Eastbourne Rovers clinch promotion in final match

Eastbourne Rovers
Eastbourne Rovers

Eastbourne Rovers achieved the second place they needed to secure promotion to the Southern Athletics League Division 2 in their final match of the season.

The Rovers started the day in Winchester equal third with Hastings, with Kennett Town just half a point behind and Winchester one of four teams two points further back. In the end, the four promoted teams in finishing order were Plymouth, Yeovil, Eastbourne and Winchester.

The match, which The Rovers led for most of the day, finally came down to coverage of events with Winchester prevailing by just fourteen match points.

Although Eastbourne was short of a couple of top performers in the men, they were still able to cover all events reasonably competitively. Unfortunately for the women there is not as much depth, and several athletes were unavailable and only eight Ladies travelled to Winchester.

Di Farmer, Emma Noel and all rounder Joe Morris competed in 24 events between them. Morris achieved four personal bests and has amassed an incredible twelve P.B.s during the five league matches this season. He achieved first in the shot put (12.24), second in the discus (38.01) and second in the long jump (5.93), all of which were A string. He was also first in the B 400 metres (54.2) and third in the triple jump, while winning the Hammer B string and the sprint relay.

Mary Adeniji (U17) also achieved a P.B. for the second match running, this time in the A long jump (4.67). Mary also won the A high jump and A triple jump. In her first ever match Phoebe Picken (U17) recorded a victory in the B long jump.

Ed Dodd, with 51.2 in his 400 metre race in difficult conditions, was probably the standout performance of the day. Other victorious Rovers were Rebekah Morris (U17) and George Marsh (U20) in their respective A 100 metre races.

Rovers’ ladies performed in the 100m hurdles, securing a clean sweep with Emma Noel winning the A and Heidi Burgess the B race. Emma also won the 400 hurdles A and B high jump while Heidi won the A pole vault. In the men’s pole vault Paul Keen and Russell Weir were the only competitors to clear three metres for another Rovers clean sweep.

Chris Dodd continued his fine form, winning both the A 800 and 1500 metres, with Daniel Stidder (U17)coming home first in the B 1500 metres. Veteran Brian Slaughter, never one to be left out, won the men’s B shot put, and fellow Vet Tony Hutchings won the B string discus with over thirty metres.

Team manager Barry Morris said: “I would like to thank all athletes and officials for their support this season, and a particularly big thank you to those who have been prepared to travel to places such as Aldershot and Portsmouth, as well as here today.”

If you’re interested in competing or helping next season, contact @ barry_morris@sky.com.