Written by Mike May
Herewith your Team Manager's Summer Report
Veterans League 2005 (Mens' team)
When we started the season with a distant second position behind Epsom & Ewell at Crawley,neither our men's nor women's team could have dreamed that by the end of the season we would finish in good second positions in our division, that the men's team would actually beat Epsom in the last match of the season or that representatives from both teams would return from the World Championships in San Sebastian with medals (relay gold and individual bronze for Pat Logan and individual silver and bronze for Camilla Thrush).
The weather at Crawley on 3rd May was better than last year, and,despite our small numbers,some good scoring ensured the men did hold off the other teams. We had very good results in the 1500m with Ant Budarkiewicz and David Bell in the M40s and Bob McDonough in the M60s, and John Ratcliff,in the first of two matches before injury sidelined him,contributed points from seven events including the 4 x 100 relay (he ended up with the highest points contribution over the season of all the men despite only doing the first and second matches, though Graham Huntley ran him a close second over the course of three matches).
A month later at Ewell conditions were as balmy as last year. We had a better turnout, finishing well ahead of third, but still some 29 points behind Epsom. Simon Croall (3000m) and Robin Shaw (Pole Vault and Discus ) made their Vet league debuts. John Ratcliff got a Club M50 Triple Jump record, and Mike May got a veteran PB of 27.0 for the 200m, as part of a series of 200m where we only dropped three points short of maximum.
At Kingston on 20th June we had a remarkable result finishing only 16 points behind Epsom despite John Ratcliff pulling out injured during the warm-up. Good results in the 100m and many other events made up for this key loss, including a first and second place in the M50 hammer and shot by Les Hatton.
Our last match which should have been at Croydon on 4th July, was postponed and then rescheduled to Sutton on 25th July. We beat Epsom in this match for the first time in several years, and taken together with the result of the 3rd match, we may have to fill more events to try and make the final next year. Graham Huntley managed to score 36 points from 5 events (maximum 8 from any event), and Geoff Reed got a good 7 points for us by doing the Steeplechase. Volunteering by team members filled what had appeared a slightly thin team declaration, and we were only missing 2 walkers in the end, and most of our positions were firsts and seconds.
We could not have got by without David Barrington (competitor/ field judge and home meeting organiser (thanks)), Chuck Isetts, Phil Naldrett, Maurice Joyce, and Cashel Riordan. There may be a number of events for the M35s next year, so come on Messrs Roberts, Mkpa, Allen and Cook, we're waiting to welcome you to the team for 2006.
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