Harriers young and old work together for promotion push

James McCrae was second in the 800m and 1500m.
James McCrae was second in the 800m and 1500m.
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Nene Valley Harriers are on course for British League promotion after a battling display in Stretford on Saturday.

The city club overcame stiff odds to finish second in the latest Division Four fixture and at the halfway stage they are sitting in a promotion-clinching second place in the table.

Trafford were the host club on Saturday and they duly won the match and occupy top spot in the overall standings.

Nene Valley team manager Tim Needham was thrilled with the performance of his athletes.

“It was a remarkable team performance given the circumstances,” he said.

“We had an almost complete meltdown in the jumps and to a lesser extent in the longer track events with missing bodies owing to unavailability, injuries and illness.

“But some heroic filling in, especially by team captain David Bush, enabled us to maintain our promotion push.”

Needham also heaped credit on the younger members of the team with Under 17 sprinters William Hughes and Ronan Rawlings both gaining victories.

At the other end of the age scale there were battling displays by veterans Paul Parkin (Over 55) and James Macdonald (Over 35) in the 5,000m and steeplechase.

Once again the formidable Harriers throwers banked points galore with Martin Tinkler, Ken Baker and Alex Ingham recording wins and Simon Achurch providing valuable support.

The meeting ended on a controversial note as the top four teams in the 4x400m, which included Nene Valley, were all disqualified for a changeover infringement all at the same changeover!

All teams were puzzled by the track referee’s decision.

Harriers’ next meeting is at Bedford on July 15.

Match result: 1 Trafford 270pts; 2 Nene Valley Harriers 216pts; 3 City of Portsmouth 212pts; 4 Brighton & Hove City 200pts; 5 Reading AC 161pts; 6 Doncaster 141pts.

Nene Valley Harriers results:

100m - A 1 Gideon Okoh 11.22, B 1 Ronan Rawlings 11.28; 200m - A 1 William Hughes 22.23, B 3 Ronan Rawlings 23.29; 400m - A 4 David Brown 50.84, B 3 Sean Garmory 50.42 (PB); 800m - A 2 James McCrae 1.57.15, B 4 Lloyd Kempson 1.59.52; 1500m - A 3 Lloyd Kempson 4.03.66, B 2 James McCrae 4.09.13; 5000m - A 6 James Macdonald 15.57.40; B 6 Paul Parkin 21.07.12; 110m hurdles - A 5 David Bush 20.5, B 3 Philip Wilson 18.8; 400m hurdles - A 6 David Bush 64.38, B 2 Philip Wilson 61.08; 3000m steeplechase - A 4 Rio Chilvers 11.40.64, B 3 James Macdonald 11.40.64 (PB).

High Jump - A 5 David Bush 1.53, B 5 Gideon Okoh 1.53; Pole Vault - A 2 Carl Titman 3.83, B 3 David Bush 2.23; Long Jump - A 5 David Bush 5.49, B 5 Gideon Okoh 5.13; Triple Jump - A 5 Gideon Okoh 10.93, B 5 David Bush 9.66; Shot - A 1 Martin Tinkler 14.16, B 1 Ken Baker 12.75; Discus - A 2 Martin Tinkler 40.56, B 3 Simon Achurch 31.36; Hammer - A 3 Simon Achurch 40.85, B 3 Martin Tinkler 37.83; Javelin - A 1 Alex Ingham 58.36, B 2 Simon Achurch 41.03.

League Standings

(after two matches)

League Points

Trafford 14 539

Nene Valley 12 459

Portsmouth 10 436

Brighton 8 388

Reading 6 328

Doncaster 4 263