Closest of Victories Confirms Every Place and Point Counts as HHH Vet Men Sneak a Two Point Victory for SVT&F Match 1.

Monday 14/05/2017 SVT&F Mid-London Division Match 1, Millennium Arena, Battersea Park

The HHH team manager, not fully recovered from severe sickness, already knew this match was not going to be an easy evening for him or his teams. The day remained forgiving, as did the sporting gods, chance and our opposition. Eventually a close call, a well earned team victory where everyone diligently pulled for the team and the points. Little did we then know how our efforts to glean those precious points was to be so significant!

The 18:30hrs Discus start seemed covered by Des Austin, Chris Carden and Garth Francis, the 18:45hrs High Jump by Tony MacDowall, Paul Marriott and Allan Long volunteering.

And thus, the 100m initiated the events on the tartan. Giuseppe Minetti’s super pick up got him to the front and kept him there to the line. The welcome return of Kwei Sankofa saw M50 victory, whilst Paul Marriott and Allan Long both took seconds places between their HJ attempts. A sound return of points.

The 2km Walk, saw Andy Millbank and Glen Keegan ably win their competitions with back up from late call up Bob Healey in the M60 category having a fine tussle for 2nd place. Good scoring again.

The 400m races yielded us three 3rds and a 4th, solid enough but also enough for our main rivals Hillingdon to pull back seven points, and Serpies two! A good shift from Kwei, Tony MacDowall, Gary Ironmonger and Mike Mann.

In front of the stand Giuseppe stood in well for M35 Long Jump and 5th, Chris Carden took his second 1st at M60 and ever consistent Paul Marriott took his third 2nd place of the evening at M50. Duncan Rimmer and Allan Long also competed as non-scorers.

Our previous dominance in the throws was not being readily given up. Des Austin won the M50 Shot. Richard Tricker had a welcome return to the event after a few decades and Andy L-G covered our M60 scoring, all essential points earnt.

Our four 1500m races were critical. Fortune favoured HHH to score 2 wins (good running by both Gary Ironmonger and Raj Paranandi) and two 2nds which was identical to Serpie’s total haul. But serendipity gave the weakened Hillingdon a mere 18 points (and lost them the match lead, if we had been in a position to count live scores). Mohammed Ismail, back training and racing took a fine M35 A-string 2nd, and Engine Room Mike Mann, churned another 2nd with aplomb. True HH Harrier tradition was maintained, the preponderance of RnB Hoops were the order of the event thanks to Simon Thompson, Andy Simms, newman Derek Lee (welcome), Duncan Rimmer, John Garber and Gary Budinger. Good to see.

Closing out shortly after with a 400m relay consisting of three who had just competed in the 1500m, and Tony on his 3rd event, the order of the day was stay safe and complete without disqualification. That we did, to eke out those last points we needed to sneak that victory with a wholehearted team effort. (OK, Chris Carden and Paul Marriott & Allan Long starred, but you were all within the reaches of their radiance!)

Finally, the embers of the day lost their glow, the threat of rain and defeat averted and a quiet pint gave a soothing aftertaste to the few remaining.
Many thanks, onwards and better prepared for the next one, Perivale, Monday 4th June.

Up the Hill,
Valdis Pauzers, Mens Veterans Team Manager.

Result: 1. Herne Hill Harriers 175 ; 2. Hillingdon 173 ; 3. Serpentine 167 ; 4. Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 83 ; 5=. Highgate Harriers 79 ; 5=. Thames Valley Harriers 79 ; 7. Metros 98 ; 8. British Airways 19.

Full Results:   2018-05-14 M1 results midLndn vets v4