id926-NJL Brent Division M3 Stevenage June 14th 2009 Report

Written by DH   

DH's Report from North Hertfordshire.

“I don’t believe it!” – Victor Meldrew 1990

“I don’t believe it!” - David Hillyer 11th June 2009

The immortal words were uttered by yours truly when being notified on the Wednesday that the fixture had been moved from Watford to Stevenage only a day after being assured the fixture was going ahead at the original venue. Some team members would argue that the resemblance to Mr Meldrew is not confined to the use of the famous phrase, but that’s a debate for another time. Still at least we found out with a few days left, the Reading Team Manager only found out on Saturday evening.

So it was on Sunday morning that a full minibus and carload set off to Stevenage to join the remainder of the NJAL team for Round 3 of this year’s competition. Yet again the weather was excellent and we arrived in good time to try to protect our lead in the Division. Despite some of the teams obviously suffering from the change in venue, with Milton Keynes not sending a team, the hosts put out a large squad and as a result managed to beat us on this occasion. The result was tight and we scored nearly 100 points more than in either of the first 2 fixtures, but NWC Herts amassed 19 points more than we could. This meant the match result and resulting league table are as follows:

Match Result

League Table

1

NWC Herts

504

8

1

Kingston & Polytechnic

1257

23

2

Kingston & Polytechnic

485

7

2

NWC Herts

1074

18

3

City of Portsmouth AC

235

6

3

City of Portsmouth AC

791

16

4

Vale of Aylesbury AC

230

5

4

Reading AC

855

15

5

Thames Valley Harriers

214

4

5

Vale of Aylesbury AC

782

15

6

Reading AC

181

3

6

Thames Valley Harriers

727

12

7

Wycombe Phoenix

114

2

7

Wycombe Phoenix

349

6

8

Marshall Milton Keynes

0

0

8

Marshall Milton Keynes

105

2

All the results will be found elsewhere on this website and there were yet again numerous highlights, with several PBs being set.

Performance of the day:

Maddy Hardwick running, in effect, a time trial to record another PB in the 3000m, in scorching heat. She then proceeded to finish 2nd in the 1500 with a storming last 100m and also ran our team’s quickest leg in the 4x400 relay.

There were several other stand-out performances worthy of mention. Charlie Ambidge on her first (and unfortunately possibly last) NJAL appearance, won a very good Women’s 200m. Fellow debutant, Hussein Al-Kemachki was the only Men’s Shot Putter apart from the 2 NWC Herts “giants” (and the only U17) to qualify for the full 3 throws in finishing 2nd in the A string. Also, in a highly competitive Men’s 4x100 relay, the K&P quartet (with some very tired athlete) nearly broke the Club Record as a result of 3 changeovers that many teams would have paid a lot of money for. Many observers commented that they had rarely seen such excellent handovers. Well done Tom P, Richard, Will and Patrick.

Hilarious moment of the day:

As it was a hot day we decided to take the tent to offer some shade. This was used constantly thorough the day by most of the athletes and proved to be a big success. Surprisingly, when it came to take the tent down there were several willing volunteers and work started quickly in dismantling the tent. Unfortunately the volunteers “forgot” to tell Kyan and Will that the tent was coming down and as a result the two lads had to crawl to howls of laughter and photos being taken by mobile phones, from beneath the structure which was now lying on the ground.

Close behind was Seren in the Hammer. The fact that she had never picked up the Hammer before was soon apparent and drew a crowd of K&P spectators waiting for imminent disaster. Despite a few “problems” Seren managed to get a throw of 8.84meters recorded for 2nd place in the “B” string, albeit 25 metres behind the winning “B” string thrower. At least she enjoyed herself, as did several others.

The other event that bought a smile to many faces was most of the Girls team using the Steeplechase Water Jump as a paddling pool for most of the afternoon and some of them involuntarily deciding to use it as a swimming pool. The latter was taken as a challenge by Adam and Elliott who did likewise. Unfortunately they were competing in the actual Steeplechase event!!!

Yet again a fantastic team sprit existed throughout the day, with several athletes competing in events they had never tried before to ensure we got some valuable points. The team members were:

Girls: Charlie Ambidge, Seren Bresner, Rahannah Gillette-Vernon, Maddy Hardwick, Harriet Lester, Emily McIlwain, Leanne Bettis and Amelia Maugouber.

Boys: Elliott Baveystock, George Corcoran, George Field, Patrick Hillyer, Kyan Koranteng, Gordon Lester, Asher Nelson, Tom Parry, Tom Ratcliff, Richard Smeaton, Will Trimble, Adam Wicks and Tariq Fadare.

Once again I thank the team, as well as to fellow Team Manager, Michele Wicks who yet again managed to get athletes competing in events apart from their specialities. Also to be thanked are Clare Nelson, Debbie Vernon, Mary Waddington and Peter Waddington who helped to officiate. Clare also drove the minibus on a long and very warm round trip especially on the return journey. I would also like to thank all the family and friends who turned up to support the team.

With one athlete more (to fill some of the gaps) we could have won this fixture and already have guaranteed the Divisional title and a place in the Promotion Final (providing Milton Keynes did not make a miraculous return). However, there is still some work to be done to achieve these goals. We are already aware that several of the team are unavailable for the 4th fixture at High Wycombe on Sunday 26th July. It is therefore vital that as many as possible make themselves available. League rules dictate that unless an athlete competes in at least one of the Divisional fixtures they cannot participate in the Promotion Final. Also, you can try other events apart from your speciality as a non-scorer.

We will be checking on availability for High Wycombe shortly. We have greatly exceeded expectations so far and it would be sad at this stage to miss out on winning the Division, so please let Michele or I know if you will, or will not, be coming as soon as possible. Also, it is vital that we have a full set of officials to attain the full 35 points awarded, so any volunteers would be more than welcome. If we manage to get the right result you may find that Victor M’s famous phrase may well be echoing around the Wycombe Sports Centre, although I will not be jumping into the Water Jump to celebrate!!!

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