With the long, hot summer a dim and distant memory, the new season is finally upon us. Time to pick up those sticks, don the famous sky blue shirt and get playing some serious (and sometimes not-so-serious) hockey! In this preview, I’ll be taking a look at all the senior Driffield teams to see how they might fare this coming year.
Despite the disappointment of relegation from the North League Division 2 South East last season, the Ladies 1s must be optimistic this term. Under the continued captaincy of Lucy Wilson, they will surely be looking to bounce back at the first time of asking. As always at Driffield, youth is the key and in Keira Dinsdale-Young, they have an exciting new youngster in their ranks. With three Leeds teams, plus Dewsbury, Wakefield and Halifax in their division, they’ll certainly be well-acquainted with the M62 come the end of the season!
Now in their 5th consecutive season in North League Division 2 East, after winning the Yorkshire League back in 2014, the Men’s 1st XI will be led by free-scoring defender Aaron “Az” Gate. With the ever-sprightly Ed Cherry upfront, bolstered by some considerable young talent like George Martindale, Tom Lee and Fin Needham, they’ll be hoping to do better than their tenth place finish last season, narrowly avoiding relegation. The men face some long journeys this season, with Gateshead, Morpeth and North Shields in their division.
Jenny Dawson and Charlotte Smith take on the co-captaincy this season, taking over from Kirsty Edmond. Can the 2nd XI girls go one better than last season, where they finished a well-deserved fourth in YHA Division 1? As with the Ladies 1s, the club are delighted to see young talent emerging, with players like Holly Snaith. Derby day clashes with Bridlington will be hotly anticipated.
With veteran defender and experienced yachtsman Adam “Salty” Saltonstall at the helm this season, surely the Men’s 2s won’t stray off course. After finishing fourth in YHA Division 3 last season, they were unexpectedly handed promotion when second-placed Worksop declined the step up. This means the 2s will head to pastures new in the form of Ramgarhia and Acomb, whilst meeting up with some old foes like Ben Rhydding 2s.
Despite winning back-to-back League Cup Bs, the step-up in class means they will now compete in League Cup A, a far tougher proposition. With some new (and old) faces about to support the team this season, consolidation should surely be the aim.
After the elation of being crowned champions of YHA Division 4 East last season, the Ladies 3s will look forward to a new challenge in a higher competition. With a local derby versus Scarborough 1s to look forward to, Captain Meg Sellar and her team will no doubt want to leave their mark this term.
A respectable mid-table finish was the reward for the Men’s 3s last season in YHA Division 5 North. Very much a team where enjoyment of the game and youth development are key, the 3s will be captained by Charlie Hall and John Shephard (with Phil Goately doing the off-pitch organisation).
After finishing in a fantastic 4th position in YHA Division 4 East, not far behind the 3s, the Ladies 4th XI would, no doubt, like to emulate this success by going one better this season. Rachel Hearson steps down, to be replaced by Catherine Smith, who will jointly captain with Mel Rispin.
Good luck to all our teams in their respective competitions this season.