ATHLETICS: Club in danger of Midland league relegation

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Bottom of the table after second round at Alexander Stadium

Rugby & Northampton AC made the journey to Alexander Stadium for the second round of the Midland League, looking to improve on their fifth place in the opening match.

In the end it turned out to be another very strong fixture which was a huge challenge for the team which contained a number of Under 17 athletes due to the clash with the UK Women’s League fixture.

And in spite of a number of personal and season’s bests, the team finished fifth equal on the day and are now anchored at the bottom of the table and face relegation to Division 2 next season.

The day got off to a good start with Craig Murch taking 2nd place in the hammer with a throw of 66.42, whilst Paddy Price won the B event with a fine throw of 50.64.

This was followed by Amelia Birkett and Gigi Woodward both claiming pbs in a quality pole vault competition and Kerry Murch and Anna Robinson taking 3rd and 2nd respectively in the long jump.

However things quickly unravelled when the track events started with R&N’s young team coming up against athletes in some events who ran faster than our club records.

Amongst the few bright spots were a fine by Kyle Ennis who followed his trio of victories in the BAL the previous day by winning the 200m in 21.52 and the anchoring the 4x100 to victory as hosts Birchfield were disqualified.

Adel Sesay took 2nd in the 100m whilst Ross Allen and Charlie Barker were 3rd in the 400m & 400m Hurdles respectively.

For the Ladies Brittany Wood and Kerry Murch claimed an impressive double in the 100m hurdles whilst Rosanna Andrews again ran well to take 2nd in the 3000m.

In the B strings Adnan Haq ran a fine 800m to take 2nd whilst Andy Reeves and Alex Byers were both second in their hurdles races.

In the field events Kerry continued here busy day and scored 37 points as she battled to keep the club in contention. She won the javelin with a season’s best of 44.73m as well as taking 3rd in the discus and shot and 5th in the high jump.

Lily Mae Pursey continued to show promise as she took 3rd in the hammer with a new PB 35.35, but unfortunately was unable to have all of her throws in the shot due to the late running timetable.

In the B string events Iola Grant and Georgi Jones took 2nd place in the high jump and discus whilst Jane Akinola secured a pb of 24.95 as she also claimed 2nd place in the javelin.

For the men Kevin Murch had a busy day, taking 2nd place in the javelin and then a brace of B string 3rd places in the pole vault and shot.

The day was also notable in that the whole Murch family competed together with Mum Debbie making up the roster when she took 4th place in the B string hammer.

There was also family rivalry for Lee Woodward and daughter Gigi as both recorded 2.40m in their respective pole vaults.

The third match of the season is at Yate on Sunday, July 16 when hopefully some athletes who have been occupied with exams will be back in action, although it is also another clash with the National Leagues and a ladies’ team will be competing at Glasgow on the same day.