Morpeth Harriers had an absolutely superb end to their 2018-19 Start Fitness sponsored North Eastern Harrier League season in the final fixture, held at the Pastures, Alnwick, on Saturday 2nd March 2019, when they won four on the day team races, and had four individual wins, which added to their celebrations in achieving no less than five team titles as a result of their season long efforts.
One of those individual victories belonged to Under 17 Woman Holly Peck, who incredibly made it five out of six in the series, and this was in addition to her Davison Shield win in January.
Even more superbly, Peck has also, including Saturday, ran the fastest time of the combined Under 17/Under 20 Women’s event, on no less than four occasions throughout the season.
On Saturday, Peck, who won quite comfortably from visiting Newcastle University student Erin Gallagher,
led her club to an on the day win in team affairs, which firmly sealed a team title overall for her club.
Further club support on the day came from an excellent run by third placed Robyn Bennett,
who was second fastest on the day, following Peck very closely from the Fast Pack, and Kirsty Duffin,
who finished eleventh from the Medium Pack, just one place and six seconds ahead of club colleague Ella Duffield.
Morpeth’s other finisher in this event was Lily Heaton, who was sixteenth
out of the 26 total field, running from the Medium Pack.
The other team title wins for the season, came from the clubs Under 13 Boys, Under 15 Boys,
and Under 17 Men, and Senior Men in Division One.
Morpeth Harriers Under 13 Boys were led home by Ryan Davies, who enjoyed his first ever individual victory.
He won from the Fast Pack, with eleven seconds to spare over Houghton’s Brandon Pye.
The win now sees Ryan finish third in the individual Grand Prix, fractionally ahead
of club colleague Bertie Marr, who was Morpeth’s second counter in fifth place.
Morpeth’s Under 13 Boys winning scoring count was completed by
Joseph Hudspith, who was 20th from the Fast Pack.
The team win on the day also helped them to an eight-point margin victory overall for the season.
Also competing for Morpeth in the Under 13 Boys event was Adam Howliston,
who finished 38th in the 67 strong field, running from the Fast Pack.
Another first-time winner on the day from Morpeth, was Sam Tate, who made his Slow Pack run
in the Under 15 Boys event pay rich dividends, by taking victory by a forty-three second margin.
It was particularly good to see Euan Duffin back in competitive action here following illness and injury,
posting the days sixth equal fastest time, and finishing as Morpeth’s second counter
just ahead of club colleague Dylan Davies, who had an equal time to that of Duffin.
This gave Morpeth Harriers an excellent on the day team win, which firmly guaranteed them the team title.
As a result of these individual performances, Duffin has finished fourth in his age group Grand Prix,
with Davies finishing seventh.
Other Morpeth Harriers finishers in the Under 15 Boys event on Saturday were,
Ben Waterfield (15th) (Fast Pack), James Tilley (23rd) (Slow Pack), and Matthew Walton (35th) (Fast Pack).
There were 51 finishers in the Under 15 Boys event.
In his first Harrier League outing for the season, Morpeth’s Daniel Dixon could feel well pleased with his three second margin victory from the Fast Pack, posting the fastest Under 17 Men’s time, as he led his club to an emphatic on the day team victory, sealing a league title win by seven points from Houghton Harriers.
Supporting team counts for Morpeth came from fourth and fifth placed Ross Charlton and Daniel Melling,
both from the Fast Pack, with the run also securing Melling the individual Grand Prix title
by one point from Houghton’s Will Bellamy.
Charlton and Melling were also third and fourth fastest in the total field of 34.
Other Morpeth athletes in action in the Under 17 Men’s event were
Rowan Bennett (8th) (Fast Pack) (6th Fastest),
Tom Balsdon (11th) (Fast Pack) (8th Fastest),
and Brad Brown (13th) (Slow Pack).
Morpeth Harriers secured the Senior Men’s Division One title by five points from Tyne Bridge,
despite only being able to finish fifth on the day.
The clubs leading finisher here was James Johnson, who finished 54th from the Slow Pack
One place behind Johnson was his club colleague Ben Dixon, also running from the Slow Pack.
There was certainly an instance of superb club packing for Morpeth Harriers, as Graeme Thorpe,
and Kris White finished in 71st and 72nd places from the Medium Pack,
with club debutant Jason Dawson, following his transfer from Alnwick finishing 73rd from the Slow Pack.
Completing the Morpeth scoring six was Over 60 Veteran Man David Nicholson,
who finished 82nd from the Slow Pack.
Other Morpeth finishers in the field of 543 Senior Men were, Karl Taylor,
having his first Harrier League run of the season, his previous one being
when he finished second at Alnwick last year.
On Saturday, running from the Fast Pack, Karl finished in 89th place.
Two places behind Karl was club colleague Adam Cooper, running from the Medium Pack.
Further Morpeth Harriers performances came from Thomas Innes (135th) (Fast Pack),
Lee Bennett (142nd) (Fast Pack), Mike Winter (152nd) (Slow Pack), Fergus Bates (201st) (Fast Pack),
Andrew Hebden (222nd) (Fast Pack), Steve Haswell (274th) (Medium Pack),
Paul Waterston (300th) (Medium Pack), Richard Kirby (301st) (Slow Pack),
Will Clark (329th) (Fast Pack), Paul Bellingham (353rd) (Slow Pack),
Bill Tilley (424th) (Slow Pack), and Ben Abbott (535th) (Slow Pack).
Andrew Lawrence, who did not run on Saturday, finished fifth for
the season in the individual Senior Men’s Grand Prix.
Morpeth Harriers Under 15 Girls finished third on the day behind Birtley and Gosforth, which at the end of the day, resulted in them finishing third cumulatively behind Birtley, and North Shields Poly.
Leading the Morpeth girls’ home was Abi Leiper, who finished ninth from the Fast Pack,
and was equal sixth fastest overall, making her sixth cumulatively for the season.
Further team counts came from relative newcomers Sophie Coaker (15th) (Slow Pack),
and Kate Gaffing (16th) (Slow Pack).
Other Morpeth performers in this event were, Rhiannon Hedley (28th) (Fast Pack),
Olivia Carruthers (49th) (Fast Pack), and Laura Melling (51st) (Slow Pack)
There were 62 finishers in the Under 15 Girls event.
Relative newcomer Sarah Lawson was Morpeth’s first finisher in the two lap Senior Women’s event.
She finished in 14th place from the Slow Pack, leading her club to eighth team place in Division One
on the day, which effectively meant that they eventually finished fourth cumulatively.
With four to score, further Morpeth team counts came from Sue Smith (51st) (Slow Pack),
Jane Briggs (89th) (Medium Pack), and Alison Brown (109th) (Fast Pack).
Other Morpeth performances in the 479 strong field of Senior Woman finishers,
came from Jill Bennett (166th) (Medium Pack), Lucy Fenwick (174th) (Medium Pack),
Jane Kirby (215th) (Slow Pack), Claire Calverley (276th) (Medium Pack),
Frances Naylor (286th) (Slow Pack), and newcomer Victoria Lowrie (376th) (Slow Pack).
The Senior Women’s event had a total of 439 finishers.
Morpeth’s Emma Holt and Rachelle Falloon, neither of whom competed on Saturday,
finished in first and fifth places respectively in the Senior Women’s individual Grand Prix.
Morpeth Harriers two competing Under 13 Girls performed exceptionally well to finish
sixth and thirteen respectively in a 77 strong field of finishers.
Because of this, both Molly Baker and Keira Peck can expect to be
elevated to the Fast Pack, when the league season resumes in the Autumn.
Saturday was Molly’s third outing in the league, and for Keira,
her first since generating from the Under 11 age group.
Keira is the younger sister of Holly.
Unfortunately, Morpeth had no athletes competing in the non-scoring Under 11 Girls event, however they did have two lined up in the Boys, in the form of Oliver Tomlinson, and Toby Marr, younger brother of Bertie.
For the second meeting in succession Oliver finished second to
North Shields Poly’s Zac Brannon, and ahead of Tynedale’s Jem Henderson.
Toby finished in 32nd place in the field of 57 finishers.