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Aldershot, Farnham and District AC

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Southern league Match 1

Mike Neighbour

What is it about the SAL and the weather? We finished last season in Devon amidst driving rain and starting this season in conditions that can only be described as “needing layers”!

Our thanks to the officials, club members and A&E department of Yeovil as hosts for match 1. The “injury witch doctor” who’d been visiting throughout the week, paid another visit the night before with one of last season’s outstanding performers (Mark Hyde) having to pull out.

In true AFD (SAL) fashion, everyone who turned up filled many of the gaps vacated by the injured athletes (see below).

The day started and finished on a high!

SP – Allan Leiper taking the A win with 11.03, with Alex Parker (yes the 400M runner, who from this point forward shall be known as “Gaps” Parker) taking 2nd spot in the B with 6.8

HJ – One of the best battles of the day saw Chris Horlock (1.7 and 2nd in the A) and Joe Haustead (1.65, 2nd B) make the winners of the A and B work for their points. Well done guys and I’m really looking forward to the future meetings.

400MH – Mike “Stitches” Boucher earns his first points of the day with 3rd in the A race.

800M – If anyone is worried that this league is not competitive, then fear not! The winning time was 1.54, 2nd 1.58. Oli Percival and Theo Doran acquitted themselves well earning two points apiece in 3rd place.

HT – Allan and “Stitches” finished 2nd in the A and B respectively.

100 – 10.78. Luke Dorrell ran the 13th fastest time in the UK this year, that is 0.05 of a second outside the target time of 10.73 for UK’s top 100 target. (Oh, he won the A race). Justin Colyer was just outside his PB with 11.96 to take 2nd in the B race. With the Non-scorers also taking part in the B-Race, Luke Wilton narrowly beat Joseph Eves making his debut in the SAL.

LJ – Chris and Joe taking 3rd (A) and 2nd (B) events, the points were starting to come.

400M – Luke Wilton (55.46) and “Gaps” 57.02, earned AFD another 5 points. Luke ran a great tactical race coming through for 3rd (A). It had looked as though “Gaps” had set off too quickly and was paying the price in the last 200M, however he dug in and finished 2nd in the B.

PV – Allan and “Stitches” both cleared 2.3M to finish 2nd in the A & B string.

JT – Allan and, this time, “Gaps” finished 2nd in the A & B string.

By now AFD had moved into 2nd place, a position they would hold.

5000M – With the tactics worked out “just worry about the B string runners” Ali Smith and Dan Rickards were in a group of 4 for the start of the race. They dropped the North Devon runner and tucked in behind Ed Stahl of Yeovil. Unfortunately with 200M Ed produced a demon kick which Ali could not respond to and finished in 2nd 16.26 and Dan some 25 secs back.

110MH – “If there is no one else lined up, it’s silly not to take the points”! Sadly Mike Boucher took a tumble with 2 hurdles to go and re-opened the “Stitches” in his wrist which he’d badly cut earlier in the week. Allan finish 2nd in the A race and Mike picked himself up to win the B. (So off the Yeovil A&E).

200M – Running 22.10 Luke Dorrell stormed to another win. Justin Colyer ran 24.33 to take 2nd in the B race and Joseph Eves 25.13 as a N/s. (It would have taken 3rd in the B race).

1500M – Oli, Theo and Dan Howells (N/s) lined up in what turned out to be a very competitive race. With the Yeovil athlete Sam Sommerville setting a 1st lap 58s pace and not blowing up, it gave the guys something to aim for. Oli came home in 2nd pushed by Dan. Theo was disappointed with his run, however with a fast 800M in his legs, it was a great display.

TJ – Chris and Luke take 2nd place in the A and B string respectively.

2000M s/c – No athletes. Stitches was in A&E.

DT – Allan and “Gaps” earn the club another 4 points.

4 x 100M – “Another 5yds and I would have had him”. Justin, Luke (W), Chris and Luke (D). Time of 45.53 behind the winners (Yeovil) 45.38. Next time Mr Dorrell.

4 x 400M – Dan R, Dan H, Alex and Luke W. From 4th to 2nd in 4 laps. The 2nd split of Dan H was timed at 53.7, which would put him into the top 80 U17 400M times on the Po10. Great race and a super way to finish the day.

Final match scores:

1st – Yeovil Olympiads – 244 pts

2nd – AFD – 187

3rd – North Devon – 166

4th – Ealing, Southall & Middlesex – 114

Thanks and well done to all the SAL debutants yesterday. Once again, a great team effort and superb atmosphere.

AFD Men’s team:

Allan Leiper, Alex Parker, Chris Horlock, Joe Haustead, Mike Boucher, Luke Dorrell, Theo Doran, Oli Percival, Luke Wilton, Dan Rickards, Ali Smith, Joseph Eves, Justin Colyer and Dan Howells.

Speedy recovery to:

Jamie Ashton

Ian Jennings

Andy Buchanan

Mark Hyde

Mike Boucher

Next fixture:

Sunday 21st May 2017

Venue – Reading

Teams – AFD (A), Reading (G), City of Portsmouth (P) and Radley (R).