This match proved to be far more exciting than expected mainly through the slow results service helping the excitement. Our usual slow start where we were just obtaining minimum points, or slightly better, saw us expectedly in last place after 4 field events before Sean Breathnach produced a fine win in the Discus with a throw of over 48 metres and he was backed up well by Courtney Green who came 4th in the B section.
Then the track started and after some solid performances by Kehinde Dauda and Shaun Mulligan in the 400 m hurdles where they came 6th and 4th respectively a superb Win in the 800 m got us going as a team. Ben Harding took the race on and led coming off the final bend before being challenged strongly but he held on for his first ever win in the A race. Solid runs in the 100m followed with Conrad Williams and Darren Green producing good runs as they both came 3rd despite a strong headwind – this after Neil Phillips took the 3000m Steeplechase on coming home 4th just outside 10 mins.
Next up was team captain Joe Appiah who produced a solid performance of 16.1 secs in the 110 m Hurdles and who was backed up well by Ethelbert Metzner who was also 6th in the B race and who should be a real asset next season. Next we had a rare appearance from one of our boys from Edinburgh, Shawn Wright, who ran well in the A 400m coming home in 49.37 secs and who has rejuvenated a weak event for us .
Our sprinters then came back in the 200 m and delivered as Conrad Williams first came through to get 2nd place in the A section despite a slow start and then Luke Sargeant ran well into a – 3m/s wind gaining a great 3rd place in the B section. Again with a good winter and luck with injuries we should see a real improvement from him. Another excellent run from Ben Harding in the 1500 m earned him 3rd place only just being edged out by a couple of guys who had not done the 800 m earlier.
Amazingly we were still in last place at this stage, mainly through a slow results service, so it was possible to still go down ! Then Chuxx Onyia produced some good jumps before retiring through injury as he jumped 15.09 metres in the Triple Jump to earn 2nd place in the A section and he was backed up really well by a guy returning for the craic, Antoni Davis – Phillip, as he jumped 11.28 m to earn a great 4th place in the B section.
Then a series of great throws, nearly all over 17 m, with a best of 17.33m from Sean Breathnach was a real highlight for us in the Shot Putt as he strolled to victory showing the rest of the team what real commitment is. He was backed up well by Courtney Green who delivered his best with a throw of 13.04 m earning him 3rd place in the B section in our best event on the day. Not to be outdone our other man from the Emerald Isle, Rory Gunning, delivered a fine 2nd place in the A Javelin despite an injury before going over to Ireland for another competition on the Sunday.
The results were still way behind the events finishing and a good performance from our 4 x 100 m team secured a fine 3rd place before Conrad was asked to do the 4 x 400m – making it his 4th event on the day !
A great opening leg of 49.9 secs brought Shawn Wright home in 1st place before Conrad destroyed the field with a 45.9 leg to give us a 40 m lead. Next up was Luke Sargeant who ran well running 52.2 secs and who handed a 20 m lead to our last man Ben Harding. A very fast runner from Cardiff closed the lead and just when he was about to overtake us when Ben responded really well to seal a great win for the team and earn the Man of the Match award.
Despite some errors in the table that are being investigated by the BAL we secured a fine 5th place in the BAL this season and with good winters behind them we look to do even better next year.