Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton went into their final northern league match knowing their mid table position was precarious. First and second place was beyond them, but behind them three clubs were battling to avoid relegation.
Blackpool provided perfect weather conditions, even if the track was in urgent need of improvement. On the day, veteran and multi eventer, Mark Line, was the club’s main scorer. Mark has lost none of his enthusiasm or competitiveness and took part in five events, even if the first two were on at the same time & at opposite ends of the track. Mark won the hammer event (32.37m) before claiming 4th place in the pole vault (2.30m). In addition he claimed maximum points in the discus (34.48m) and ‘B’ shot (9.46m) and 2nd place in the ‘B’ javelin (38.04m). In total he accrued a magnificent 32 points for the club. Not far behind was 20 year old Jenny Pyatt, with first place in the discus (42.11m) and javelin (32m) and second place in the shot (9.91m). There were valuable contributions from other members of the throws group with Dave Brown first in both the ‘B’ hammer (26.36m) & discus (30.43m), Will Hynd 3rd in the javelin (40.05m), Jess Groves 2nd in the hammer with a new pb of 33.90m, 3rd in the ‘B’ javelin (19.95m) & 3rd in the ‘B’ shot (7.91m). Nicola Swift completed the trio of female throwers with 4th place in the ‘B’ hammer (12.50m) & discus (14.21m).
The jumpers excelled as ever, with Kai Finch (1.80m) & Owen Southern(1.70m) dominating the men’s high jump & Matt Ingram winning both long (6.79m) & triple jump events (13.15m). Owen showed his versatility by finishing 3rd in the ‘B’ long jump (5.16m) & 3rd in the 200m ( 23.4). Debbie Dasse continues to improve in the pole vault, clearing 1.90m to finish 3rd and went one place better in the high jump with 1.50m. Erin Birchall was 2nd in the long jump with a leap of 5.18m & ran well in the sprints recording 13.3 in 100m & 27.9 in the 200m. Lucy le Marinel unfortunately pulled a hamstring in recording 14.6 in the 100m.
There were successes too on the track where Danny Higham (50.4) & Luke Edwards (50.4) made it a sprint double in the 400m. Luke also ran 23.7 sec in the 200m to finish 2nd in the ‘B’ 200m. Mark Wynne ran an excellent race in the 5K breaking the 16 minute barrier for the first time (15.54.3) when he finished 2nd , with team mate Dan Jones claiming 2nd spot in the ‘B’ race (16:15.2). James Metcalfe also ran well to claim 3rd spot in the 800m (2:00.8) while youngster Tom Corcoran ran a pb (2:11.3) in the ‘B’ race. Jonathan Bride (4:19.8) & Richard Weeks (4:47.2) both came up against tough opposition in the 1500m, with both finishing 5th in their respective races.
Lucy Townson improved her season’s best with times of 78.5 sec. in the 400m hurdles and 65.7 in the 400m flat, while Maddie Firth Cook produced two pb’s in the same events with times of 79.1 and 69.8. Two of the middle distant girls doubled up with Vicki Gilbody running the 1500m (5:26.2) and 3K (11.19.7) and Harriet Foley the 800m (2:41.8) and 1500m (5:46.1). Where the club was short, Beth Swift filled in and her contributions in the 800m, high jump and long jump, along with Dave McComb 2nd place finish in the ‘B’ pole vault, ensured the club finished in third place.
Our thanks also go to the club’s officials on the day. Jamie Doolan as timekeeper, Charles Gains as track judge & the team of field judges of Karen Brown, Lesley Jackson, Emma Harrison, Rose Hutchinson & Nicola Swift who had a particularly demanding day with the pole vault event. One athlete, Marcus Bathie, competed for LPS for the last time. Marcus has been an invaluable club member especially for his performances in the hurdles. On Saturday he was 3rd (68.0) in the 400m hurdles & 5th in the ‘B’ 100 metres. We wish him well on his move to York
In the end, Blackpool pulled back from the brink and avoided relegation, leaving Liverpool Harriers & Manchester Harriers to be the clubs going down to division 3. Winners on the day were Team Isle of Man who brought their largest ever team over to compete. In clinching the league title they now go forward to the play-off final in a couple of weeks. We wish them well.