HH Men Dominate in Awayday Vets Match 2 mid-London division SVT&F.
Monday 05/06/2017. Hillingdon Stadium, Gatting Way.
And finally the full results came through : Results form Match 2 Men
Maybe the prediction of bad weather and the personal distaste for travelling through London after yet another cowardly attack on a tolerant British multicultural society over the weekend reduced numbers of both athletes and officials attending the match. Let us stand firm in our continued resolve to live in respectful harmony and friendship, as we manage to do at these and many other multicultural athletics events.
The wind was howling from the west and carrying scatterings of horizontal rain drops through the covered stand at the Hillingdon Stadium. Fortunately, the weather did not really worsen and failed to dampen the spirits of those in the Red & Black Hooped vests.
Early on, and representing HHH in the cage were Garry Power, Derek Prentice and our man to ‘rescue the throws’ of both Discus and Shot at M50, Garth Francis taking on events he claims no training or ability. Well, it certainly didn’t show! With Gary a resolute 1st, Garth 4th and Derek 3rd we placed ourselves at the front of the match score from the outset.
The blustery, wet start on the track had the 800m being run as a joint M35 race. After a crazy first 200m pace from a Serpentine athlete, sanity began to be restored, when our man Mohammed Ismail usurped Simon Coombes to be ‘A’ scorer with them both sitting comfortably to sprint home making a double M35A/B win from the race. Gary Ironmonger easily took full points for his M50 race, though allowing an interloping M35 non-scorer to lead the field home. Mike Mann drove hard for a 4th place ensuring the HHH points tally for the event pushed us further into the lead. These same windy conditions governed the 200m where Giuseppe Minetti led by 5 feet off the bend and calculatingly cruised home, with just enough momentum to avoid the onrushing Andy Wood of Hillingdon to catch him at the line. Straight from his 800m, Gary Ironmonger posted a 3rd place, against younger M35 men, whilst Kwei Sankofa and Allan Long garnered fine seconds against top quality opposition. Glen Keegan, our regular ultra-distance athlete gave the 200metres a go, too. A little bit short in distance for Glen, but showing some sprinting spirit, for a man who recently completed yet another 100 mile race!
The triple jump had that HHH star, M70 Allan Long improve on his age group number two status posting a 8-08m leap despite jumping into the wind and against M60’s.. In support we had fine appearances from the ‘Polyfillers’, Tony Macdowall and Valdis Pauzers. After two years of TJ abstinence Waldy leapt from 4th to 2nd on his final attempt for two more points gleaned in a deemed weak HHH event. Tony found the opposition a little tougher but honourably placed 4th. The team, now further ahead, and holding a 14 point advantage in the match score. Whilst Hillingdon now overtook Serpentine for the fight for second place.
But the Shot Put reversed that Hillingdon 2nd placing to return it back to Serpentine, though it confirmed the chase to catch the HHH score was truly over. Garry Power (at M35) and 2nd in category, Garth Francis a 3rd and Derek Prentice 2nd relentlessly clocked up the advantage to 21 points.
The track gave us the mass 3000m, incorporating M35A, M35B, M50 and M60 races in one, twenty one runners in total. Five were wearing R&B Hoops as the twenty one toed the line. The wind gave little hope of any fast times. Simon Coombes made the lead and overall victory his own whilst Tony Macdowall took a fine 2nd in the M35B and 3rd overall. Tom Conlon took an M50 1st whilst feeling unwell but racing for the team effort, thanks, Tom, (trust you are recovered). Mike Mann acquitted his personally perceived poor result in the 800m to put a lot of clear space between him and his remaining M60’s. So that was 31 points from a possible 32. Duncan Rimmer, having cycled to Hillingdon from south London put in a solid effort before setting off to cycle home. (Maybe he was hoping for real heavy rain to get a swim in, and claim a triathlon to boot ! )
So, I can say in retrospect we ‘won’ every event (adding the age group results per event). A great achievement, but we need to realise that was only made possible by covering every slot in each event, where other teams were remiss. (As I mentioned the opposition teams ‘seemed a bit thin on the ground’.) And so, the 4 by 100m relay gave an exciting flourish, but our single defeat! Mo, Gary, Kwei and Giuseppe fought for the lead throughout the baton changes, but TVH stayed in front on the final leg as Giuseppe fought to close the gap at the line. Second was exemplary and at least we had not been beaten by our two main rivals, of which Hillingdon took a match second place from Serpentine. This was a class HHH act on behalf of a lean team representing HHH.
Meanwhile, after that relay, one jump was enough for Kwei Sankofa to see off the M50 opposition, in the delayed Long Jump. Mohammed got the 4th place M35 points while Allan Long closed out the meeting with a second place in the M60 competition.
Well done and thanks to all who made the journey so worthwhile and a proper team job, but we have to remember, we are halfway there to qualification. Then, at the final we have a full timetable needing a full squad at their best. Prepare to be ready for Match 3 (19th June), Match 4 (12th July) and the final (3rd September).
HHH 173, Hillingdon 148, Serpentine 138, Metros 94, TVH 84, Ealing SM 51, Highgate 33, B Airways 20
Up the Hill !
Men’s Veteran’s Team Manager.
Pictures, Surrey Champions Giuseppe Minetti and Gary Ironmonger winning 100m & 800m respectively the day before at the Surrey Veterans T&F Championships 2017: