Written by DB
The team again travelled well for the second match of the summer,though some unseasonably chilly weather and a hefty thunderstorm mid-afternoon,which caused a 30 minute intermission,rather dented standards. Nevertheless,we were a clear 3rd on the day,and we retain a promotion place at the halfway stage.Leeds were again well clear and lead the division,whilst a strong Crawley performance enabled them to reduce our lead over them to half a league point - a mere 6 match points separated us at the end. Full scores - Match : 1 Leeds 378/2 Crawley 317/3 K&P 311/4 Medway 274/5 Southampton 258/6 Bedford 251/7 Edinburgh 203/8 Channel I 193. Overall it's Leeds 16/766,K&P 13/626,Crawley 12.5/607,Southampton 9.5/548,Medway 9/507.5,Bedford 4/454,Channel I 4/422,Edinburgh 4/421.5.
Full results on Noticeboard at Kingsmeadow and on the BAL website - www.bal.org.uk
Sprints/Hurdles - The blustery wind and damp conditons were not helpful,but Justin Green made an auspicious debut(3A/2A 100/200 11.2/22.5),though there was a suspicion in the former that a photo would have given a different verdict. David Cook took a comfortable B100 win(11.3),with Chris Hall just edged out of 2nd in the longer B sprint(23.0).Over 400,James Moroney(52.0) struggled in the home straight,but Adam Bellis,on a former stomping ground,produced his best individual run so far this campaign(3B 50.7).In the hurdles,Matt Field was a good 3A(16.1),with Maris Kuklis steady in the B((4th),whilst in the longer event,the latter mirrored his highs' placing and Chris Hall,a very welcome late co-option,took an excellent 2nd in the B.In the relays,the sprint quartet(Chris H/DavidC/JustinG/HumphreyW) ran a nippy 43.3 for 3rd,but the 4x4(JustinG/Jason Bernard/JamesM/AdamB) spluttered a bit compared to Kingston and were 6th,though Adam Bellis mirrored his 49.9 split.
MD - With due respect,the 800/1500 was a matter of "…..aaaaagh!" We just ran out of genuine options but many hats off to Humphrey Waddington and Bilen Ahmet(800) and our 'chasers,Mike Maranzano & Andy Arbour(1500),for filling in to claim the vital points.At 5000,Will Clark,an HCA from Epsom & Ewell,making his BAL debut for K&P,surpassed himself by taking 20 seconds off his PB(down to 15.15.6) in a race ideally suited to him for that exploit.Matt Hyett,again willingly filling in,took an important extra point in the B. The aforementioned 'chasers had previously lowered their seasonal bests to take double 5ths in their speciality,after 'mad dashes from the smoke' in the morning(again!).
Jumps - Here,we were in good form - the irrepressible H.won his first BAL A string,snatching the Triple by a single centimetre(14.11),with James Heptonstall 2B(13.49);David Cook(6.95) and the said James(6.63) clinched a double,though neither were individually particularly happy with their efforts(a very good sign!);in the High Jump,Matt Field was also unrewarded for commitment,though Humphrey's identical 1.75 was worthy;whilst the lucky vaulters went inside to the splendid adjacent facilty and Gordon Lester got back into the 4.00 groove in advance of the English Schools the following weekend and Bilen Ahmet was over 3.00 in the B.The standard was reasonable this time out(or in!!),with 8 over 4 metres.
Throws - Our incredible record was sorely tested,but thanks to some talismanic commitment from Gareth Cook and Nick Owen,we salvaged some very useful points.In the Shot Nick 'walked it' again,with Gareth 2nd,in his 3rd event of the day(that's 18 trials after driving up in the early dawn for an 11.30 kick-off!).Nick was edged in the Discus,despite another 43m effort,with Gareth 2nd again;in the hammer,the latter held onto 2nd,behind Man of the Match,Glen Kerr,and Rob Smith warmed our hearts(after a flutter or two) with 2nd in the B at 39.56;but we were really stretched in the javelin in what is usually one of our strongest tallies.
All in all,an exceptional performance all round,keeping us in the promotion stakes. The last 2 matches at Bedford and Ashford will be battles-royal with Crawley,first and foremost - Leeds are clear favourites to win,whilst the others will need 2 very strong efforts to supplant us.
A special thank-you to Mary & Peter Waddington and Maurice Joyce,who answered pleas from the Leeds club to travel and officiate;with Mike May performing his Divisional Secretary role,we were well-represented.Thanks,too,to our supporting parents,Mark Hall & Geoff Owen.
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