Dazzling display from City stars in league opener

Kitty Brydon and Hattie Bond competing at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth
Kitty Brydon and Hattie Bond competing at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth
Heather Cubbage. Picture: Paul Smith

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Serena Vincent, left, and Gaia Osborne representing England

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SOME very impressive results ensured City of Portsmouth girls made a great start to their Alder Valley League campaign at the Mountbatten Centre on Sunday.

It was the first league match for the host club this season.

Serena Vincent. Picture: Neil Marshall

Serena Vincent. Picture: Neil Marshall

The Alder Valley League is split into boys and girls.

This first match at Portsmouth was girls’ match and was against some of the best clubs in the south of England.

Despite an event clash meaning the club were not being able to field any endurance runners a remarkable second place was achieved, behind Reading and beating the strong clubs of Hillingdon, Bracknell, and Aldershot.

A number of multiple winners, especially in the under-17 age group, provided the base to this wonderful performance.

Hollie Thurgood won the 200m, the 80m hurdles, and the long jump.

Maddie Wilton won the 300m hurdles and the triple jump, while Heather Cubbage continued her scintillating early season form, taking the hammer and discus A strings.

Cerys Thomas backed this up with double wins in the B string of these events.

Heather also added a win in the B-string shot, while the notable performance in the A string saw Serena Vincent win by a colossal margin of more than 3m.

What is most encouraging is many of these performances place these athletes in the top five nationally.

With all the athletes available this Portsmouth girls’ under-17 team would challenge any club in the UK.

In the under 15 age group, the star of the day was Amelia Spry who completed the sprint double, taking the 100 and 200m events.

Phoebe March also shone as she continued the club’s now feared tradition in the throws events with first place in the hammer.

In the under-13 age group, City had a very impressive win by Olivia East in the 1,200m and Gabbie Jones in the javelin.

Perhaps, though, the non-scoring under-11s provided the most encouraging aspect, many of these young athletes competing on the track for the very first time.

They will in years to come be the backbone of the club.

Special mention needs to go to Folakemi Odofin for her wins in the shot and 75m, Freya Evans for her sprint wins and Florence East who destroyed the competition in the 1,000m event.

The sun was shining all day for this first league showing by the club and it bodes very well for the whole season to come.

On Saturday the seniors (and some of the wonderful under-17s) compete in the Southern League in Kingston.