UKWAL Match 3 Leigh
Well, it's been a while since Sale Harriers Senior Women won the league, so it feels that bit more special, to be able to call ourselves Champions.
The match was by no means an easy ride for us. 4th place or better would get us promotion, thanks to our good showing in the 2 previous matches, but we needed to finish ahead of a strong and determined Crawley team, who will be joining us in Division 1 next year.
An early start ( double-header match) meant Hammer began at 9.45am. We always ask a lot of our throwers. Team Captain Kirsty Law, and Rachel Pugh didn't disappoint, gaining valuable points from the 1st event of the day, particularly important because the 2nd event, Pole Vault, was held without any Sale representation. And to make matters worse, Crawley got almost maximum points in both A and B. We put things right however in the 400mh, with wins for both Chelsea Walker and Kirsten McAslan. Both recording superb sub 60sec times ( Kirsten's first ever race in this event), quickly followed by Kirsty winning discus and a superb 3rd place in the B from Rachel. We established a (sometimes slender) lead at this point which we held onto for the rest of the day.
Late withdrawals might be expected but they always present a challenge, and this match was no exception. Special mention here to Katia Hazell (3k, LJ and TJ) 10pts, Jen Clayton (3k and HJ) 9pts, Tyra Watson (1500m, LJ and HJ) 12pts, and Rosie Semenytsh ( TJ and 100mh)8pts. All 4 stepped in to fill the gaps. They have had virtually no training or competition all season in these events, but what they do have is a fantastic commitment to the team.
Quality from our 800m stars Megan Davies and Rachael Scott got us maximum points, followed by strong performances at 100m from Regan Walker and Hayaat Bah Traore keeping the momentum up. A pb in 100mh from Chelsea Walker giving max pts. We kept totting up pts in shot and HJ and were further boosted by superb wins at 400m by both Kelly Massey and Sasha Byrom. The stadium announcer unexpectedly made public Kelly's intended retirement from athletics (much to Kelly’s surprise!). If that remains your intention Kelly perhaps we can persuade you still to turn out for the team again next year?
Strong performances from Imani Modahl and Tyra Watson (1500m), Alison McCorry and Kirsten McAslan (200m) followed by quality performances this time in Javelin from reigning British Champ Laura Whittingham and our very own triple jumping, sprint hurdling, Rosie Semenytsh. In 2000m s/c, perhaps Kathy Wellam surprised herself (but not her team manager) with 2nd place, in spite of recent injury problems.
Winning both relays in some style proved decisive. Teams - 4 x 100 - Regan Walker, Hayaat Bah Traore, Alison McCorry and Alice McMahon, 4 x 400 - Kirsten McAslan, Chelsea Walker, Sasha Byrom and Kelly Massey. Hard to see anyone beating these quartets!
Match outcome 1st place by 12 points, giving us promotion and the title.
My thanks of course go to the athletes for your talent and dedication. I think you might just be getting a taste for team success and trust that will carry through to your individual endeavours. I'd also like to pay tribute to those athletes not able to make the team for this particular match, but have contributed to our earlier success this season, and by doing so, put us in the strong position we found ourselves in, coming into the final match of the season. It is very much a TEAM effort. Also thanks to the Sale officials. Their contribution all season has been invaluable and we couldn't have won the league without them.
Here's to next season.
Posted 19/07/2017 14:28