Hockey: High-flying Adel continue unbeaten run with derby win over Leeds HC to stay top

Currently sitting top of the table, with an unbeaten start to the season, Leeds Adel First XI travelled the half-mile journey to Sports Park Weetwood to face a Leeds side still searching for their first win of the campaign.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 5:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 9:47 am
Action from Adel's derby encounter with Leeds. PIC: Dave Taylor

Both clubs have had a healthy rivalry through the years, with every game being played for bragging rights, as well as points and, with this being the first meeting of the season between the two sides, pride was very much on the line. Leeds had had a poor start to the season so far, with only the one point of a possible nine, and Adel were determined to ensure that their neighbours run of bad form didn’t end.

Once the initial impetus had worn off, Adel began to show the watching crowd why they had won their league last season, and were looking to do it again, as they slowly started to carve out some chance for themselves.

The more possession they gained, the more confident the away side became, and the fast and free-flowing hockey their supporters are used to seeing showed through.

Action from Adel's derby encounter with Leeds. PIC: Dave Taylor

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As the first half progressed, Adel found they could push up the pitch more and lend more bodies to the attack, creating problems for the Leeds defence – which was struggling to contain the Adel forwards.

Leeds goalkeeper, Jacob Smith, was called on numerous times to keep the battle on an even keel, the pick of his saves being a lovely full dive to his right, blocking what looked a guaranteed score. Smith gained the praise of Adel coach Ball who was starting to despair of ever getting the ball past the young keeper. The high press by Adel did mean they were liable to be caught on the break with some fast passing by Leeds.

Once they had weathered an attack, the home defence was quick to find their midfield, who in turn were looking forward to their own attackers. Despite these forays into the opposition half, Leeds were struggling to pose any serious threat to the Adel goal.

Will Powley once again showed why he was selected for the England Mixed team over the summer with a commanding display at the back. Not willing to be shown up by their rivals, Leeds defender Alex Jones-Gerrard was matching Powley tackle for tackle and showing that Leeds were not an easy conquest.

The second half saw a reinvigorated Leeds side take the fight to Adel, showing that they were still a serious threat in the game, as the first few minutes was dominated by the home team.

Unfortunately, this fire and determination backfired on the Blues, as an Adel attack was broken down illegally, stopping a goalscoring opportunity and giving the umpire no option other than to award a penalty stroke. Despite Sam Harris being the in-form striker for Adel, it was Will Purdy who took the responsibility and, although Smith dove the right way, he was unable to keep the ball out. Once ahead, Adel never looked back. The game was still fought at a high intensity and Leeds had chances to equalise, but Adel are not unbeaten for nothing and all the best efforts of Leeds were for nought.

A 1-0 win for Adel, and they came off the field knowing they had been in a battle. This is the lowest scoring game that Adel have played in so far this season, which goes to show how much games between the two teams matter. Ben Leeming was man of the match after his heroics in the midfield.

Adel results in full: Men’s 1sts 1 Leeds 0; Men’s 2nds 5 Huddersfield 5; Men’s 3rds 4 Bradford 2; Men’s 5ths 0 City of York 5; Men’s 6ths 4 Chapeltown 0; Ladies 1sts 1 Durham City 2; Ladies 2nds 1 Harrogate 0; Ladies 3rds 0 Harrogate 3; Ladies 4ths 2 Bradford 2; Ladies 5ths 3 Thirsk 1.

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Tenacious Bradford Tigers scrambled a point with a late goal in a 2-2 draw with Wakefield 1s, writes PAUL HOUGHTON.

Wakefield came from a goal behind to lead 2-1 but then failed to capitalise on several chances that would have put the game to be long before Bradford’s equaliser five minutes from time.

Meanwhile, despite outstanding performances from Nabeal and Aamer Khan, Wakefield 2s were unable to contain a resolute Bradford who finished 3-1 winners. Chances were created but in an unusual turn of form the forwards were unable to find the net.

The 2s travel to league leaders Leeds at the weekend.

Wakefield 3s travelled to Airedale with a bare 11 including seven juniors but came away the more disappointed of the two following the 1-1 draw.

Man of the match was goalscorer, Will Roberts.

Wakefield 4s’ game at Doncaster was cut short following a head injury to home goalkeeper Sam Deakin with the visitors leading 1-0 at the time. Matt Sandhurst’s late strike, meanwhile rescued a point for the 5s against Lindum.

Possession will have to be turned into goal if the side is not to sit bottom of the pile come the Christmas break.

York proved too strong for Wakefield 7s Development Team but the four juniors on show suggested a bright future.

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Wakefield Ladies 2s paid the price for a sluggish start against visiting Bowdon 2s who held on to win 2-1.

Bowdon scored from their push-back attack and doubled up again after loose play from Wakefield resulted in a penalty corner.

Harsh, but a wake-up call that Wakefield acknowledged, and defensive changes allowed the hosts to take more control.

And, in the 24th minute, Emma Williams pulled a goal back with a superb strike from open play.

Bowdon again started well in the second half but excellent goalkeeping by Wakefield’s Taryn Allen and a goal-line clearance from Louise Whiteley kept Wakefield in the game.

Good defensive displays from Jo Hughes, Ella Riding, Gabby Leeson and Louise Whiteley enabled the midfield to set up several good attacks as the half continued.

In the final 5 minutes, Alex Buskwood forced her way into the Bowdon D but shot wide. Rachel Cairns and Grace Morgan both went close but, at the final whistle, the score remained the same.

Wakefield travel to table toppers Harrogate on Saturday.

Wakefield 3s returned from York Ladies 3s with a 3-2 win under their belts – and their third win on the spin this term.

Ladies 3s v york 3s

York netted an early goal but goals from Helen Royan and Sarah McMillan turned the game around before half-time.

Top goalscorer, Lou Haigh, tapped in a third on the back of a strong start to the second half, and retained control until York’s late second.

Wakefield 4s found the going tough against Pickering – as they knew it would be – but pulled out all the stops to notch a notable 3-3 draw.

Indeed, Wakefield worked to maintain the upper hand throughout much of this thrilling contest, but were undone by two goals from short corners late in the game.

Two quick-fire goals gave Wakefield an early-game cushion, though Pickering kept themselves in the game with a goal before half-time.

Wakefield were bouncing at the start of the second half and when Lucy England made it 3-1 the game looked won.

However, Pickering had other ideas, upped their physicality and gave themselves a hint of an opening.

Pickering’s fourth-quarter efforts were eventually rewarded with two goals.