National League Clubs In Battle For Promotion

National League clubs in battle for promotion

Shaftesbury Barnet, Tonbridge, Swansea and Trafford enjoy wins in the Championship on June 22

The Premiership sits this round out as the remaining 24 clubs battled to decide who will proceed to the knock-out at the end of the season and see who advances to the top flight.

National League

NATIONAL ATHLETICS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP EAST, round 2, Hendon, June 22

Shaftesbury Barnet were hoping that home advantage at the Stonex Stadium would enable to them to again come out on top and it proved to be the case.

However, after four events Havering led marginally thanks to fourth ranked under-17 Alicia Fairmaner taking the opening event, the women’s long jump. Shaftesbury were close but Herts Phoenix were well ahead of the rest as Edward Laws and Louise Grenfell both won over the low hurdles, albeit in modest times.

The hosts had assumed the lead after 15 events had been declared and led Herts Phoenix by sixty points with Havering and Chelmsford not too far adrift.

National League clubs in battle for promotion

Shaftesbury had Sam Wiggins win a tight men’s 800m, in 1:54.42 over Havering’s 15-year-old Findlay McLaren’s personal best 1:54.81. Then junior Mya Mairs-Ingram made it a double by winning the women’s event in 2:12.20, just squeezing out Havering’s Gemma Kersey.

Herne Hill finished last in the opening match but here drafted in under-17 Emma Rennie, who then won the women’s 100m in 12.23.

Newham & Essex Beagles also got in on the winning act as Emma Nwofor won the women’s 100m hurdles in 13.86 before Robert Crowley and Charley Brisley were first and second in a tight 1500m.

However, their club were still trailing in last overall in the tables, despite Shemar Boldizsar taking advantage of a 1.8m/sec wind to win the men’s 200m in 21.17.

Havering were third last time and Matthew Agnimel win the 400m in 47.86 as Herts Phoenix’ Lauren Rule added the women’s with 54.31, before Jodie Judd won the women’s 1500m in 4:40:63.

The hosts’ Ethan Walsh won the pole vault and Paul Ogun the men’s long jump in a tight competition with 7.14m, before Alexander Baltazar-Hall added the women’s discus with 49.02m.

As the afternoon wore on Shaftesbury continued to pile up the points as banker Greg Thompson led a double in the men’s discus with a best of 54.01m, before later still adding the shot with 14.84m.

Fourth ranked Akin Howard then won the high jump at 2.12m for Shaftesbury and fourth ranked under 17 Tami George the women’s 200m in 24.77 against a modest breeze.

As in the first match, Newham were down the pecking order but did have a few modest wins before Aaron Ashmead-Shoye won the won the men’s triple jump with 14.48m.

Chelmsford AC were second in the opening match and, towards the end of the afternoon had Jess Hopkins, the BUCS indoor champion, again win the women’s shot with 14.18m.

As the afternoon drew to a close, Tom Butler ran away with the men’s 5000m for Shaftesbury with 14:29:77, before the final field event saw second ranked Daniel Bainbridge dominate the men’s Javelin with a 67.45m effort, perhaps the best performance of the day, although well short of his season’s best 73.55m.

Shaftesbury then rounded off their campaign with victory in the men’s long relay and all but guaranteed a place in the August knockout.

Match: 1 Shaftesbury 650; 2 Havering 493; 3 Chelmsford 471; 4 Herts Phoenix 460; 5 Herne Hill 424; 6 Newham & Essex Beagles 235

Standings after two matches: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet 12 (1250); 2 Chelmsford (9) 1017; 3 Havering 9 (1018); 4 Herts Phoenix 6 (960); 5 Herne Hill 3 (779); 6 Newham & Essex Beagles 3 (652) 

NATIONAL ATHLETICS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP NORTH, round 2, Leigh, Greater Manchester, June 22

The northern clubs came out on top in the opening match and the two clubs in the basement after round one were forced to make a long trip up the motorway to try to improve their situation.

Trafford made the most of home advantage to take the meeting from Sheffield and Notts AC, while Milton Keynes and Bedford suffered badly.

Sheffield had won the opening match and got off to a good start here, as James Greenhalgh led a double in the men’s 400m hurdles with a narrow 53.82 victory.

Then their Robert Shipley added the men’s 800m in 1:52.30, but they trailed Trafford after three events, thanks to the women’s 400m hurdles, as the first-round runners-up had two of the only three starters from a possible 12.

After seven events, Notts AC’s Sharhnee Skervin won the women’s 100m with 11.82 and they took a narrow lead over Sheffield, despite narrowly losing out in the first field event. That was the women’s hammer where Alice Barnsdale’s 58.72m was the best effort, but they had the two next best throwers.

By mid afternoon and after 18 events, the top three teams were still vying for supremacy, with hosts Trafford just edging it, after Freya Dooner took the women’s discus.

Sheffield & Dearne were one and two in a poorly supported men’s sprint hurdles as Trafford were also 1 and 2 in another badly supported event, the women’s 3000m. Another double then came for Trafford in the men’s 1500m, which was also short on takers.

It was better in the women’s 100m hurdles as Sheffield’s Alicia Barrett battled a 3m/second headwind to win in 13.83, as Hakan Dalbal added the men’s 400m in 48.52 to further boost the Yorkshire club’s efforts.

After 28 events Trafford continued to narrowly lead Notts, whose Milan Campion won the steeplechase (later adding the 5000m), but Sheffield, with a double in the men’s sprint hurdles and Liverpool, who had first and second in the men’s long jump, were still in with a shout.

Sheffield took first in the men’s discus, which was just edged by Chuks Osammour’s 57.09m, from Liverpool’s Nick Wedderman, as Faye O’Hare won the women’s 1500m in 4:42.11.

Sheffield also had junior Casey Musgrave take the women’s 400m in 56.33.

Liverpool AC were not in the hunt for a match win, but their James Kelly won the men’s shot with 16.90m, but it was below the Irishman’s best of 17.33m before Oliver Wright added the javelin with 7.44m.

Later, England champion Felicia Miloro won the women’s pole vault for Notts with 4.00 metres. It was followed by 15-year-old Taejan Blake, in his first season of recorded competition, who added the men’s high jump with 2.06m from Notts team mate Harry Whyley, to improve his position at the top of the under-17 rankings.

The 200 metre races were later in the afternoon and Sheffield recorded a double led by David Chapman’s 21.52 but Notts responded with Skirvin’s 24.42 in the women’s 200m to complete a sprint double.

Trafford continued to pile up wins as Daniel Akinradewo added the triple jump with 14.52m against a wind but, despite their solid overall win, they too failed to field athletes in the women’s pole vault and men’s high jump.

Late on, Trafford fielded the only two runners in the women’s 1500m steeplechase as their Jasmine Wright won in 5:23.97 and they then won the next event too: the women’s 4x400m relay.

Liverpool won both sprint relays but still wound up a mid-table fourth on the day.

Milton Keynes failed to score in 16 events and Bedford, who were a sorry last after failing to field a competitor in 24 of the 38 events, brought up the rear.

Match (with officials points still to be added): 1 Trafford 535; 2 Sheffield & Dearne 496; 3 Notts 477; 4 Liverpool 467; 5 Milton Keynes 215; 6 Bedford & County 114

Standings after 2 matches: 1 Sheffield 11; 2 Trafford 11; 3 Notts 8; 4 Liverpool 6; 5 Dedford & County 3; 6 Milton Keynes 3

NATIONAL ATHLETICS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SOUTH, round 2, Crawley, West Sussex, June 22

The K2 Leisure Centre was the venue for Crawley to boost their points score and home advantage would surely enable them not to lose points again for not fielding a full complement of officials as they did in the first-round match.

It was run-away first match winners Tonbridge who scored a repeat win and got off to the best start with a double in the men’s 400m hurdles before their Jordan Chambers just prevailed in the men’s 800m over Portsmouth’s Jonny White in 1:50.85, for another double, so that, after five events, they led by 18 points from Belgrave, who stayed second for all of the afternoon.

After eight events Tonbridge now led by 19 points thanks to wins in the men’s 100m through Darian Moore, with a windy 10.69 and junior Lucy Tallon in the women’s sprint in a legal 11.99. More modest wins came for the first match winners, in women’s long jump and hammer.

In that event, under-17 guest, top ranked Alice Howie the double English Schools champion, threw the lighter 3km ball and chain out to 61.10 metres

After 18 of the events had been contested, Tonbridge had drawn right away from the rest in the same way that they did in the opening match, as Belgrave were now a comfortable second. They were helped by junior Lucy Tallon’s 100m win in 11.99 and Kieran Eland’s 48.26 400m victory.

However, his time was bettered by his B string team mate Ben Gardiner’s 48.11 and there was another Tonbridge double as Asha Root won the women’s one-lapper in 55.32.

Bournemouth were last in the first match but here had Alex Stewart win the men’s 2000m steeplechase in 6:09.24, as the shorter distance saw better uptake than in that opener, while the hosts saw Ciara Muzio win the women’s 3000 metres.

Tonbridge continued to profit as the afternoon wore on and were 70 points clear of Belgrave after 27 events had been scored but the strong distance running club were surprised by Crawley’s Adam Dray’s 1500m win, albeit in a modest 3:57.78, before Hugo Hewitt did the same with a 5000m win in 15:15.49.

The Crawley total was then improved in the men’s sprint relay but they still trailed third behind Belgrave. Tonbridge scored in the women’s pole vault with Bronwyn Yeandle’s 3.31m, following 3.40 in the opening match.

Kingston had made only a minor impact until late in the day but Rebecca Keddie gave them a score in the women’s 1500m with 4:41.13.

Wins generally eluded match runners-up Belgrave but they did see Peter Wild take the men’s high hurdles and then Ester Fuja the women’s 200m late in the day.

There was a winning guest in the women’s javelin as top ranked under-17 Harriet Court threw the smaller 500g spear out to 47.84m. There was another guest in the women’ shot as top ranked under-17 Issy Stamp tossed the lighter 3km ball out to 15.15m.

Portsmouth had been clocking up modest wins throughout the afternoon before Joesph Mason won the men’s javelin with 60.66m.

Tonbridge completed another solid day’s work with a couple of relay wins and now look certain to go to the premiership qualifying match as South champions.

Despite having just two A string wins, Belgrave finished second in the match and could well join their conquerors.

Match: 1 Tonbridge 626; 2 Belgrave 541; 3 Crawley 518; 4 Portsmouth 407; 5 Kingston & Poly 381; 6 Bournemouth 350

Standings after two matches: 1 Tonbridge 12 (1253); 2 Belgrave 9 (1026); 3 Portsmouth 8 (933);4 Crawley 6 (890); 5 Kingston & Poly 5 (783); 6 Bournemouth 2 (671)

NATIONAL ATHLETICS LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP West, round 2, Yate, Gloucestershire, June 22

Swansea made the short trip across the Severn Bridge to take their second match victory and did so from hosts Yate & District and Cardiff.

Yate were hoping to use home advantage to move up and challenge Swansea and first match second placers Basingstoke, but they failed to field a runner in the men’s 400m hurdles as first round leaders Swansea took the race and scored a double in the women’s.

Their Kane Leigh then won the 800m in 1:54.25 to lead a double as they led Swansea after five events in the team stakes and their 800m women also posted a double.

Cardiff AC were third in the opening match but here their Sam Gordon won the men’s 100m in 10.49 but Yate narrowly led after seven events had been scored, despite a women’s hammer win for Zoe Dakin.

In that event, under-20 guest Phoebe Milburn the 2023 England Athletics champion, threw the junior 3kg implement out to 55.73m.

After 20 events had been scored it was still tight at the top as Yate still narrowly led Swansea, with Cardiff 27 points down, but Basingstoke, second last time were struggling.

The hosts had 17-year-old Freya Bradley defeat Swansea’s Megan Carter-Davies, who later won the 1500m, in the women’s 3000m in 9:33.98, to go sixth on the under-20 rankings for the year.

Perhaps the best performance of the day came from Yate’s Isaac Cory’s 46.78 400m flat victory over Southampton’s Jack Higgins to go fourth on the UK under-23 rankings for the year, before 17-year-old Eleanor McIntosh made in a double by adding the women’s event with 56.30.

The younger runners kept performing for Yate, as third ranked under-17 Isabelle Walkey won the women’s 200m in 24.46.

Cardiff had been helped by England 2023 heptathlon bronze medallist Lauren Evans’ 13.70 100m hurdles, albeit helped by a 1.7m/sec wind at her back.

Yeovil were a lowly fifth in the first match but here had a good win in the men’s long jump through 400m hurdler, Harry Barton’s legal 7.29m personal best, in the first of his just a couple of efforts. Then their Matthew Alvarez won the 200m in 21.25.

Southampton brought up the rear in the first match but here had Sam Callaway out to 50.08m in final round of the women’s discus.

After 29 events Swansea had taken a clear lead in the match, 28 points clear of Yate and had to thank Carys Jones’ 4.01m in the women’s pole vault. They also won the men’s sprint relay, but Yate fought back to take the women’s event.

Yate had a double in the men’s high jump through 2023 England junior champion Luke Ball’s third time clearance at 2.10m and Adam Brooks 2.07m, a height also claimed by Southampton’s Adam Jones.

The hosts also had Greg Hayward take the men’s 1500m but Swansea fought back to take the women’s through Carter-Davies and Phoebe Brown the javelin.

Earlier, Swansea’s Pat Swan had won the men’s discus and then returned to add the shot with a final round 17.89m to go with his five Welsh outdoor titles. Southampton’s Andrew Knight had a first round 16.02m, for second.

Yeovil had an afternoon of honest endeavour and saw win the men’s triple jump, for Lewis Guest, with 14.33m and Jacob Dibble the men’s javelin with a second round 60.36m late in the day.

Cardiff remained in third and had Luke Hamley win the 5000m in 15:13.93 and Lauren Cooper the women’s 1500m steeplechase, but it was not enough to catch Yate who won three of the relays.

However, it saw them get to second in the league on event points despite losing some as they were without a full complement of officials.

Match: 1 Swansea 593; 2 Yate 549; 3 Cardiff 509; 4 Basingstoke & Mid Hants 400; 5 Yeovil 381; 6 Southampton 380

Standings after two matches: 1 Swansea 12 (1219.50); 2 Cardiff 8 (984); 3 Yate 8 (975); 4 Basingstoke & Mid Hants 8 (880.50); 5 Yeovil (4 (760); 6 Southampton (2) 725

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