McDonald's Boys Southern Premier League, Mayesbrook 2 July 2000

CLUB RECORD SWEETENS DEFEAT

Havering Mayesbrook AC s under-17 boys' team found the going very tough in their McDonald' s Southern Premier League match at the Mayesbrook Arena on Sunday.

A severely depleted squad struggled all afternoon to make an impact and eventually finished fourth behind Shaftesbury Barnet, Blackheath (two Clubs likely to make the National Finals) and Woodford Green.

Nonetheless, there were some bright spots for the local Club' s supporters particularly the performances of some of the under-15 boys. Both Bob Thanda and Matthew Kelsey are heading to the English Schools Championships at Sheffield this weekend in fine form following scintillating displays on Sunday. Thanda cruised to victory in the u15 400m and later ran a 51.6sec split in the 4 x 400m relay. Barring accidents, it will take a very special athlete to deprive him of the gold medal in the Junior Boys' 400m at Sheffield.

Kelsey again took the honours in the 100m and 200m, both in Grade 1 times and he also has every chance at Sheffield when he contests the Junior Boys' 100m.

Both athletes combined with Peter Phillips and Andrew Bartlett at the end of the afternoon to win the 4 x 100m relay in 47.0sec, breaking the Club record in the process.

Phillips also won the ' B' 400m whilst, in the field, Mark Connelly continued in fine form despite a back injury, to win the High Jump. In the 4 x 400m relay, Thanda and Connelly combined with Danny Skelt and Terry O' Leary to finish the afternoon on a high note with an exciting victory.

For the under-17s, the highlight was a new personal best performance of 45.20m from Kevin Deacon to win the Hammer. The other throwers in this age group were also in good form with Greg Smith throwing 46.23m to take the Javelin and ' B' string successes going to Andrew Tierney in the Discus and newcomer Chris Bartlett in the Hammer.

The under-13s couldn' t make an impression in their age group although Andrew Luck knocked seven seconds off his previous best when narrowly failing to win the 1500m.

Whilst a disappointing result, the team is safe from relegation thanks to early season performances and the full-strength squad is capable of holding its own in what is generally recognised as one of the top leagues in the country.

This weekend, the combined girls' and boys' under-17 team travel to Welwyn Garden City for their penultimate Eastern Young Athletes League match. With second placed Bedford AC among the opposition, the league title will almost certainly go to the winners of this contest.

Report: Doug Tierney