SAL – Tonbridge

Colchester Harriers travelled to Tonbridge on Saturday for the final Southern Athletic League match of the season knowing that a win against the teams from Basingstoke and Mid Hants, Thames Valley Harriers and Tonbridge AC would keep them in the top division next season.  The athletes fought hard for every point and had to wait until the result of the final field event, the men’s discus, to secure the win by just 2.5 points.

On the track there were rich pickings for the Harriers in the various 400m events.  There were wins for Connor Oliver and Ross Livingstone in the men’s races, Stacey Eyers in the women’s race, Matt and Heather Rose in their A string hurdles races and Robert Smith and Nicola Martell-Smith in their B string hurdles races.  The 4 x 400m women’s relay quartet of Nicola Martell-Smith, Becky Jeggo, Stacey Eyers and Helen Bloomfield inherited the win in 4m 12.2s after the Thames Valley Harriers team were disqualified for a lane infringement.

On the field our hammer throwers took maximum points with impressive wins for James Hamblin, Rob Earle, Phillippa Davenall and Catherine Holdsworth.  Holdsworth also won the A string shot competition.  The only Harrier to win a jumping event was Jessica Francis in the B string pole vault competition.

Against Thames Valley Harriers, one of the regions top sprint clubs, it was a good day for the Colchester sprinters with wins for Becky Jeggo and Heather Rose in their 200m races.  The men’s 100m races saw Charlie Dobson and Connor Oliver clock 11.3s and 11.4s for second place in their races.   Becky Jeggo and Isabel Sawyer also finished second in their 100m races.   The men’s 4 x 100m relay team clocked 45.6s to finish second to Thames Valley Harriers.  Matt Rose and Robert Smith won their 110m hurdles races.

In the middle distance events Paul Clifford and Oscar Dawson both took second place in their 800m races whilst Stacey Eyres and Beth Francis also finished second in their race.  The best placed finisher in the 1500m races was Helen Bloomfield who finished second in the B string race.  Ramadan Osman, Oscar Dawson and Emma Livingstone all finished third in their races.

In the distance races there were second places for Ramadan Osman and Chris Sellens in the 5,000m, Robert Smith in the B string 2,000m steeplechase and Sarah Stradling in the 3,000m.  Ben Halls was third in the A string 2,000m steeplechase.

Points were hard to pick up in the jumps, with second place in the B string for Helen Bloomfield and third places for Millie Belbin, Matt Rose and Oscar Dawson in the triple jump.  In the women’s high jump competition Nicola Martell-Smith and Jessica Francis both finished second.  Millie Belbin equalled her PB of 2.00m in the pole vault to finish second in the A string.

In the throwing events Phillippa Davenall picked up more valuable points for the team with second in the B string shot and A string discus competitions.  Kathryn Hart was second in the B string discus.  Catherine Holdsworth and Nicola Martell-Smith covered the javelin completion finishing second and third respectively.  James Hamblin, Rob Earle, Paul Clifford, Paul Cooper covered the throwing events to add to the Harriers points total.  Cooper finished second in the A string javelin competition with an excellent throw of 49.78m.   Earle and Hamblin finishing their discus competitions in second and third places to secure the points required to secure the match win for the Harriers.

Final score: Colchester Harriers 198 points, Basingstoke and Mid Hants 195.5 points, Thames Valley Harriers 185 points and Tonbridge AC 150.5 points.