Written by An Onlooker
Surrey Mens CC League Division 2 Match 3
Richmond Park January 14th 2017
After a stuttering start in the first 2 fixtures of the 2016-2017 Mens’ Surrey League campaign,our Home Promotion saw K&P’s squad make a substantial improvement over our Richmond Park course in M3. Our forward team placing on Saturday 14th has moved us out of the 2 relegation positions and given TM/CC Sec Matt Hyett and his team the belief that a similar performance at the final round on February 11th at Lloyd Park in Croydon will enable us to hold on to our Division Two status.
Our largest turnout so far of 15 runners on the start line,which included our leading 4 exponents,was a timely boost,and even at that early stage there were rather more smiles of relief,anticipation and enthusiasm than heretofore.
Scott Evans and newly-crowned Surrey County U20 CC Champion,Neil Wellard,the M2 winner and 3rd placer respectively at Guildford,were immediately away with the leaders as the field swung onto our familiar two-lap clockwise course,though now using the start adjacent to the Broomfield Hill Car Park and the Isabella Plantation. Considering the mixed weather of late,the going was reasonably firm,and as always a good speed test. As they came round for Lap2,Scott and Neil were still in with a chance of a leading place,though John Sanderson(G&G) looked to be,and remained, in command. K&P had 4 in 35,with a pack some 25-40 places back so it was encouraging for our supporters to see the K&P vests in good order.
As the field cut back into the finishing straight,Scott(27.53) had held on to 3rd,despite a recent injury curtailing his training,with Neil(28.11) fighting very hard to take 5th. Our Surrey Masters CC Champion,M40 Matt Atkins(29.23) ran superbly,too,to close in at 14th,with ultra-consistent Michael Huntley our 4th scorer(30.41) in 29th. Completing our 10man scoring team were M40 Mark Reed(53rd),Alex Thomas(55th),Chris Gibbons(60th),M35 Jamie McCullagh(72nd),Humphrey Waddington(77th) and M45 Andy Arbour(79th). TM M35 Matt Hyett(94th),fellow veteran Stewart Dickson(95th),Peter Wilkins(152nd) and ever-present and 2017 London Marathon entry ticket holder M50 Rupert Bale(159th) were our valuable auxiliaries. Sadly,James Robertson’s steady re-introduction saw him sensibly call it a day early to preserve his recent progress towards a return to full fitness. It was good to see one or two of our ‘more experienced’ heroes back putting themselves on the line,too!!
Teamwise,our collective points score was 447 and,with Epsom & Walton struggling with numbers,we have been able to slip past them – 6th are FullOn Tri 1669,7th K&P 1722,8th E&E 1766 and 9th Walton 1814 – though just one gap in the squad at Croydon will let them back in. The full season’s details can be found on Andy Robinson’s League Database – from the Surrey County website Home Page (www.surreyathletics.org.uk) followthe Cross Country links. This site also covers Liz Richardson’s Ladies League activities.
One of the more satisfying outcomes of any Home promotion is the realisation by the Match Organisers that all the hard work put in beforehand was worthwhile,on- and off-piste. This is undoubtedly the case for our CC Sec/TM Matt Hyett and his wife,Tukki,who are more than very worthy of our congratulations for keeping the club’s name to the fore in County and other CC circles. Months of preparatory groundwork,and a good 3 weeks ‘agony’ gathering team members and the many team officials required to host then come to fruition – or not! Happily,and not at all surprisingly,they both came through the ordeal with colours flying.
We always need at least 20 people to cover the various jobs for a League fixture – flaggers/funnel staff/marshals etc. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea,(though there is a tea-bar in the Car Park!)and with illnesses and retirements,we are indebted to Matt and Tukki for their perseverance. Our experienced officials Mary Waddington,Sue Shilling,Frank Schubert,Peter Waddington and David Hillyer gathered to look after the vital funnel & results;Tukki and Matt(along with responsibility for other factors and the actual team,plus competing) organised the marshals’ allocations and tasks including flag collections and their ‘staff’ included Mike May & Ant Budarkiewicz,plus 4 other members of the Hyett Family,Scott Evans’ mother and father,James Robertson’s girlfriend and 2 members of Wimbledon Windmilers and one gentleman from E&E. Other helpers on the funnel control included a Belgrave and a Windmilers member plus Michael Huntley’s girlfriend;Bob McDonough and David Barrington flagged in the a.m. and were general factotums thereafter(or should that be factota).
It is also well-worth mentioning that this fixture nearly did not take place at all,resulting in our having to renege on our League responsibilities.Matt’s initial request was,annoyingly,turned down by the Park Authorities and it was only the very timely decision by his mother,Linda,to write very pointedly to Zac Goldsmith,then MP for the RP constituency,which saved the day. That worked a treat and the original refusal was swiftly rescinded – we await any further developments,but,in the meantime,we are indeed extremely grateful to Linda for her intervention. Such are the trials and tribulations!
And so to Lloyd Park………once more into the breach,mes amis!
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