Wednesday 12/07/2016 Mid-London Division Match 4 SVT&F, Perivale Park Stadium.
West London, close to Heathrow and on the incoming flight path, on the ground we had the sight of slight and slim Airbus 318’s to the mighty Airbus 380-800’s. Unbeknown to most of the passengers aboard those aeroplanes, a similar range of well honed machines were in play down below at Perivale Athletics stadium.
Great work from all, but especially Tony Macdowall, Paul Marriott, Mike Mann with the essential back up taking protagonists roles in Dan Hallam, Andy Simms & Chris Carden who all ensured a safe team win in this last divisional match. Giuseppe Minetti looked super sharp to close the 4 x 100m relay, whilst Dan Hallam and Andy Simms posted their first 800m race victories in their respective races.
HHH arrived with a bit of a reduced team, partly due to the three diligent wins we had in previous matches to make qualification for the Southern Regional Finals a near formality. Maybe there was also a consequent diminished challenge for the victory from all the protagonists but our individual athletes present did not disappoint. Transport and traffic problems hindered a few, but fortunately not the overall result!
Garth Francis, Andy Simms and Nick Nicola got the javelin and the team off the ground, overall 2nd behind Serpentine and backed up by Des Austin.
Three wins and a 4th place by Dan Hallam, Andy Simms, Mike Mann and Tony Macdowall got us soaring ahead with both Hillingdon and Serpies failing to fill all their scoring 800m slots, whereas we had back up runners Fergus Power, Jon Key and Duncan Rimmer just in case.
The leap of the Long Jump saw a second place from Dion Panambala, despite only one jump which resulted in a significant abductor strain. (No harm done to the team, but we don’t want you grounded, please Dion.) Paul Marriott and Chris Carden both came third supported by Allan Long stewarding the scorers along the flight path.
Paul Marriott took off for the High Jump winning his M50 contest with 1-40m in between his B-string M35 200m second place. Waldy Pauzers and Tony Macdowall ‘winged it’ to cover the scoring HJ slots and keep abreast of the opposition’s scoring in this event. Top sprinters Giuseppe Minetti (M45) and Allan Long (M70) flew to sizzling seconds in age groups below their own (M35A & M60 respectively), with Giuseppe looking in form for the European Veterans Championships to be held in Aarhus,Denmark shortly.
The Airbus 380-800’s did their turn, Stuart Thurgood, Des Austin and Chris Carden duly making the Hammer our top flight event. Two firsts and a second place made sure the cruise control was up and onward bound. Not quite 50 metres this time, but the match practice is what gets the performance towards perfection.
The M35 3000m certainly looked keenly contested, but Tony MacDowall,on his third event kept his cool to ease to 5th in the latter half of the race. Likewise, Fergus Power slotted into a solid 4th place for the B scoring. In the M50/M60 race Tom took off from the start never to be challenged and landing in 10-09.0, a sound start back to racing. Meanwhile, Mike Mann soon realised he could glide round in the M60 to land another 1st place unpressed. Meanwhile, Jon Key, Tony Harran and Duncan Rimmer flew the red and black hoops in the non-scoring support, always very welcome.
So, on the runway for the 4 x 100m stood Paul Marriott, Jon Key, Dan Hallam and Giuseppe Minetti. A slight wobble at the first handover followed by a 3rd leg recovery left Giuseppe in third place but he docked the baton a close second vying for that top slot, looking good and ready for customs clearance.
The match could have been closer, but the emergence of Thames Valley Harriers seemed to perversely work in our favour and stymied the points scored by our usual nearest rivals, Serpentine and Hillingdon. TVH will only get stronger and may soon reinforce the perception that this division is one of the most keenly contested throughout the league. Likewise, empty scoring slots hindered the progress of our challengers, it just goes to show the team has to cover all those scoring slots the basic essential to victory as much as those wonderfully deserved 1st and 2nd places.
Many thanks to all who have competed, adjudicated and supported, we are now one big Final match away from our goal. Stay fit and enjoy till we recommence on Sunday 3rd September at Ashford, Kent. We need you all!
Up the Hill, Waldy.
1. Herne Hill Harriers 161, 2. Serpentine 127, 3. Hillingdon 126, 4. TVH 113, 5. Metros 106, 6. Highgate 61, 7. Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 55, 8. British Airways 22.
1. Herne Hill Harriers 162, 2. Hillingdon 126, 3. Serpentine 124, 4. TVH 113, 5. Metros 106, 6. Highgate 61, 7. Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 56, 8. British Airways 22.