Written by David Barrington
Humphrey Waddington’s K&P Men’s team continued their fine form at the 3rd Round fixture in Derbyshire, taking 3rd on the day, and both ensuring retention of their place in the Division for 2016,with the final Home Match at Kingsmeadow still to come on August 8th,and moving up to an enterprising 3rd place overall. Though host club Notts grabbed the chance to improve their own league position with a 2nd place in this double header with Nat Three, and in all likelihood at the last such match at Derby with their own regenerated Harvey Hadden Stadium shortly ready to reopen, Humphrey’s selections, infectious enthusiasm and personal performance on the day, again permeated across the whole 20-strong team.
On paper, the team, as ever, reflected the strength of our field events men and the relative vulnerability of our track men, but there is nothing like the current team and colleague support ethos to make everyone feel part and parcel of the whole, wherever each individual may place in their events. The extended Double Match TT does allow some individual doubling up not possible or sensible in a Single match schedule.
The provisional match result shows TVH in pole position(322),followed by Notts (319),our good selves (298),a whisper ahead of Harrow (296), then Crawley (270), NVH (230), Gateshead (227) and Bristol with 208. Overall, TVH go top (22/952), from Harrow (21/950), then K&P (16/891), Crawley (16/874), Notts (13/870),
Bristol (9/780), Nene Valley (7/688.5) and Gateshead (4/481.5).
Skybet have TVH & Harrow at 4/7 for promotion; Ladbrokes have K&P 10/1 for promotion and 2/1 for 3rd place; whilst Paddy Power favour NVH to survive in the division. Your stand-in scribe, in the absence of Peter Waddington very much concerned with family illness and, sadly, not able to have been at the match to offer his wisdom to Humphrey and the team, has put his money on Gateshead for Nat Three!
Full results: www.bal.org.uk
100/200/400 & Relays – our fast-twitch fibres cupboard remains rather bare by our previous BAL standards and, with previous selections this summer not available, H, was able to bring in U20 Alex Williams-Baffoe for his deserved BAL debut, but sadly, a hamstring injury during his opening 100 curtailed his further participation to another day. The consistent U20 Max Perez-Diaz, in his 6th consecutive BAL match, moved into the 200(23.66),as well as the B400(6B 51.53),with 5-event men Chris Hall and H himself gallantly covering the other short-sprint slots, and Tom Parry filling the A400(after two successful hurdles stints). Both Tom and Chris, along with Chris Dack, were to be on County duty the day after at Crawley. In the relays, it was as it has been this summer – get the baton round, and no heroics, please – duly achieved! (4x1 Messrs Perez-Diaz/Hall/Waddington/Houlden/4x4 Messrs Perez-Diaz/Darby/Hall/Waddington)
800/1500/5000 – Scott Evans again excelled, mixing it throughout a close race, and ran another PB in 5th in 1.54.74, with .82s covering the first 6 runners. In the B, Jonathan Darby surprised the field by accelerating with 250 to go, and held on for a heartening 2nd (1.58.85). HCA Tom Heslop again gamely took on a double over 1500/5000, achieving 6th places in both A strings (3.59.84/16.55.08) whilst Jonathan Darby and Alex Thomas collected valuable points in the B strings (see the final scores with the 2-point margin over Harrow!).
110H/400H/3000St – PBs & leading places were the order of the day, with this group of events, each garnering extremely welcome track event points. Danny Eckersley was only 2 points short of two B string wins – a 2nd over 400H(57.21) was followed(the TT only just ‘allows’ it for brave men) by a win in the B ‘Chase((10.34.04),to follow his first sub 10 mins mark at the recent international Island Games in Jersey. Chris Hall’s nap-hand quota included the A 110’s with a 5th place (16.00), whilst Tom Parry’s PB slipped him under 16s for the first time (3B 15.85). Vying with all that was James Robertson whose present track form has been more reminiscent of late of his flowing form over the country, and he duly and delightedly cracked the 10 min barrier for the first time (2A 9.57.49). A 60pts/84 return is as good as it has been recently in this trio of specialist barrier events.
U20 Matt Broderick was back, and with both he and Humphrey W vying to pick off several non-specialists, their successful trials at 1.80 split them, with H.(=PB) claiming 6th equal A, and Matt, getting 2nd B. Some irony within the scoring system there into which we will not go! Save to say we grabbed 15 pts. In the Vault, we welcomed Thomas Snee for his BAL debut and he duly obliged with an =2ndA (4.00), with 3 very close attempts at 4.20. Ever-reliable Bilen Ahmet clinched 2B at 3.80.
The return of Matt Houlden was a bonus though several other 7mplus exponents came out of the wood work; but we still scored well with Matt 4A 6.86 and Chris Hall 2B 6.58. The Triple promised a fascinating duel between our 2 former CUAC Presidents, and so it turned out with Matt grabbing the bragging rights with 14.22(4A) and an elated Humphrey snaring the B win with his best in a fair old while of 14.16.
SP/DT/HT/JT – A delicacy-laden table here, not for the first time- in the SP, the admirable Chris Dack expectedly saw off the opposition with aplomb (1A 15.57),with Sir Nick Owen taking 2nd with 13.29; in the DT, Chris and Andy Wheble had to acknowledge the 2 Lasis brothers’ ability, but we were right in there with 2A/2B (42.84/41.60) with CD snatching two places at the death; M45 Sir Gareth reached out over 50 for the first time in the BAL this summer (2A 50.21) ,being particularly pleased to see off age-rivals Steve Whyte and Ian Park, and Andy’s 2rd event of the day saw his 42.53 effort put him into a handy 3B – again both behind the Lasis brothers. It was All-Hail to the returning William Trimble, in BAL JT action for the first time since 2013 after successive injuries – his recent opener in the SAL set a PB, and Derby heralded his best-ever series with another PB of 60.94 to win a first BAL A string. Andy W was again piling on the points with his 42.37, less than he hoped, perhaps, but worth 5B.
The results flowed pretty well on a very busy afternoon, though with an enthusiastic, but fairly unintelligible, announcer; we took a now familiar early lead, even with a slightly different TT and we held on till late on – surges by TVH and Notts put paid to our chances of a possible win eventually, but the whole team entertained and thrilled the small cadaver of supporters and it is to be hoped that that washed off onto the team members. Thanks to Claire, Gillian, Sheila, Anna, Mark and Geoff plus Matt’s brother and Thomas Snee’s fellow passenger – we hope you enjoyed!
And so onto Kingsmeadow on August 8th for the denouement – many members have agreed to help out with officiating/admin etc, but more will be welcomed by the Meeting Organiser and/or the Meeting Manager!
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