BAL CHAMPIONS 2014
Sale Harriers men became BAL Premier League Champions at the weekend for only the 4th time in the club’s history. This followed their best ever showing in the league at the final match on home territory Sportcity on Saturday.
Going into the match, Sale (competing as City of Manchester) were in the driving seat, but knew that Shaftesbury Barnet would push us close and we would likely need to come second to secure the title. So it proved, as SBH scored 319 points - the best of our rivals on the day - but our team produced win after win and strong performance after strong performance to notch 376, a mammoth total that ensured we regained the Tony Ward Trophy and made up for last year's disappointment when Sale won the Premier League title but later lost it to Shaftesbury Barnet
It wasn't just about the performances on the day, to win the league consistency over the whole season is required, so thanks very much to everyone who contributed and to John Smith and James Bailey for their team management. Thanks, too, to David Brown for organising the final fixture and for those club members that volunteered and officiated.
On Saturday we had 7 ‘A’ string wins from debutant David King (110mH), Niall Brooks (1500m), Jack Crabtree (3000m), Alex Smith (Hammer), Ben Williams (Triple Jump), Rimas Martisauskas (Shot) and Andy Sutcliffe (PV) and a further 7 ‘B’ string wins from Roy Ejiakuekwu (100m and 200m), Matt Cullen (pole vault), Nick Samuels (1500m), Dave Proctor (800m), Clovis Asong (400m) and Matt Barnes (3000m).
We also had top three ‘A’ and ‘B’ finishes from Niall in the 800m, Rory Evans (100m), Dwayne Cowan (400m), James Bailey (3000m steeplechase), Nick Gayle (110mH), Seun Okome (high jump), 48 year old John Nicholls (shot) and Nathan Roach, who produced a fantastic triple jump PB.
Chris Wakeford (400mH), James Wignall (chase), Rob Mitchell (high jump), Floydy, Andy Burgess (long jump), Stephen Porter (javelin) and Jack Andrew (javelin and discus) all produced vital point scoring performances in a team effort, while the day was rounded off by two podium finishes in the relay. A quartet of Dwayne Cowan, Gabriel Odujobi, Aaron Crowley and Roy brought the 4x100m baton home in 2nd place, while the 4x400m perhaps encapsulated the team spirit we have come to expect recently. With the match and league won, a team of Clovis, Dave Proctor and Callum Roughneen handed over to Debo Ademuyewo in 4th, a fair way back from 3rd. Debo gritted his teeth and brought the team home in 3rd place, refusing to give up and sparking wild celebrations.
Thanks once again to everyone for a fantastic season and we can now look forward to returning to European competition in 2015. Thanks to club photographers Harry Shakeshaft (www.hsphotos.co.uk) and Ernie Greenwood (http://www.darkstarphotos.com ) whose photographs can be viewed and bought from their websites.
Posted 11/08/2014 20:27