City of Portsmouth determined to continue upward trend in British Athletics League

Harrison Pocock. Picture: Mick Young (150643-29)

Harrison Pocock. Picture: Mick Young (150643-29)

Angus and Margaret McGilp, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Picture: Neil Marshall (170289-14)

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Promotion will be the next target for City of Portsmouth after they completed a strong first season back in the British Athletics League.

They went into the final day of competition with an outside chance of going up from national four.

But it was Havering who secured second place on the last match day to seal promotion alongside division winners Newquay.

Hosts Chelmsford won the final match.

That meant they climbed above City, who finished third on the final day.

City had some key men absent from the match, including injured sprinter Jamie Gabbidon and long-distance specialist Alex Teuten, who was away.

But they still gave a very good account of themselves again.

They have certainly shown enough to suggest they can go for promotion next summer.

City coach Paul Farres said: ‘It’s been a very successful season.

‘We did what we set out to do, which was avoid relegation.

‘Next year we should be stronger and promotion will be the aim.

‘We’ve got some good young athletes coming through and more are looking to join our club.

‘Newquay finished fourth last year and they won our division this time around so maybe we can follow their path.’

Harrison Pocock continued his cracking 400m form for City with an A-string win in 48.90sec.

Adam Akehurst won the javelin A-string (57.93), 
while Leslie Parkes finished second in the A-string hammer (47.97) and Yasha Bobash won the B-string (37.05).

Tom Farres was second in the A-string pole vault (4.30) and Mutara Sheriff finished second in a tough 200m into a headwind (22.60).

Captain Steve Davey also made a big contribution across a number of events, including picking up B-string wins in the discus (34.83) and shot (11.61).

Farres added: ‘We were pleased to beat the division winners Newquay but they did have a long way to travel.

‘Chelmsford were tremendously strong and had a very big team so none of their athletes had to do more than two events. That makes a huge difference.

‘Havering were also very good, with some outstanding jumpers.’

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