After an uplifting county championships it was back to slightly more mundane matters as Liverpool Pembroke Sefton athletes travelled to Hyndburn for another match in the Mid-Lancs League. Pivotal to this encounter for the club was the performance of the U17 Men who were almost at full strength. In perfect weather conditions a slightly off-form Warren Turner still turned in a solid fourth place but there was a real surprise packet in the shape of James Grundy who charged through to fifth. With Ryan Blackwell seventh the team race was sewn up but the additional presence of James Loftus(10) and David Reece(15) raises the prospect of possible medals in the immediate Northern Championships at Pontefract.
Inexorably the U13 Boys collected the usual second team placing. Jack Crook(8), Joss Forrest(17), Michael Croft(24) and Joe Martin(25) duly obliged while Max Cotterill(44), showing signs of further improvement, and Joe Marshall(50) were the supporting cast. The U15s of Daniel Wright(18), Chris Webber(23) and Jonathan Bride(27) managed to navigate their way around competently but yearn for a fourth man. Using this as a warm up for the Northern Champs Jai Vernon-McGuigan demonstrated his recaptured form by staying with the leaders running out fourth but first Under 20. Ben Costello was 27th and fifth Junior in.
There were only a few girls in attendance, the event clashing with a schools fixture, but Rosie Johnson again showed class and good timing. Lancashire champion Molly Betmead looked secure but Rosie, her Merseyside equivalent, gradually hauled her in with only 6 seconds eventually separating them. Exciting head-to-head encounters are sure to follow as the season unfolds. While U13 Kate Croft(21) was alone in her endeavours, the U11 Barnsley twins, Alex(11) and Megan(15), look potential star material. Only a relatively small improvement could easily propel them into the upper echelons.
Report Charles Gains