regardless Adel are now undefeated in 5 games and finished the tournament without letting in a single goal and are Yorkshire Challenger Champions. The Ladies 1s start the league season next week away to Crewe looking to start strong with the return of Wendy, Fireman Sam and Kim to cause selection problems for new coach Taff! The team wishes Carolyn a speedy recovery and Alice the best of luck at University!

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