Liverpool Pembroke Sefton athletes went to Ellesmere Port for the third Northern League(2W) match trailing five other clubs and facing the distinct possibility of relegation. However, the spirit that has always characterised the club when in difficulty came to the fore and none more so than in the diminutive figure of Kirsty Longley. Following a personal best time of 36.55 in the Manchester 10K Road Race the week previous where she was fourth overall and first Over 35 Female, she finished second here in the 800m(2.21.9) and the 3000K(10.30.8) but romped to victory in the 1500m(4.56.2), later even adding a 400m leg in the relay. The club`s women were in particularly fine form collecting almost an identical number of points as their male counterparts. There were numerous runners-up and third spots with a sprinkling of personal bests. Catching the eye were Ruth Doran especially her third in the Hammer with a new PB of 34.86m, where Rachel Hutchinson was best B eventer(33.34m), plus good seconds from Lucy Wroblewski in the Javelin(26.42m) and Alice Donnelly(High Jump 1.45m). A string of others including Aimee Hall, Emma Givens, Holly Lewis, Beth Southern, Lisa Gawthorne, Steph Swift, Scarlett Collins and Annabel Lewis gave an exemplary display of team cohesion and support.
Among the men there were important victories for Danny Higham at 400m(49.6) and Sean Kirkbride at 1500m(4.07.2) where the latter trailed Ben Costello(4.07.8) to the final bend before unleashing a ferocious sprint that regularly characterises his racing style. But, as in the case of the women, it was the comprehensive garnering of points lower down the pecking order that mattered and Rob Bland exemplified this with a magnificent personal best of 1.54.2 as runner up in the 800m but not unnaturally struggling later in his favorite event the 3000m Steeplechase(11.42.2) for fourth. The 4 x 400m(3.24.3) squad closed the afternoon with a comprehensive win and then it was down to tallying the scores. On a day when every point really did count LPS finally emerged 3rd team behind West Cheshire and St Helens. The pressure for survival in this most competitive of seasons has suddenly shifted elsewhere. LPS has only to repeat a similar feat in the final match to ensure yet another year in this environment.
In the North of England Inter-Counties match at Wigan, 14 year old Alex McSweeney was second in the javelin for Lancashire; earning his first county vest in the midst of a thunder storm ! Though a little short of the English Schools’ qualifying distance he had sought, it was a creditable performance in extremely adverse conditions. At the same meeting Zac Ellis collected his first county vest for Merseyside in the U17 javelin. Although a little below par the experience has merely served to whet his appetite for further representative honours.
On Sunday Dave Brown won the National Vets over 45 throwing pentathlon at Barnet Copthall, although the presentation of medals had to be postponed due to overrunning and subsequent eviction from the stadium at closing time
Harry Doran was in great shape at the BAL Premiership match at Hendon. Running for Liverpool Harriers he recorded a great 47.64 for 400m, only a few hundredths off his PB. He was second in the race.