A truly excellent all-round performance saw Morpeth Harriers Senior Men’s and Women’s Track and Field squad, pull off a superb victory in their third round Division 2E match, held at KEVI School, on Sunday 14th July 2019.
It wasn’t just the home advantage that saw them through, but also the attitudes and performance levels shown by athletes from both genders, who included no less than three athletes who had competed at the English Schools Championships in Birmingham over the two previous days, and chose to turn out in support of their club, to ensure a good result was indeed achievable.
These factors delighted respective Team Managers David Swinburn (Male), and Vina Desai (Female), who actually donned her own competitive garb during proceedings, to ensure valuable points could be scored from the day.
In the Men’s events, Morpeth Harriers secured no less than four A String wins, and three B String victories, thus resulting in two of these amounting to double wins.
The Men also enjoyed a very close win in their 4 x 100m Relay event.
The Female side of the squad managed two A String wins, and two B String wins.
English Schools Senior Boys 400m Gold Medal winner Matthew Waterfield proved
to be an unstoppable winner in the Men’s 200m, taking the A Race in 22.4s.
Morpeth’s Sam Yates finished fourth in the B Race in 24.8s.
Because of a disqualification given to Gateshead Harrier Matt Linsley, for breaking too early in the Men’s 800m, Morpeth Harrier Alistair Douglass was given the verdict as event winner by the judges,
posting a new personal best time of 1m55.5s.
Phil Winkler added more sweetness to the occasion by taking the B Race in 2m02.0s.
Douglass had further personal delight later in the day, when he produced
a new figure of 52.1s, when finishing third in the 400m.
In his first ever Northern League outing for the club following his 2018 transfer from Houghton Harriers,
Under 23 athlete Alex Brown certainly delighted his new supporters,
by recording an excellent personal best of 4m02.7s, to win the Men’s 1500m A Race.
Under 20 athlete Ross Charlton made the result even stronger by taking the B Race in 4m11.2s.
In the Men’s 100m, Sean O’Hara just missed out on taking the A Race, as he clocked a time of 11.4s.
David Storey finished fourth in the B Race in 12.2s.
In the Men’s 5000m, Karl Taylor finished second in the A Race in 16m08.9s,
and Gary Jones finished second in the B Race in 17m36.3s.
Northern Champion Adam Pratt of Morpeth found himself just a little outpaced by Leeds City’s Mohammed Abshir
in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase, as he finished second in 10m00.9s,
and was a little disappointed, as he had beaten the Leeds man in last month’s Northern Championships.
More good points were gained by the club however, as Mark Snowball took the B Race in 10m37.6s.
Snowball also finished fifth in the A Race of the 400m Hurdles in 74.0s,
and Neil McAnany finished third in the B Race in 73.0s.
Morpeth Men’s 4 x 100m squad were given the winners verdict in the judge’s room,
as they finished in the same time of 45.0s as Gateshead Harriers, courtesy of Sam Yates, Matthew Waterfield, Sean O’Hara, with David Storey just sealing victory on the final leg.
A hardworking Waterfield joined Alistair Douglass, younger brother Ben Waterfield,
and Owen Priest, in Morpeth Men’s 4 x 400m squad, who finished third in 3m43.1s.
On to the Men’s Field Events, where an extremely hardworking Craig Charlton
competed in no less four events for Morpeth, including an unfamiliar High Jump.
Charlton’s best performance was in his specialist Shot Putt, where he clearly took command in the A String,
winning by just over a metre margin from Middlesbrough’s David Dowson, with a best Putt of 15.18m.
He also finished third in the A String Discus (36.37m), and second in the A String Hammer (36.10m).
Charlton showed his appetite for work, when he cleared 1.50m,
to gain some club points in an unfamiliar High Jump.
Giving excellent club support in the Shot Putt and Discus events was Steven Appleby,
who finished respective seconds in both B String competitions, with bests of 8.10m, and 28.65m.
In the B String Hammer, Morpeth’s Hayden Richards produced a new personal best of 35.32m to finish second,
and he also finished an excellent second in his more specialist A String Javelin,
throwing a best of 44.47m, only just losing out for victory by a mere 44cm to Middlesbrough’s Steve Birse.
Backing Richards up in the B String Javelin was Hans Paulsen,
who finished fifth, by producing a personal best performance of 22.83m.
Paulsen also produced a personal best performance of 9.62m,
to finish fourth in the A String Triple Jump, where Mark Snowball also
produced new figures of 8.95m, when finishing as third B String.
In the Long Jump A String, Morpeth’s Max Marr finished third, by producing a best jump of 5.62m,
and again it was the hardworking Mark Snowball providing good B String backing for his club,
by finishing fifth with a best of 4.03m.
On to the Women’s events, where Jess Young-Rogers showed fine form by winning the A String 100m in 12.9s,
and just got edged out by her same closest rival in the 200m A String, where she clocked 27.7s.
Backing Young-Rogers up for Morpeth in the respective B Strings were Lynsey Storey (Cunningham),
who finished second in the 100m (14.3s), and Under 17 athlete Lily Heaton, who won the 200m B event in 29.8s.
In the 1500m A Race, Rachelle Falloon finished second in 5m00.6,
and Lorna MacDonald recorded an excellent win in the B Race in 5m12.5s.
MacDonald’s younger sister Catriona MacDonald faced tough opposition
in the form of Leeds City’s Susan Partridge in the 3000m.
Whilst the Scottish International won the A Race in 11m06.9s,
MacDonald secured second place in 11m20.2s.
Claire Calverley finished third in the 3000m B Race for Morpeth in 12m53.6s.
Holly Peck produced a new personal best time of 64.4s, when finishing third in the 400m A Race,
and Helen King backed Peck’s efforts well, when finishing second in the B Race in 69.9s.
In the 800m A Race, Morpeth’s Tayla Murdy finished fourth in 2m39.2s, and Lindsey Quinn,
in her first Northern League outing, backed her up well by finishing third in the B Race in 2m51.1s.
Morpeth Harriers Women finished second in both the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m Relays, posting respective times of 54.10s, and 4m38.2s, courtesy of Lynsey Storey (Cunningham), Lily Heaton, Charlotte Earl, Jess Young-Rogers, and Tayla Murdy, Helen King, Lily Heaton, and Holly Peck.
There were some good points scored by Morpeth Harriers in the Women’s Field Events.
Bobbie Griffiths, who had competed at the English Schools Championships in Birmingham,
had a very clear win in the A String Javelin, posting a best throw of 38.03m
Team Manager Vina Desai, stepped in for the first time ever to throw the implement,
finishing fifth in the B String, with a best throw of 7.28m.
Another Morpeth Harrier who had competed at the English Schools Championships
was Under 17 athlete Jessica Gardiner.
Gardiner finished second in the A String Discus, producing a best throw of 29.46m.
Morpeth took good points from the B string here, as debutant Lauren Anderson finished third with 18.98m.
Lynsey Storey (Cunningham), and Helen King both produced respective personal bests of 6.74m and 6.55m, when finishing in fifth places in the A and B String Shot Putt competitions.
Under 17 Northern League debutant Charlotte Earl made an excellent start to her Senior Morpeth
career by figuring well in no less than three of the Women’s Field Events.
In the High Jump, she finished second in the A String, with her clearance of 1.25m,
second in the Triple Jump A String with 10.48m, and gave good B String backing
to Jess Young-Rogers in the Long Jump, finishing third with a best of 4.31m.
Meanwhile Young-Rogers was fourth in the A String with 4.34m.
With one match remaining, which will be hosted by Wallsend/Blyth
at Whitley Bay on Saturday 10th August, Morpeth Harriers still lie
in third team place cumulatively behind leaders Leeds City,
who have a slender one-point lead over second placed Gateshead Harriers.
Behind Morpeth in fourth team place, and three league points adrift are Wallsend/Blyth,
who are two points ahead of fifth placed Harrogate Harriers.
In sixth, and last place, and a further three points adrift are Middlesbrough AC (Mandale),
who are doomed to face automatic relegation to Division 3 for next term,
and all looks set for Harrogate to go down with them.
Wallsend/Blyth, who host the final match, are the only club who could realistically threaten Morpeth’s current position, whilst Leeds City and Gateshead Harriers seem set to continue their close fight as to who will end up as Division 2E League Champions, with a possible playoff place to gain Division 1 status should they so wish.
FINAL MATCH RESULT (Still Subject to further scrutiny)
1st Morpeth Harriers 325pts,
2nd Gateshead Harriers 297pts,
3rd Leeds City 291pts,
4th Wallsend/Blyth 285pts,
5th Harrogate Harriers 258pts,
6th Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) 235pts.
CURRENT CUMULATIVE POINTS STATUS (after three matches)
1st Leeds City 16pts (1042),
2nd Gateshead Harriers 15pts (1031)
3rd Morpeth Harriers 12pts (922),
4th Wallsend/Blyth 9pts (876),
5th Harrogate Harriers 7pts (850),
6th Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) 4pts (753).
Many thanks go to all of those who volunteered their help at Morpeth on Sunday,
to make sure that the match at KEVI was once again well organised.
A splendid all-round club effort!