A more committed performance and a bigger turnout helped Morpeth Harriers Senior Track and Field squad achieve an improved result in their second round Northern Premier League match, held at Middlesbrough Sports Village on Sunday 6 June.
Whilst host club New Marske Harriers were the most dominant on the day, pulling off a marginal victory over first round winners Gateshead Harriers, Morpeth were not far behind in third place, with Wallsend/Blyth fourth, Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) fifth, and North Shields Poly sixth.
One well worthy of note is that of Lorna MacDonald who became a legend in her own lunchtime.
Lorna, who is currently working at nearby James Cook Hospital on acute medicine in A&E, used her own lunch break to take part in the Women’s 3000m, and afterwards, quickly returned to her post in the hospital.
She certainly played a vital part in her club's on the day performance, as she finished second in the A string, posting a finishing time of 11m00.20s, which was less than a second outside her personal best.
Apart from her work, Lorna is at present in the middle of an extremely competitive period, having to prepare herself for Triathlon and Ironman events, in addition to her Morpeth commitments, and Army career.
The women’s 3000m was a good overall result for Morpeth, with Michelle Thompson taking the B race in 12m13.90s.
It was a good day for the women’s section of Morpeth Harriers, as Vina Desai’s squad, managed another five A string wins, and another three B string wins, along with a very welcome 4x100m victory, spearheaded by the return of regular sprint specialist Jessica Young-Rogers, who had been forced to miss the first-round match last month.
The club enjoyed three double victories on the day from the women’s section.
Young-Rogers certainly made her presence felt, as she secured wins in both the 100m and 200m, posting respective times of 12.6s, and 26.3s.
It was again, an excellent day for the Morpeth women’s team manager’s daughter Nisha, as she won the A string 400m and 400m Hurdles events, posting respective times of 59.1s, and 62.2s, both performances being season's bests.
Desai also played her part in the 4x100m victory, and the second place by Morpeth’s 4 x 400m squad.
She also backed up Young-Rogers’s 100m victory, by finishing as second B string in 13.4s.
Under 17 athlete Olivia Gent finished as third B string in the 200m in 30.4s.
Kay Errington, volunteered her services to take part in the B string 400m Hurdles, making it a Morpeth double victory, winning in 78.50s, this being her first ever attempt at the event, which brought a welcome smile to the Morpeth team manager.
Backing up Desai’s 400m victory, was Laura Kincaid, who finished second in the B Race in 69.8s, a season’s best performance.
Jessica Gardiner threw 29.85m to win the A String discus, and 37.20m, to finish second in the A String hammer for Morpeth.
She came awfully close to a new personal best with her final hammer throw, but unfortunately had nudged the board with her toe, resulting in her fouling the effort sadly.
Backing up Jessica for Morpeth in the B string hammer and discus was Claire Reid, who threw 22.19m for fourth place in the former, and 25.25m in the latter, which gave her a B string win, which of course secured a double victory here.
Reid finished third in the A string shot (9.43m), and Nisha Desai was third B String with 7.01m.
There was a good Morpeth result in the women’s triple jump, where Under 20 athlete Charlotte Earl finished as second A string (11.08m), just outside her personal best, and Under 17 athlete Olivia Gent won the B String (8.58m), also just a mere fraction adrift of her personal best.
Earl also finished third in the A string long jump (4.78m), a new personal best, and Jess Young-Rogers finished as second B String (4.16m).
Back to the women’s track events and the middle-distance races.
Morpeth’s Caitlin Flanagan was fourth finisher in the 800m A race, posting a time of 2m35.2s, and Tayla Murdy finished third in the B Race in 2m43.2s.
Tayla also ran the 1500m, finishing as fourth in the A Race in 5m39.1s, and Kay Errington recovered from her earlier exploits in the 400m Hurdles, to finish fourth in the B Race in 6m01.4s.
On to the men’s events, where Morpeth secured two A string victories and three B string victories amongst their day's performances, under the management of David Swinburne, who remained upbeat despite the lack of availability of some athletes.
The best performance came in the men’s steeplechase, where former Northern Champion Adam Pratt secured an A string win in 10m25.8s, and Mark Snowball took the B race in 11.15.8s.
Pratt also put his jumping abilities to good use for his club, by finishing second in the A string 400m hurdles, posting a time of 64.0s.
Alistair Douglass, who again put in a hard day of work, secured a victory in the A string 800m, posting a time of 1m58.2s.
Andrew Lawrence finished third in the B String in 2m16.7s.
Douglass also finished fifth in the A String 400m in 53.10s.
Under 20 athlete Charlie Lane finished second in the B String event, posting 53.80s, a brand-new personal best.
An excellent Morpeth result was achieved in the Men’s 1500m, where Connor Marshall finished second in the A race, posting a new personal best of 4m15.30s, taking almost three seconds off his previous figures.
The result was made even sweeter, as Liam Roarty, making his Northern League debut for Morpeth, secured victory in the B Race in 4m24.4s.
Morpeth also had some success in the 5000m, courtesy of Ross Floyd finishing second in the A race in 15m59.60s, and Andrew Lawrence taking the B race in 16m43.20s.
Unfortunately, the Morpeth men lacked depth in the field events, where the best result came from the long jump, with Adam Pratt securing fifth place in the A string with 4.48m, and Andrew Lawrence finished fourth in the B string with 3.76m.
The hardworking and dependable Alistair Douglass secured fifth place in the A string discus with a best effort of 20.48m.
Morpeth’s Men’s 4x400m squad finished third in 3m59.20s, with Douglass running their fastest leg of 54.0s on the third leg.
Final match scores are still under scrutiny.