Champions Nene Valley get off to a promising start

Will Hughes (left) and Ronan Rawlings at the start of the 200m. Hughes was second in the A race in 21.9 and Rawlings won the B race in 22.5.
Will Hughes (left) and Ronan Rawlings at the start of the 200m. Hughes was second in the A race in 21.9 and Rawlings won the B race in 22.5.
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Nene Valley Harriers got their Southern League Division One campaign off to a promising start at The Embankment on Saturday.

As current league champions, and winners in two of the last three years, Nene Valley have become the team to beat.

Women's shot putt winner Becki Hall.

Women's shot putt winner Becki Hall.

They finished second out of the four teams, losing out by just half a point to Bracknell AC, but there were plenty of performances to suggest that It will be no easy task to prise the league trophy from Nene Valley’s clutches.

The city club’s dominance in the throwing events is becoming the stuff of legend, and in the men’s throws they completely cleaned up dropping just one point.

Between them Martin Tinkler and Simon Achurch won the A and B competitions in the hammer, shot and discus. Achurch also finished runner-up in the javelin with team captain David Bush winning the B event.

Tinkler’s shot putt of 15.02m was a season’s best, and the third longest of his career.

Three members of  Nene Valley's British Masters road relay team. From the left are Darryl Coulter, Paul Parkin and Barry Warne.

Three members of Nene Valley's British Masters road relay team. From the left are Darryl Coulter, Paul Parkin and Barry Warne.

The ladies were nearly as successful. Becki Hall won the shot with a 12.62m and also came first in the B discus while Lydia Church won the B shot and Kelly Lawrence the B hammer. Andrea Jenkins was narrowly beaten into second place in both the discus and hammer.

On the track Nene Valley steadily accumulated the points with a host of second place finishes and a generous sprinkling of race wins.

Alexander McNally won the B 100m and Ronan Rawlings the B 200m, while Abraham Jones and Ashley Sandell continued the trend with firsts in the B 400m and 800m respectively.

Will Hughes had a terrific 200m race, and despite finishing as runner-up the teenager clocked 21.90, the third fastest time of his burgeoning career in what was his first race of the season.

Sean Reidy was first over the line in the 100m hurdles.

Emma Randall enjoyed a fine run to win the B 100m, and ladies captain Devon Spencer won the B pole vault and triple jump.

Match result: 1 Bracknell AC 207pts; 2 Nene Valley Harriers 206.5pts; 3 Colchester Harriers 190.5pts; 4 Belgrave Harriers 174pts.

ROAD RELAY

Nene Valley fielded a quartet of veterans in the British Masters Road Relay Championship at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday and finished in 34th place.

Three of the four team members were at the higher end of the age category, but acquitted themselves well against many of the finest veterans in the country.

The PAC foursome was: Chris Mooney 19:32; Darryl Coulter 20:47; Barry Warne 21:52; Paul Parkin 22:20.

Darryl Coulter is proving to be a real glutton for punishment, tackling the relay just six days after completing an arduous London Marathon.

The 47 year old Oundle-based solicitor raced again on Sunday, securing 72nd place out of 826 finishers in the Flitwick 10k with a 41:32 clocking.

MOUNTAIN RACE

Intrepid Bushfield Joggers husband and wife team Ian and Tracy McCartney interrupted an Austrian holiday to take part in a 16-mile mountain race in rugged terrain above Innsbruck.

Tracy has form in the mountains, having won the 2015 Snowdonia Marathon, and she was at it again coming first in the Over 40 age group in a race that included plenty of seasoned climbers.

Tracy comfortably saw off all competition in the Over 40 age group finishing as 10th lady in a time of 2:31.08, with husband Ian trailing in 25 minutes later by which time his wife had taken the bus back to race headquarters.

Speaking after picking up her prize Tracy said: “Wow! That was a stunning race - 16 miles of lung-busting climbs and hairy descents, but it’s such a beautiful place and I loved it.”