McDonald's Boys Southern Premier League, Basildon 23 July 2000


Havering Mayesbrook AC’s girls’ and boys’ under-17 teams were both in McDonald’s league action on Sunday and both came away well satisfied with the days’ performances. The boys’ under-17 team completed their McDonald’s Southern Premier League campaign at Basildon where they finished third behind Harrow and GEC Avionics with Oxford in fourth place.

Badly hit by injuries and holidays, the squad nonetheless produced some fine performances, none finer than Steven Prady’s new personal best leap of 1.85m in the under-17 High Jump. Prady who is coached by GB International Stuart Ohrland at Chelmsford, is only in the first year in the age group and looks destined for more success next season. Another ‘first year’ athlete to achieve a new personal best in the same event was ‘B’ string Trevor Walton who leaped to 1.60m.

In the same age group, another excellent performance came from Kevin Deacon whose new personal best throw of 46.14m in the Hammer smashed the Club record. Other throwing successes came from Tom Melrose (‘B’ Shot), Andrew Tierney (‘B’ Discus), Chris Bartlett (‘B’ Hammer) and Greg Smith and Stuart Eve who doubled up to take the Javelin events.

The under-15s were missing a number of athletes including Bob Thanda and Matthew Kelsey but showed their strength in depth with some impressive displays. Andrew Bartlett took the 200m in a new personal best time, the ‘B’ 400m and finished second in the 100m, clocking the same time as the winner. In the 800m, Danny Skelt maintained his improvement with an excellent win in a new personal best time of 2min 15.5sec. Newcomer Adam Napier leaped to 1.75m in the High Jump (a performance that would have seen him take fifth place at the English Schools’ Championships!) with Mark Connelly winning the ‘B’ string. Connelly had earlier won the ‘B’ 200m in a new personal best. A series of excellent performances was also achieved during the afternoon by Peter Phillips in the 100m, 400m and both 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays.

In the field, multi-eventer Terry O’Leary gained valuable points in the throwing events including new personal bests in the Hammer and Javelin. O’Leary and Skelt – both Campion schoolboys – have another year in the age group and can look forward to next season with confidence.

The under-13s found the going tough but there were encouraging performances from David Nefs and Peter Tyler in the sprints and Martyn Chambers, Jay Ryan and Christian Newton in the middle distance events. The result guarantees Southern Premier League action again next season, a fine performance by the local youngsters bearing in mind the overall strength of the competing Clubs in what is unquestionably the best league in the country.

For some athletes, the day marked the end of six years of McDonald’s action. Multi-eventer Andrew Tierney together with throwers Kevin Deacon, Tom Melrose and Stuart Eve will move up to the ranks of Junior Men next season and their absence is likely to leave a considerable ‘gap’ on the teamsheet. Their influence on the team’s success has been significant in recent seasons, amassing between them a large number of points in every match. On the plus side, the under-17s will be strengthened by the arrival in the age group of fine athletes such as Bob Thanda, Matthew Kelsey, Adam Lee and Peter Phillips.



Report: Doug Tierney