Hockey: Adel pounce on slightest weakness to win derby with Leeds rivals

On a slightly miserable day weather-wise in Yorkshire, Leeds Adel Ladies 1sts welcomed local rivals Leeds Ladies 2nds to the War Memorial.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 6:14 am
Adel Ladies. PIC: Dave Taylor

Leeds looked hesitant at the start of the game and, with them unable to settle into any kind of rhythm, Adel were quick to put pressure onto the visitors.

A high press by the home side led to a first goal as Clare Hesselwood jumped on a loose ball, went one-on-one with the Leeds keeper and kept her cool to slot the ball home.

The game restarted and Adel went back at the Leeds side, and it wasn’t long before their determination and tenacity was rewarded again to double the lead.

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Adel Men in goalmouth action. PIC: Dave Taylor

Kate Smith found herself with space in the area and drove towards the goal, the Leeds keeper went to make a save and only succeeded in flattening Smith, missing the ball completely.

Before the umpires could award any form of foul, the loose ball was jumped on by Hesselwood, who took advantage and placed the ball calmly into the net. Two goals to the good as the half-time whistle went and Adel looked to be enjoying their Saturday.

Adel never let their foot off the accelerator as they started the second half the same way they had started the first – pressing high and hassling Leeds for every ball.

Tempers began to flare and a card was shown to a Leeds player, dropping their team down to 10 players temporarily.

Adel Men wondering what went wrong. PIC: Dave Taylor

Always a side to look for any weakness, Adel pounced on this numbers advantage with the resulting short corner and Sophie Powley pounced to score her first of the game. A slick reverse shot from Gabby Nusenbaum made it 4-0 and not even a consolation goal for the travelling team could wipe the smiles off their faces.

Rosie Baker then put the icing on the cake with a goal that left all the opposition scratching their heads as to how it had gone in. Next up were Adel Men’s 2nds who were hoping to jump a few places in the league with a win, whereas opponents Bradford knew they could retain top spot with three points.

A goal, for Adel, on the stroke of half-time by Sam Bishop, and one in the early stages of the second half by Harry Robinson, were cancelled out by strikes from James Hunt and Adam Ashton from Bradford.

Some lovely hockey was played by all concerned, but nothing was going to separate these two teams as a point apiece was the outcome.

In the dark gloomy mist, the final game of the day was allocated to Adel Ladies 3rds and visitors Thirsk.

Undeterred by the late start and the night closing in, Adel were keen to get going.

Adel could only watch as Thirsk sneaked a goal in the first five minutes. The wake-up call obviously worked however as Adel came back hard and fast, fighting into the opposition’s half and winning a short corner. Katie Hill took the responsibility and duly smashed the ball into the net – 1-1.

Not wanting a repeat of the game’s first five minutes, Adel began the second half on the attack.

And a wonderful team move was finished by Ursy Walton.

Unfortunately, Adel seemed to bask in their success a little too much, with too much of the game remaining as Thirsk went right back at them and scored to make the final score 2-2.

Adel HC results in full: Men’s 1sts 2 Brigg 3; Men’s 2nds 2 Bradford 2; Men’s 3rds 2 Brigg 2; Men’s 4ths 3 Slazengers 0; Men’s 5ths 0 City of York 8; Men’s 6ths 6 Sheffield Hallam 1; Ladies 1sts 5 Leeds 1; Ladies 2nds 3 Selby 2; Ladies 3rds 2 Thirsk 2; Ladies Fours 2 Northallerton 0; Ladies Fives 2 Selby 3.

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With both Leeds Hockey Club first teams playing against University of Durham on Saturday, it was a substantial number of cars that travelled up the A1 for the games.

It was top versus bottom in the men’s game, the contrasting fortunes very much evident – Durham have lost just the one game this campaign, whereas Leeds have only the one win to their name.

That said, still no-one expected the complete domination that was shown by the hosts – a goal up within four minutes, and four up at half-time meant Durham were never in fear of losing. Phillip Jansen opened the scoring, slotting away an early short corner, followed by Benedict Park doubling the lead after 10 minutes.

Jansen got his second – again from a short corner – before Henry Baugniet added a fourth for Durham. Leeds knew something had to change in the second half, unfortunately the only thing that changed was the number of goals scored, as Durham added another three to their total.

James Sookias got in on the action before Jansen bagged his hat-trick and Park his second for 7-0.

The ladies’ game was a much closer affair, and it took a penalty stroke – dispatched by Durham’s Natalie Konerth, to separate them.

A very even match left Leeds hopeful of sneaking a surprise victory, until the 30-minute mark when the stroke was awarded. To the credit of Leeds, they never gave up.