Second place at the Southern Men’s League in Brighton

On Saturday 4th June, Herne Hill’s Southern Men’s League team rocked up to Brighton for the second fixture of their 2011 campaign. Our first match, a win, was at the rather more local Battersea Park. However, who doesn’t like to be beside the seaside?

Happily, we coasted to 2nd on a hot, blustery day at the Withdean Stadium, despite the absence of some of our regular specialists. To shore things up, there was some comedy Pole Vault from Sam Knight and game efforts by Rupert Mainwaring and Simon Coombes to win handy points. Both men came 2nd in their Steeplechase debuts, Rupert bravely running in trainers. This followed a morning time trial, Shot Put and driving the minibus; a real team man. Simon may have fallen in the water jump and forgotten his towel, but he distinguished himself in the B-string Hammer and ran a fine 800 m in 2:03.6. It was a close run thing with hot new 800 m prospect Rich Sephton (2:03.4) as they bagged a pair of 2nd places.

And so the pattern emerged over the afternoon; few victories but lots of strong placings which ensured our castle wasn’t built out of on sand. Our main strength lay on the track with a plethora of second places. U20 sprinter Tshon Carnegie (A 100 m & 200 m) impressed and hurdler Kenrick Sinclair (A 110 m H & 400 m H) was his reliable self. Ben Paviour and Deron Fagan cruised through the 1,500 m whilst Jerrel Clarke (A Long Jump) and the 4 x 400 m quartet performed solidly.

The team built on this foundation with much-needed maximum hauls in the field: Robert Glanville took out his exam stress in an A-string Javelin victory and debutant Trace Bryan won the B-string Long Jump. Veteran athlete Akin Oyediran made a big impact, winning the B-string 110 m Hurdles in conjunction with 2nd in A-string Triple Jump and sprinters Anthony Mah and Courtney Edwards contributed full points in the B-string 100 & 200 m respectively. The sole double win of the day came courtesy of Ben Paviour and Sam Knight (PB) in the 5,000 m and the 4 x 100m team took 1st place, despite two hair-raising changeovers.

All of which leaves Herne Hill comfortably riding the wave towards SML promotion. Our next match is at Kingsmeadow and we look forward to welcoming back some key men and being really competitive across the board. After all, life won’t always a beach in this division.

Final result: (1) Hastings 110 (2) HHH 89 (3) Invicta EK 73 (4) Epsom & Ewell 56

Sam Knight