GO FOR IT IN UKWAL
Fechin Mc Cormick
The second of the three UK Women’s League matches took place this weekend at Moorways Stadium in Derby adjacent to where Rolls-Royce builds their famous jet engines. In the first match, a much depleted team responded brilliantly that resulted in the team finishing a surprising and well-deserved third place and only a few points from actually winning the match. However, it was recognised that if the club was to achieve its objective to return to the Premier Division where it had been since the inception of the league 30 years ago, the club had to be competitive in all future matches with event specific athletes.
Team manager Cara O’Brien and her team travelled to Derby and again with a worrying number of ‘gaps’ with no athletes filling them – no-one in the ‘A’ or ‘B’ 400m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles,2k steeplechase, long-jump or triple jump. That’s a massive loss of important team points. Yet again, the team have to be complimented for their heroic loyalty to try and make good this deficit. Young pole vaulter Georgia Pickles, who joined the team only in the eleventh hour, couldn’t do enough and, apart from her pole vault points, won valued points in three other events - the 200m, long jump and 4 x 400m relay. Britain’s top javelin thrower Rosie Sementsyh who travelled three hours by car to get to Derby, apart from winning her specialist event, ran a technically imperfect 100m hurdles but still won an important point and then went and won further points in the triple jump. Team manager Cara O’Brien ran herself to exhaustion for her team and became a very valuable ‘B’ points scorer in the 1500m and 3000m as did Sarah Barker when she doubled in the ‘A’ 1500m. High jumper Sarah Mc Keever not only did her work but also ran a leg in the 4 x 100m relay.
Of course, there were several outstanding performances. In the throws (where I was a field judge!), Laura Whittingham and Rosie Sementsyh were easy winners, and in the shot, discus and hammer it’s not often you see the judges move en masse to the far end of the throws zone when an athlete takes their place in the cage. That’s what Alison Rodger (shot) and Kirsty Law (discus) both evoked to become convincing winners with Alison also winning further points in the discus and ‘B’ hammer where Laura Douglas was the biggest points scorer with her ‘A’ victory in hammer. Heptathlete Jess Taylor is always a big points scorer and she won the shot , 2nd in the high jump and played a significant part in both relays.
In the track events, Sarah Barker again displayed tactical maturity and promise by her superb 2nd place in the 3000m victory. It was great to welcome Rebecca Linney to her club debut and she’ll be a great team asset. It was also great to have Jenna Hill free of injury and again quietly excited by her 800m and run within a second off her 400m PB in the 4 x 400m relay.
As in the first match, we might have pulled off a top three position but, on this occasion, fate conspired again this. Top points scorers Lucy Evans, who’d just received news of her selection for Wales in the Commonwealth Games (Congratulations again, Lucy) became worried by a potential injury running the 100m and had to withdraw from the 200m and 4 x 100m relay and fellow sprinter Olivia Callaghan, wasn’t recovered from her race the previous day in the Northern League.
As a result, the team finished a lowly 7th giving us an overall position of 4th in the league. With the crucial final match a double header in Wavertree on July 6th, there are three potential outcomes. (1) We produce a 3rd incomplete team with a similar result to this and we could easily end up being demoted yet again. (2) We produce another incomplete team and fill the gaps by heroic non-specialists and we’ll spend another year in Division 1 and (3) we field a team with event specialists and with all hands on deck and a bit of luck.....and we might just about still win promotion. It’s now up to you!
Thanks to track & field officials Jack Frost, Brian Spriggs and Fechin Mc Cormick the club also maximized team points. Though we travelled with an incomplete quota, we extend a special thanks to Crawley AC officials Gillian Charlton and John Fenn who, in the true spirit of sport, volunteered their services as officials for the club and to Georgia Pickles’Mum who surrendered a relaxed afternoon spectating in the sunshine, to also help as a track official. Without these, our overall team result would have been much worse.
Posted 10/06/2014 07:23