Morpeth Harriers avoid relegation

Morpeth Harrier Karl Taylor.
Morpeth Harrier Karl Taylor.

Despite finishing fifth in their final Northern Athletics Senior League Division 2 match Morpeth Harriers & Athletics Club avoided relegation.

Held at Middlesbrough’s new Athletics Village, the Harriers stayed up by virtue of their accumulated match points won over the four fixtures, points which saw them finish third overall, which is one of the best achievements made by the club for several years.

Results from the match are now finalised and the small band of 16 men and seven women who were available for selection to respective team managers David Swinburne and Mike Bateman, certainly did their utmost to achieve the welcome outcome.

The club had one double victory in the men’s events courtesy of Carl Avery and Karl Taylor in the 5000m, with the former taking the A race in 14m58.8s, and the latter the B race in 16m00.0s.

Taylor also finished third in the 3000m Steeplechase in 10m20.9s, and threw 30.09m to gain more vital team points in the Javelin.

Ryan Green was another Morpeth Harriers B string winner in the 400m in 51.8s, backing up Adam Gibbs’s A string performance, where he finished third in 50.8s.

Green also showed his team spirit and versatility by finishing a close second to Middlesbrough’s Sam Day in the 400m Hurdles, where he clocked 61.9s.

Morpeth Harriers’ third B string winner on the track was Jonny Nisbet in the 1500m, where he clocked 4m32.9s.

James Young was third in the A string in a time of 4m21.6s.

Daniel Moore and David Storey shared duties in the sprints for Morpeth.

Moore finished second in the A string 100m (11.4s) and 200m (22.5s), and Storey backed him up well in the respective B string events with third and second in 11.8s and 23.3s.

Moore and Storey, along with Sean O’Hara and Kenny Harrison, carved out an excellent Morpeth Harriers victory in the 4 x100m Relay in 44.8s.

In the Men’s Field Events, Under 17 athlete David Thomas performed well to finish second in the Triple Jump A string (11.77m), and third in the Long Jump A string (5.59m).

He was soundly backed in the respective B string sections by Joe Elder, who was second in the Triple Jump with 10.43m, and third in the Long Jump with 4.74m.

Other good Men’s field event results came in the Hammer and Discus, courtesy of both Appleby brothers Steven and Paul.

Steven was fourth in both the A string Hammer (27.49m) and Discus (32.89m), and Paul was also fourth in both respective B string competitions with bests of 22.49m and 26.69m.

In the Women’s events, Morpeth’s Beth Laidler and Lauren Smith were the club’s force in the short sprints.

Laidler finished fourth in the A string 100m in 13.4s and third in the A string 200m in 27.2s.

Smith was fourth in the B string 100m in 13.6s, and she clocked 28.1s for second place in the B string 200m.

In the Women’s 400m, Morpeth’s Megan Deakin was just pipped for second place, clocking the same time of 61.9s in the A race.

Amber Cormack was second in the B race in 64.5s.

In the Women’s field events, Morpeth’s Claire Reid did a lion’s share, competing in no less than four A string events.

Her best was winning the Discus with 31.69m, she was second in the Shot with a best of 10.36m, and 29.95m and 20.14m, saw her finish fourth and fifth respectively in the Hammer and Javelin.

The best Morpeth Women’s B string performance in the field events came from debutant Andrea Thomas, mother of David, who was second in the Triple Jump with a best of 6.20m.

Match result: 1st City of York 405pts, 2nd Middlesbrough (Mandale) 363, 3rd Gateshead Harriers 320, 4th Skyrac 318.5, 5th Morpeth Harriers 293.5, 6th North Shields Poly 220.

Final league positions: 1st Gateshead Harriers 18pts, 2nd Skyrac 17, 3rd Morpeth Harriers 15, 4th City of York 14, 5th Middlesbrough (Mandale) 13, 6th North Shields Poly 7.

Middlesbrough (Mandale) and North Shields Poly are relegated to Division 3 for 2016, and Gateshead Harriers and Skyrac go to a promotion play-off.