Home victory for Morpeth athletes in league meet

Morpeth Harriers were delighted to welcome three time Mayor of Morpeth Alison Byard to watch their Northern Athletics Track and Field League fixture at King Edward VI High School recently, writes Peter Scaife.

By Keith Hamblin
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 2:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 2:48 pm
Mayor of Morpeth Alison Bayard with meeting organiser Hemant Desai and Morpeth Harriers President Jim Alder MBE.
Mayor of Morpeth Alison Bayard with meeting organiser Hemant Desai and Morpeth Harriers President Jim Alder MBE.

Held in brilliant sunshine, the NE Premier Division fixture saw a resurgent Morpeth Senior team pull off a splendid victory on home turf, with the club score of 351 points a good way ahead of nearest rivals North Shields Polytechnic (319) and Gateshead Harriers (304).

Key to the victory was the commitment shown by the 13 women and 19 men competing for the club who showed a willingness to have a go at disciplines in which they were not necessarily specialists.

The hardest working athlete of the day was undoubtedly Nisha Desai, who competed in no less than seven events, winning the 400m A race in a time of 58secs and the 400m hurdles, her primary specialism, in 60.8s while she was also 2nd in the 100m hurdles (16.5s). With scarcely time to draw breath, she won the Triple Jump B with a best of 10.68m, was 2nd in the Long Jump A with 4.92m, threw 15.33m in the Javelin B and still found time to run a leg for the winning 400m relay team!

Her dedication was matched only by her watching mother, longstanding Harriers coach Veena, who, in addition to officiating and managing the Women’s squad, also found time to throw 14.54m in the Hammer and 4.80m in the Shot Putt for valuable points.

Scotland based throws veteran Claire Reid was 2nd in both Shot (9.87m) and Discus (29.22m) and 3rd in the Hammer (25.00m), while Under 20 jumper Charlotte Earl, who had competed in the England Schools Championships less than 24 hours previously, won the Triple Jump A with a best of 11.09 and the Long Jump B (4.82m)., and also cleared 1.30m in the High Jump.

On the track, veteran sprinter Laura Kincaid earned valuable points in both 100m, 200m and 100m relay, while Tayla Murdy competed in 800m, 1500m and 4 x 400m.

There were a few more bodies to call on for the Senior Men, where the middle distance events were a source of rich pickings for the club.

Ali Douglas was 2nd in the 400m in 52.9s and won the 800m in 1:57.04, with Liam Roche 3rd in the 400m B and Dan Melling 1st in the 800m B.

Joe Anderson and James Tilley were winners of 1500m A and B races ( 4:07.9 and 4:18.05), and Connor Marshall and Richard Johnson 2nd and 1st in the 5000m (15:41.5 and 15:55.9).

Most impressive of all perhaps was the double win in the 3000m steeplechase by A and B runners Adam Pratt (10:21.9) and Mark Snowball (11:00.6).

Snowball was another prepared to fill spaces for the team, with distances of 2.80m in the Long Jump and 7.54 in the Triple Jump. He also placed 3rd in the 400m Hurdles B (73.3s).

Hayden Richards won the Hammer with an impressive 35.38m, was 2nd in the Javelin with 40.52m and also managed 5th in the Discus (24.67m).

Both 100m and 400m relay outfits placed second.

With one further meet to come at Middlesborough, the victory sees the club securely placed in the division but with an outside chance of an overall league win.