id1395-BAL Nat Two M2 Grangemouth June 30th 2012 Report

Written by TM   

News from Scotland

Full results - www.bal.org.uk

There were a number of Season's Bests,and three late A string successes at Grangemouth Stadium on the Firth of Forth for the BAL team's second match in Scotland in two years,but,despite this encouragement,there will have to be a full turnout at the remaining two fixtures in Derby and Bromley for K&P if we are to have a realistic chance of retaining our Nat Two status for 2013.

After a promotion,one can trawl through results of other teams from the previous season or from earlier matches,and make an assessment but,if you are not able to field your strongest selection,the odds are not in your favour,however fickle your opponents might seem to be. This is the situation facing us now. After two matches with some fine performances,we are just lacking the solidity of 2011 - not an unexpected phenomenum for all promoted teams.

Early indications were that we were holding our own in most events,but,as the afternoon wore on,it became clear that our A strings were not making the impressions which we required to pull the team away from the 7th place of Match One. As at Basingstoke,some late A wins - by Nick Owen(SP) and Felix Hatton(JT),plus a 3000 success for Luke Caldwell - gave us hope of slipping into mid-table,but it was not to be. The duplication of 7th from M1,allied to some shuffling of places by the teams above us,has given considerable food for thought for the two matches still to come.

On the track,our hurdlers - Tom Parry,Toby Harris and Loic Malroux - were again in the mix,and,indeed,400 hurdler Danny Eckersley made a confident start to 3000 steeplechasing with a highly economic barrier style and a time only just outside 10 mins on his debut. Otherwise,as well as Luke Caldwell's success over 3000,there was plenty of commitment to the cause to be seen,but the bare stats reveal that,Exeter excepted,we were slipping down the order.

In the field,we were much more successful,as is quite often the case,and,as well as the two throws wins mentioned,Chris Dack contributed to our 6th successive A+B string javelin double,and Gareth Cook and Nick Owen racked up the points,on their own accounts as well as covering for the unavoidable absence of Andy Wheble. In the broad jumps,Chris Hall(TJ) & Loic Malroux(LJ) grabbed 2nd places in the B strings,and it was good to see Patirck Hillyer back in the team(TJ) though we generally struggled to garner the points.

The enthusiasm,commitment and support within the team for each other remains dominant - we shall need all that AND the ability to step up a few gears to drag ourselves back into the mix at matches 3 and 4.

Many thanks and plaudits,again,to Andy Arbour who superbly engineered the extensive Travel arrangements which enabled the team and supporters to concentrate on the matter in hand without any external concerns - not forgeting Maurice Joyce who mini-bussed both the BAL(to and from Gatwick) and the Lily B teams(to Croydon) for their matches over Friday and Saturday.

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