Morpeth Harriers Senior Men and Women’s Track and Field squad completed their 2019 Northern Athletics League Division 2E programme, by finishing third in a closely fought final fixture, held at Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay, on Saturday 10th August 2019.
By finishing third in the final match, it also meant cumulatively they had also finished a very respectable third overall for the season, behind league leaders, and on the day match winners Leeds City,
who now face the choice of participating in a playoff, to challenge promotion to Division 1 for next season.
Second place on the day went to Gateshead Harriers, who also finished second overall.
Such was the closeness of this match, only a mere sixty-six points divided the first and fifth placed teams.
Morpeth Harriers just managed to pip close rivals Wallsend/Blyth by nine points to clinch third spot.
Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) finished fifth on the day ahead of Harrogate,
and both they and their North Yorkshire counterparts face the drop into Division 3 for next year.
Thankfully the expected severe thunderstorms and wet weather did not hit the coastal venue until the final hour,
and the match completed relatively unhindered, although the skies always looked threatening throughout.
On to the Morpeth performances, where in the Men’s events, wins were hard to come by,
with only one being achieved, that of Matthew Waterfield in the B 100m in 11.4s.
Unfortunately, Waterfield was forced to pull up sharply with a hamstring problem at the end of it,
resulting in him having to curtail the rest of his days activities,
apart from him throwing a Javelin to gain some vital points in the B String.
It was very nearly a much well needed double victory in the 100m, where Sean O’Hara was judged to finish second,
despite posting the same time as Middlesbrough’s Nathan Mottram with 11.6s.
Some good contributions by the Women’s section of the squad, saw them achieve two A String, and two B String victories, amongst them a double victory by Bobbie Griffiths, who won the A String Javelin, by producing a competition best of 33.41m, with Claire Reid taking the B String competition,
with a best of 16.87m, in what was an exceptionally busy day for the seasoned Scottish Veteran.
Reid also enjoyed a B String victory in the Discus with 28.24m, and in addition was third
in the A String Shot Putt with 9.73m and was second in the B String Hammer with 26.26m.
Competing alongside Reid for Morpeth in the Discus and Hammer was Under 17 starlet Jessica Gardiner,
who finished second in the A String Discus with 30.57m, and second in the Hammer A String with 38.45m.
Morpeth’s other Women’s win, came in the 1500m, where Rachelle Falloon took easy victory in 4m54.1s.
Under 17 athlete Holly Peck, just returned from a family holiday, finished second in the B Race in 5m28.2s.
Back with the Men’s track performances, where earlier in the report we indicated
that Sean O’Hara had just missed out for victory in the 100m.
He also just missed out for victory in the A String 200m, posting a time of 23.3s,
to the same athlete Mottram of Middlesbrough.
Under 17 athlete Ben Waterfield, younger brother of Matthew, performed well on his Northern League debut,
when finishing third in the A String 800m in 2m04.9s, and fellow Under 17 athlete Rowan Bennett,
also did well to finish second in the B Race in 2m08.9s.
Bennett also finished third in the A String 1500m in 4m13.2s,
where another impressive Northern League debutant Dylan Gooding,
also an Under 17, supported Morpeth well by finishing second in the B Race in 4m21.7s.
In the 3000m Steeplechase, which was run minus a faulty water jump, Morpeth’s Mark Snowball finished second in 10m33.6s, having already earlier tackled the 400m Hurdles, where he finished fourth in 74.2s.
Andrew Lawrence finished third in the A String 5000m, and Lee Bennett, father of Rowan,
finished third in the B Race for Morpeth, clocking 17m04.8s.
Morpeth’s Men’s 4 x 100m Relay squad finished second in 47.5s to Gateshead,
courtesy of Charlie Lane, Ben Waterfield, Sean O’Hara, and David Storey.
On to the Men’s Field events, where in the A String events, International Craig Charlton
and Under 20 athlete Ruaridh Lang achieved good performances,
which in turn were well backed by Morpeth’s long serving stalwart thrower Steven Appleby,
who has competed for the club since being a mere boy himself,
often supporting the fine achievements by Paul Reed.
In his specialist event, the Shot Putt, Charlton finished second in the A String with 13.85m,
and Appleby finished as fourth B String with 8.05m.
Charlton again finished second in the A String Hammer, throwing a best of 35.52m,
again being well backed up in the B String competition by Appleby, who threw a best of 20.17m to finish third.
Lang found strong opposition in Gateshead’s Fraser Wright in the A String Discus,
where despite managing a best of 39.39m, finished second.
Appleby meanwhile achieved his best B String effort of the day, when 29.26m, gave him second place.
In the Long Jump, Morpeth’s Charlie Lane finished fourth in the A String with 4.91m,
whilst Mark Snowball finished third in the Triple Jump with 8.76m.
Ben Waterfield cleared 1.55m to finish fifth in the A String High Jump.
Back with the Women’s Track events, where a good result was achieved by Catriona MacDonald in the A String 3000m, where she finished second to Gateshead’s Elisha Tait, just missing out by a mere second at the finish line, with her posting of 10m57.4s. Claire Calverley finished second in the B Race in 12m47.9s.
The pairing of Jessica Young-Rogers and Lynsey Storey in the 100m,
saw the former finish third in the A Race in 13.1s, and the latter likewise in the B race in 14.2s.
Under 17 athlete Charlotte Earl produced respective personal best performances of 1.35m
and 10.89m, to finish third and second in the A String High Jump and Triple Jump competitions.
In the Women’s 4 x 100m Relay, Morpeth finished second to Harrogate in 54.80s,
just losing out for victory by a mere fraction, courtesy of Lynsey Storey, Abbie Ross,
Charlotte Earl, and Holly Peck.
Ella Duffield, Rachelle Falloon, Catriona MacDonald, and Holly Peck combined
to bring Morpeth Women’s 4 x 400m squad home to third team place in 4m54.6s.
FINAL MATCH RESULT (Subject to further scrutiny)
1st Leeds City 366pts,
2nd Gateshead Harriers 344.5pts,
3rd Morpeth Harriers 338pts,
4th Wallsend/Blyth 329pts,
5th Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) 300.5pts,
6th Harrogate Harriers 256pts.
FINAL LEAGUE STANDINGS (Subject to further scrutiny)
1st Leeds City (1408pts)
2nd Gateshead Harriers (1375.5pts),
3rd Morpeth Harriers (1260pts),
4th Wallsend/Blyth (1205pts),
5th Harrogate Harriers (1106pts),
6th Middlesbrough AC (Mandale) (1053.5pts).