Harriers hit by call-offs and withdrawls for league match

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Late withdrawals, and general no shows, let down the Morpeth Harriers Senior Track and Field squad at their second round Northern Athletics League match at Jarrow’s Monkton Stadium on Sunday.

Because of this, the squad will now continue to face an uphill struggle in the latter half of the season in efforts to preserve their current league status, after finishing fifth of six clubs, headed by a very strong Gateshead Harriers.

Only North Yorkshire outfit Richmond and Zetland finished below Morpeth on the day, and only a mere 41 match points adrift.

Morpeth’s best Male performance of the day came in the 5000m, where Lewis Timmins and Karl Taylor secured a double win in the A and B races in 15m36.9s, and 15m56.5s respectively.

Best points haul in the Women’s events, came from the Field, courtesy of U20 athlete Bobbie Griffiths and seasoned veteran Claire Reid.

Griffiths won the A string Javelin, with an on the day best of 34.78m, whilst Reid finished as second B string with 15.76m.

Men’s team manager David Swinburne, whilst heaping due praise on all those who turned for him on the day, nevertheless remained bitterly disappointed by those who had not even returned his calls for help under the circumstances he was facing in selection issues.

He hoped however, that by the time the next fixture is reached in July, he may have a stronger squad at his disposal.

Morpeth Women’s team manager Vina Desai faced similar issues, having around only a dozen athletes at her disposal, including herself having to don her own competitive vest for two of the events.

Full results from the meeting are available on the Morpeth Harriers’ website.

Match result (subject to scrutiny):

1st Gateshead Harriers 399pts, 2nd Middlesbrough AC 340pts, 3rd Wallsend/Blyth 318pts, 4th Tynedale Harriers 290pts, 5th Morpeth Harriers 277pts, 6th Richmond & Zetland 236pts.

* Posting a brand new personal best time of 8m18.04s, Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery, finished in an excellent second place in the Men’s 3000m A race, at the BMC Regional event, held at the Scotstoun track, near Glasgow, on Friday evening.

The event was won by Fife’s Edinburgh University Student Logan Rees, who clocked 8m16.34s.

* Morpeth Harrier Nick Swinburn, who apart from a surprise appearance at the English National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in London in February, where he finished 41st in the Senior Men’s event, has raced very sparingly over the past twelve months, mainly due to a recent injury, and his work commitments with the Forestry Commission in Dumfries, however during his time there, he took the chance to take in some hill running, a love for which he has always had, and so much so, that he lined up in the recent Lad’s Leap Fell Race in Crowden, Derbyshire, which, although at the time unknown to him, also doubled up as a selection race for a place in the England Team, which in turn gave him the opportunity of competing on Saturday at the Home Countries International Fell Race, held in Sedbergh in Cumbria.

Again, Swinburn came up trumps, as by finishing an excellent third, he won selection for July’s European Championships, being held in Macedonia.

Posting a time of 47m32s, he finished 37 seconds adrift of winner Andy Douglas of Inverclyde in Scotland, with his England Team colleague Chris Arthur of Bowland, finishing second in 47m17s.