The final match of a season of mixed fortunes was held in warm but windy conditions at Medway Park, Gillingham last Friday. The men’s team held their nerve and form to gain promotion to Division 1 alongside Division 2 champions Tonbridge for 2017. The women’s team needed a miracle, which did not arrive, so they remain in Division 2 next season after finishing behind Tonbridge and Swanley, both on the night and overall.
The full results are attached for your information but here are a few highlights from a memorable and largely enjoyable evening but firstly, many thanks for the succession of competing athletes who spent their spare time helping Mike Duffin and Amanda Hanford to officiate the long jump competitions – great team work.
Our fantastic four females could not have done any more and can look forward to challenging Bexley and Bromley Veterans for promotion next year. Kate Maryon and Liz Duffin covered the W35 sprints, jumps and throws but the lack of anyone under-50 running 800m cost us many points. Sharon Hawkins (W50) and Sue James (W65) found new skills in field events to add to their usual haul of points on the track but injury and exhaustion prevented an appearance in the relay.
Speaking of relays, the indomitable spirit of Mark Woods carried the men’s 4x200m team across the line first by a millimetre but cost Mark a heavy fall and some injury in the process. Trevor Crysell’s return from injury in the nick of time was crucial to the relay success (along with Les Percival and Trevor Simms) but also in the match as we were again light in the M35 800m, despite Wayne Balmer’s lone efforts. The long jump was a particular highlight, with victories for Crysell (M35), Woods (M50) and Percival (M60). With every event covered apart from the M35 B-string 800m, we improved to finish second to league newcomers and Division 2 champions Tonbridge and will face our West Kent rivals plus Dartford Harriers, Cambridge Harriers, Medway and Maidstone and Bexley in the dizzy heights of Division 1 next year.
Looking ahead the book of excuses is full, the track and field facilities are available and coaches willing to help athletes achieve their optimum performance so our aim is for the Men to be Remainers in Division 1 and our Women to be Leavers from Division 2 in 2017….its up to you.
Masters Team Manager