British Athletic League (Match 3)
The 3rd British Athletics League Premiership match took place at Copthall (again) on Saturday and, while Shaftesbury's victory put paid to any lingering hopes that we might have had of retaining our Premiership crown, another strong showing and hard-earned 3rd place moved us into 3rd position overall in the league and gives us a very good chance of taking 2nd place in the final match in Liverpool on August 18th.
Top 3 finishes are hard to come by on both an individual and team level in a very competitive division, so to score 292 points, take 5 A string wins, 3 B strings and a further 8 top 3 finishes is worthy of celebration.
The A string wins came courtesy of Andy Robertson (100m), Chris Baker (HJ), Andy Sutcliffe (PV), Richard Shuttleworth (Javelin) and debutant Simon Horsfield (3000m). Each was absolutely dominant in their own way, with Andy S winning the vault by 20cm, Chris jumping an outdoor pb of 2.19m and winning by 9cm, Simon controlling the race and galloping clear of the field, Rich winning by 2 and a half metres and Andy R taking the 100m by more than a tenth in 10.52.
Elsewhere, Ian McDonald returned from injury to gain revenge on Chris Baillie in taking the B 110mH, while Nick Gayle took a fine 2nd in the A race. Brian Hall jumped a season's best of 2.05m to win the B high jump, while Matt Bond, not having been training while recovering from a long collegiate season, eased to 3000m B victory. The other top 3 finishes came from Stephen Porter in the B Javelin, after having a busy day filling in in the hammer and discus, Dave Proctor in both the A 800m and 1500m, to continue his remarkable run of results in a Sale vest, Matt Cullen (4.80m) in the vault, James Wignall on debut in the B chase and the long jumpers, both of whom seemed rejuvenated after disrupted early seasons. Jacob Brown took a superb 3rd in the A and was delighted to be back over 7m, while Andy Burgess, battling tonsillitis, also went close to 7m, just falling short with 6.96m, but still finishing a very creditable 2nd in the B.
In other events, useful points were picked up by Rimas Martisauskas in the shot (5th), Jack Andrew in both the shot and discus, Alex Bellis (in the triple jump and hammer!), Ryan Oswald (100m), Nathan Selby (200m), George Caddick (400m), Ben Scarlett (800m), Tom Atkinson (1500m), captain James Bailey (chase and 400mH!), Darren Lewis (400mH), Roy Ejiakuekwu (4x100m), Chris Wakeford (4x400m) and Callum Roughneen (4x400m). James Barratt unfortunately failed to make a valid attempt in the triple jump.
The final league match takes place in Liverpool on August 18th, and with the team lying 3rd overall, just 2.5 points behind Newham and Essex Beagles, the target should be to move into 2nd overall. (Presented by Team Manager Dean Hardman).
Posted 31/07/2012 12:32