Northern T&F League - Division 3E - Meeting 2
[Sat 6th jun]
Despite all of my best prayers, the morning of July 6th was not blessed with perfect weather and I awoke to hear the wind howling outside. I also didn't become a millionaire overnight and I remain as short as ever, so I'm beginning to doubt the effectiveness of praying. So with a just a hint of pessimism and a few muttered complaints, I packed up my kit and hopped aboard the Dickinson Express to the new stadium in Middlesbrough. We arrived to find the wind gusting as hard as ever in the direction that meant it was in our face all day, rather than letting the stand give us shelter. I quickly cheered up with a pricey cup of tea and a tactical meeting with master strategists Steve and Paddy along with Mr BRC himself, Mark Nicholson, making a rare appearance on the track.
The day kicked off with the usual suspects, Ralph and Paul, representing us in the hammer and putting our first points on the board. At the same time Erin Scott and Julie Williams were kicking the ladies off with some fine long jumping right in front of the spectators. Then it was time for a return to track and field for Steph Ramsay who has clearly not lost her touch as she threw the hammer to take second place and smash the Blyth club record. She was backed up by Anne Craddock in the B competition. With Steph having fired up the girls in green, it was time for Lauren to take to the track in the 400m hurdles, eager to improve on an excellent start to the season, and she didn't disappoint, winning her race by almost seven seconds and becoming the second club record breaker of the day. With Sarah Robson also running fantastically to take second in the B race, the team were starting the day fantastically. Not happy to let the ladies take the spotlight, Peter Skirrow and Blyth's prodigal son Craig Birch began a fiercely competitive long jump event, both jumping well with Craig leading the B string.
It was up to me to try and match Lauren's brilliance over 400m hurdles in the men's A race. However, due partly to over thinking things and partly to a slightly hasty marksman, it was a messy race, including stopping dead on the sixth hurdle. I scraped third place in the end, but Michael Day ran much more impressively in the B string to smash his time from the first meeting and also take third place. Unfazed by their early events, Sarah and Erin took to the track for the 800m, a gruelling event in the hard winds, both working hard for the team. Bringing a dash of experience to the 800m was team manager Paddy, backed up by Steve Dobby making his return to the track; both challenging the winds in two fast laps. Meanwhile, Paul threw his discus into second place, with Martin Scott throwing as the B, attempting to rake in as many points as his daughter.
Enough jumping and throwing and middle distances, it was time to unleash our speed demons on the track, beginning with Ella and Amy Bannister blasting the women's 100m against some tough competition. Similarly closely fought was the men's 100m, but it didn't stop Daniel and Dave from running flying times, including Dave coming second in the B race. Attempting to deal with curving into the wind, Peter and I tackled the high jump, both jumping well, with me matching my PB. Perhaps next time with the right conditions we can both break our PBs and not be at such a disadvantage to our competitors who were curving with the wind. Not satisfied with one club record, Steph showed off her skill in the shot putt with Anne backing her up once more. A second Blyth ladies duo, Ella and Lauren, took on the triple jump for the first time and tried to perfect the tricky technique. With consistent performances, the Wallsend/Blyth team wear looking healthy on the points table, though without too many wins.
was only a temporary situation, Harry Coates and Jon French tore through the field in the steeplechase to take first in the A and B strings, though they were obviously devastated about the lack of water jump. I think the new stadium has some leaks that are still to be plugged. Continuing her record rivalry with Steph, Lauren took her second club record of the day, comfortably beating the previous record in a tight race. With Sarah also doubling up on the hurdles, the points were beginning to roll in. Steph put her strength to use again in the Discus (no club record this time, she's obviously resting on her laurels), with Sarah Graham throwing well in the B competition. Sadly, disaster struck in the women's 3000m; nearing the end of a strong race, Erin was forced to pull out in some distress. Fortunately Erin recovered fine later in the day, but it was left to Rebecca Lambson to bring the green vest home in second place in the A race.
Now it was time for a real treat for the spectators, two of Blyth's all time finest hurdlers teamed up in the 110m hurdles, with Daniel comfortably winning the A race and Craig showing that he still has the moves with a B win. Apparently allergic to running slowly, Lauren broke yet another PB with a second place in the women's 400m, inspiring Julie WIlliams to run hard and take third in the B race. In a tough wind, Daniel and I tried to replicate these performances with Mr N'Jai clawing through the wind to take second in the A race. Paul and Dave topped up the points total nicely with second and third in the men's shot putt. Flying the team flag in the 1500m were Joseph Dungworth and Sean McIntyre for the men with Sarah Graham and Helen Morris showing the ladies how it's done with gritty performances in the strong breeze.
The wind obviously didn't hamper Peter in his Javelin throwing, nor Michael Day who is looking so good these days, his age is listed as u20 on the first set of results. Looking equally lovely were Sarah Graham and Julie who both cleared 1.10m in the women's high jump. I was definitely looking considerably less pretty with my hair and spikes full of sand following the men's triple jump in which Craig and I took good points from third in the A and second in the B. As the number of events ticked down, Blyth were still sitting comfortably in second, but we needed a great push to catch New Marske. Facing off against New Marske's strong sprint team were Ella and Amy in the 200m, followed up by Dave and Craig for the men, with Dave running to a brilliant PB of 24.6. But at last, after hours of anticipation and careful preparation, it was time to unleash the team's secret weapons... Matt Darbyshire's moustache and the talented Mr Nicholson. Even with Mark running a PB (despite what the results may say), the duo's dazzling efforts still weren't enough to put us on top going into the relay. The javelin efforts of Anne and Julie scraped a few more points late in the day.
The Wallsend/Blyth quartet's assembled to begin the last events of the day, with a a third place for the women's 4x100m and fourth in the men's event. Despite a second place from the ladies and the efforts of an experienced men's team, the 4x400m performances weren't quite enough and we had to settle for second overall on the day. After a Ralph vs Keith drag race back up north, it was time for home. However, after two league meetings, we are still tied for first in our division with a clear four points between us and third place. Promotion to division 2 is looking likely at this point in the season. Let's keep up our strength in the coming meetings and show New Marske who's really the boss of division 3E. My suggestion is more moustache power; any volunteers?