id99-BAL Div 4 Final Round Abingdon July 31

Written by David Barrington   

So,we live to fight another day at this level! On a very warm day at the fine Tilsley Park arena,the team survived a very nervous match(well,the spectators were nervous) with aplomb and we shall be there for 2005 - and NO trip to Edinburgh since they performed a Houdini act in their last match at Stoke!!

The conditions helped produce some excellent performances - a sparkling sprint double and startling 400 relay leg from Victor Nwagbara(11.0/22.2(1A)/48.7;pbs for both Jamie McCullagh & Draco Mkpa over 400(50.2/50.9),for Andy Arbour(10.31.4 3kSteeple),Humphrey Waddington(18.0 110H) & Nick Surtees(54.30 JT);a pb equalling HJ from Matt Field;a promising BAL debut from U17 Luke Wheeler;plus inumerable 'pressure' performances from our stalwarts all round.

We needed to keep ahead of either Swindon or Derby but spent most of the afternoon agonisingly adrift of safety.Good points were forthcoming from both our throwers & jumpers in the field as per usual and from some track events but both those clubs started like houses on fire,and the regular,for a change,score updates,were not comfortable listening.However,we hung in there,as is our wont,and a late surge with a double Javelin success,a 4th and a B string win at Triple Jump together with an exhiliarating 4 x 400 success in which Jamie McCullagh raced into a lead which Draco Mkpa,Craig Price & Victor Nwagbara maintained to the end(1st 3.22.1) took us to within 4 points of 3rd on the day - and relative safety given the traumas! Match scores - Herne Hill 322,Crawley 320,Derby & Team Solent both 292,K&P 288,Swindon 273,Norwich 237,Bolton 165. Overall - HHH 31 & Crawley 26 go up to Div 3,Solent 22.5,Norwich 17 & K&P and Derby 15.5 stay put,whilst Swindon 12 & Bolton 4.5 go into the Qualifier.

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