Leeds Adel didn't let distance stop them battling for Gold

Leeds Adel - Mixed Champs
178 miles, 2 days of matches and a battle for the Tier 2 Gold at the Mixed Finals.

Leeds Adel, a team that for the first time this season entered the England Hockey Mixed Championships competition and made it to the national final, hosted at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, 178 miles from their home ground Adel War Memorial.

The team set off on Friday for the long trip to London, ready to play in the semi final against Horsham, who won bronze in 2018. Adel stepped out onto the pitch preparing to show everyone why they deserved to be there. The whistle went, and the battle began. Horsham took the early lead but Adel fought back in the second. The final whistle went and the match finished 2-1 to Horsham.

Sunday, the finals and the fight for bronze. Leeds Adel were up against UK Fire Service. Captain Lee Slipanczewski gave the UK fire service an early lead and snuck two past the goalie. Chairman Mark Powley of Leeds Adel said, “They say you should always learn from your mistakes, so when the Mixed Team went 2-0 down after 15 minutes for the second time in two days this weekend you began to wonder if anyone had decided to listen to this advice!”

But, Leeds Adel didn’t give up…  James Moorhouse scored the first for his team. Early in the 2nd half William Powley scored making it 2-2, but, a penalty corner for UK Fire Service put them back in the lead with a goal from Andrew Cavendish. Louis Scarrott scored his first of the match giving UK Fire Service a 4-2 lead. The game ended with Leeds Adel just missing out on a medal spot. 

Mark’s match report thanked the team and supporters with 'Social media is awash with the players and supporters' memories of a fantastic weekend of hockey on the pitch and strong Adel support on the side-lines.  If you were not there, then you missed a fabulous weekend as the club traveled south to do battle in the Tier 2 Mixed Finals weekend at Lee Valley.

'Whilst the squad for the matches were resplendent in their newly-sponsored kit, courtesy of our deal with Blacks, the travelling army of family, friends and club members were dazzling the Lee Valley stadium in a variety of orange attire, sunhats, t-shirts, Adel tops and topped off with the new huge “Adel Til I Die” banner courtesy of Tom Beale’s dad’s efforts.

'Our support ranged from 3 month old Marcus Beale whose passion for Adel has already extended to his hair colour, through to long standing life members Dave Margerison and Bridget Petty (whose daughter Suzy also passed on her best wishes to the team ahead of her relatively minor game for GB v Australia on Sunday afternoon!)  As ever, the teamwork on the pitch was just as evident off the pitch with everyone backing our squad in full voice.' (Read the full match report here.)

Leeds Adel 2

We personally heard from Adel about their experience:
'Thank you to all at England Hockey for hosting the Mixed Championships at Lee Valley this weekend. It was the first time Leeds Adel HC had made it to a national finals weekend and was clearly a memorable experience for all our players and supporters who had a brilliant time, including the chance to watch both GB games on Sunday afternoon and cheer on our former junior Suzy Petty.

'We may not have won our games, but our players thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend and we hope that this is something that will help take the club forward and give us the incentive to come back stronger in future years.
As well as being Chairman of our club, I also was fortunate enough to see both my children turn out at Lee Valley for the club that has been part of our family for over 30 years – there are not many (if any?) mixed sports that allow you the chance to see a son and a daughter play in the same team sport (football, cricket, rugby certainly don’t have mixed tournaments at this level) at the headquarters of their national game.' - Mark Powley – Chairman Leeds Adel HC

Thank you Mark for telling us about your experience and we are so glad to hear you all had a fantastic weekend. Good luck in the EH Mixed champs next year! 

Fancy signing up to the England Hockey Mixed Championships 2019/20? – Follow this link for more information.

If you have a story you would like to share, send it to sarah.coleman@englandhockey.co.uk.