Southern League Division One champions Nene Valley Harriers clearly have no intention of giving up their title without one heckuva fight.
Thin on the ground they may have been for Saturday’s fixture in West London but there was no shortage of team spirit.
Those who did venture south rolled up their sleeves and mucked in and at the end of the day earned a highly creditable third place, finishing just two points off second spot and only six off a match win that would have returned them to the top of the table.
Match result: 1 Chelmsford 203pts; 2 Thames Valley Harriers 199pts; 3 Nenen Valley harriers 197.5pts; 4 Walton 140pts.
The ladies team had been hit particularly hard by withdrawals in the week but again all spaces were filled.
Emily Maltby typified the way the team pulled together in adversity by volunteering to compete in five individual events plus a relay. She scored an impressive 17.5 points for the club and that included a B string win in the 100m.
Others to show willing in alien events were Poppy Tovey (pole vault), Chloe Pavey (800m) and Imogen Woodard (steeplechase).
The club’s throwers were the dominant force.
The ladies (Becki Hall, Lydia Church, Andrea Jenkins and Ellie Mae Stokes) dropped only three points all day.
Hall extended her club record in the shot putt to an impressive 12.70m while Jenkins’ winning throw of 50.10m in the hammer was just one centimetre behind the UK age group record.
The male throwers refused to be outdone with Martin Tinkler picking up two A string wins and Simon Achurch three B string victories. Tomas Saunorious was also an impresssive A string winner in the javelin with 57.33m.
On the track Daz Holding and Dave Brown completed a 400m double while Rio Chilvers won the 2000m steeplechase in a new best of 6.54.4. It was his first steeplechase victory and he knocked 14 seconds off his PB.
Michael Channing’s 5000m time of 15:43.9, which gave him second place, was an improvement of one minute and 20 seconds on his PB.
For the ladies Georgie Ivens won her 200m (26.8) and 400m (58.4) races.