Sheffield are edged out by Birchfield
City of Sheffield and Dearne finished fourth in the final round of the British League (Premier Division) at Lee Valley, London, on Saturday.
They led the league going into the final match with Birchfield needing to finish three places above them to take the title. The Midland club won the match which gave them a one-point winning margin in the final standings.
To finish runner-up is no mean achievement. Sheffield’s best event, predictably, was the pole vault where Luke Cutts (5.30m) and Asam Hague (5.20) scored maximum points.
The track programme gave them a good start, Jack Houghton finishing second in the 400m hurdles (50.09secs) and Rick Yates winning the B race in 51.40. Sheffield also scored well in the 800m through David Dempsey, second in 1:51.26, and 17-year-old James Gormley, second in the B race (1:54.10).
In the final round of the Northern League (Division 1), Wakefield won the title for the third successive year at their home venue, Thornes Park. Blackburn and Kingston upon Hull were just behind Wakefield going into the last match and any of the trio could have taken the title.
It was very close but Wakefield came up strongly on the rails, scoring maximum points in the final event, the men’s javelin. Mark Lindsay won with 50.50 and Ethan Plumb won the B event.
Just as that event was finishing, Wakefield women scored a superb win in the 4x400m relay. Michaela Harrison gained 50m on stage three to go into the lead which was held by Amanda Shaw on the anchor stage. Rachael Shaw and Helen Singleton had run the first two stages.
Singleton had led all the way to win the 3000m in 10:35.3 and Harrison won the 400m hurdles in 64.7. Abby Ward was an impressive high jump winner for Wakefield with a 1.68m clearance and there were middle distance wins for Jack Mitchell in the 800m (1:58.0) and James Saxton in the 1,500m (4:00.9).