Having performed well in the first season in SAL Division 1 with a mid-table finish at the end of last season, the first match of a new Southern League season saw the Valley men and women travel to Bedford on Saturday.
The final result wasn’t what they were hoping for as the final scores placed home team Bedford & County in 1st on 220 points, Belgrave Harriers 2nd on 171, Crawley 3rd on 155 and TVH 4th on 132.
However this result doesn’t reflect the fact that the TVH team put in some great performances which produced 7 wins for the men’s team and 7 wins for the women’s team in what was a very competitive match.
It was also good to see 7 Valley athletes making their TVH Southern League debut, with 4 on the men’s team and 3 on the women’s team.
The TVH Man of the Match and Woman of the Match awards went to Mark Dyble for wins in the B 100m and 4x100m relay plus a 2nd in the A 200m, and junior athlete India Weir for her wins in the 800m and 2000m steeplechase.
There are still 4 Southern League matches to go and with a strong turnout in the next match we can move ourselves up the league table, so make sure to come and support the team at the next match at Harrow on Sunday May 22nd.
Women’s Match Report by Amber Simukonda
It was a very small team of 8 athletes that made their way to Bedford for the first Southern League match of the season. What we lacked in quantity, we made up for it in quality winning 7 events on the day despite the awful weather conditions experienced.
We had three athletes making their Southern League debut for the club – Hannah Hall (moving up from the junior ranks), Tayla Benson and Funmi Ademuwagun.
The wins on the day came from Hannah Hall in the 100m (12.70), Lucy Ferguson in 400mH (64.93) and 100mH B race (16.48), India Weir in 800m (2.21.51) and 2000m steeplechase and Abigail Moronkeji (11.51) and Funmi Ademuwagun (10.67 PB) in the shot putt A and B.
The TVH woman of the match award went to India Weir for her 2 wins in the 800m and 2000m steeplechase, and she receives a trophy and voucher.
The next match is on Sunday, 22 May – please get in touch if you would like to compete.
Men’s Match Report by Phil Wetton
After a trip up the M1 motorway to Bedford the Valley team were greeted by cold and rainy conditions upon arrival at Bedford stadium.
An 18 strong men’s team made the trip to Bedford, with 2 men making their Southern League debut for TVH, Botond Safar and Conor Kissane-Wood, and 2 men making their debut in a Valley vest, Subomi Onanuga and Miguel Larrea.
There were a number of good performances on the day with 7 wins for the Valley men, 4 on the track and 3 on the field, along with 2 pb’s of 17m28.63s and 18m54.84s for Fahad Abdi and Paul Woodgate in the 5000m, an 8m40.73s pb for Scott Brewer in the 2000m steeplechase and a long overdue pb of 26.67m for Caspar Donnison in the javelin.
The Valley’s own club Man of the Match award for the overall best performances on the day was won by sprinter Mark Dyble, for a win in the B string 100m in 11.34s, a 2nd place in the A string 200m in 22.39s and a leg in the winning 4x100m team – a good day’s racing by Mark which earned him the trophy and voucher, well done Mark!
There were some gaps to fill on the day and the Valley men rallied well to cover all the events except for the 110m hurdles and B string 400m hurdles.
It was team manager Phil Wetton who made an inauspicious start to the first event on the track as the Valley’s only man in the 400m hurdles and a time of 84.61s was only going to be good enough for 4th place and a point in the A race.
Thankfully there were a number of Valley sprinters on hand to pick-up some good points in the sprints, where Laurence Owen and Mark Dyble ran almost identical times of 11.33s and 11.34s in the 100m for 4th in the A race and 1st in the B race respectively.
The non-scoring 100m included another 3 Valley sprinters and Jehvaun Senior’s time of 11.38s was very close to Laurence and Mark, while making his debut Miguel Larrea ran a good time of 11.47s.
Also making his debut but only able to race as a non-scoring athlete on the day was Subomi Onanuga, who recorded an impressive time of 10.85s which proved to be the fastest time of the day.
The 200m saw the return of Mark Dyble whose time of 22.39s earned him 2nd place in the A race and a time of 23.23s for Jehvaun Senior gave him 3rd in the B race.
Coming back from a recent injury Caspar Donnison was in a fast 400m race and his time of 55.81s brought him home in 4th in the A race, while sprinter Miguel Larrea showed a good sense of team spirit on his debut to step up to the one lap distance for 3rd place in the B race in 56.46s.
In the 800m Botond Safar found himself in a tactical race on his Southern League debut and just missed out on 2nd place with his time of 2m05.83s placing him 3rd, and he was well supported by Scott Brewer who ran 2m14.70s for 2nd in the B race.
The 1500m saw a double win for the Valley men, as Kieron Sexton controlled the A race for a clear win in 4m08.94s, and Conor Kissane-Wood enjoyed similar success to mark his Southern League debut with a win in the B race in 4m22.50s.
Not having much time to recover after the 1500m, Conor then went straight into the next track race, the 2000m steeplechase, not an easy track double and he did well to finish 3rd in the A race in 7m17.33s, while Scott Brewer’s determination for 4th place in the B race was rewarded with a pb time of 8m40.73s.
A much improved Fahad Abdi saw him better his 5000m pb by nearly 2 minutes as he came home in 4th place in the A race in a time of 17m28.63s and Steve Norris found the going tough after returning from recent illness for 3rd place in the B race in 18m10.71s.
There was also another very pleasing pb for Paul Woodgate in the non-scoring 5000m race, as he recorded a time of 18m54.84s to improve his pb by 30 seconds.
With just the relays to go on the track the Valley sprinters assembled a very strong team for the 4 x 100m with Jehvaun, Mark, Kwame and Laurence, and the outcome was never in doubt as Laurence had a good enough lead on the final leg to relax across the line for a clear win in 44.12s.
Jehvaun and Laurence then stepped up again for the 4 x 400m and combined forces with middle distance runners Botond and Kieron, and in what proved to be a very close race the Valley men just missed out on 3rd place by a second to finish 4th in a good time of 3m32.02s.
Returning from recent success which saw thrower Steve Whyte win gold in both the British and European Masters championships, he once again proved to be an invaluable member of the team with 2 wins and a 2nd place in the throws.
With no other heavy throwers available on the day it was good to see that the Valley men were ready and willing to make sure that all the B string heavy throws were covered.
Starting off in the shot putt Steve’s throw of 12.32m was good enough for the win in the A string, and Stan Vilga covered the B string for 4th place with a throw of 6.77m.
The discus produced another win in the A string for Steve who was 5m clear of his nearest rival with a throw of 40.46m, while Caspar Donnison picked-up a valuable 2 points in the B string with a throw of 11.29m.
A high quality hammer was won with a throw of nearly 60m and a throw of 46.56m placed Steve a clear 2nd, then in a very close fought B string Dawid Jerzykowski was unlucky to finish in 4th with a throw of 17.56m, less than 1m from the 3rd place thrower.
Back in more familiar territory it was business as usual for Dawid, as his throw of 48.82m made him a clear winner in the A string javelin, and a throw of 26.67m for 4th place in the B string gave Caspar Donnison the added bonus of a pb in the javelin.
In the jumps, Odell Okwuosa and Erik Tropp found themselves in a good high jump competition and did well to gain 3rd place in the A and B strings, with Odell jumping 1.60m and Erik 1.45m.
There were also some good performances in Erik’s main event of pole vault, and his jump of 3.60m earned him 3rd place in the A string, while Stan Vilga matched Erik’s jump of 3.60m to take 2nd place in the B string.
Joining forces for the long and triple jump were Kwame Mensah-Bonsu and Odell Okwuosa, and with both jumpers closely matched on the day it was Kwame who finished ahead in the long jump with a jump of 5.96m for 3rd place in the A string, and Odell’s jump of 5.55m placed him 3rd in the B string.
Moving on to the final jumps of the day, it was a good scoring triple jump competition for the Valley men, with both Odell and Kwame finishing 2nd in the A and B strings as Odell jumped 12.27m and Kwame jumped 11.34m.
Upon hearing the final match scores it was disappointing not to have finished higher, though the number of good performances throughout the team point to what we can achieve this season.
With that in mind let’s see everyone out for the next Southern League match at Harrow on Sunday May 22nd and make it a Sunday to remember!
Up The Valley!
SAL Division 1, Match 1, Bedford, 16-04-16, Results
|1 Bedford & County
|2 Belgrave Harriers
|4 Thames Valley Harriers