Smooth runnings for City of Portsmouth

Megan Williams in the 100m hurdles
Megan Williams in the 100m hurdles
Runners stream past HMS Victory in the Historic Dockyard

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City of Portsmouth proved smooth operators as they continue to set the pace in the Southern League.

Both the club’s men’s and women’s outfits were worthy winners as their respective league matches were jointly held at the Mountbatten Centre at the weekend.

And both can now look down on the rest of the opposition from the lofty heights at the top of their divisions, with City proving a hotbed of top talent for the 2011 summer season.

Dave Churcher’s women’s side secured victory by a 36-point margin from second-placed Herne Hill Harriers.

They got the ball rolling with the first event of the day on the track, with the returning Mandy Gault leading the way in the A-string 400m hurdles.

She was followed home by second-placed Megan Williams in the B race, with the momentum being added to by 800m winners Emma Gilmore (A string) – a victor also in the 400m – and Charlie Carter (B string).

Carol Dawkins added to Gilmore’s 400m triumph by coming home in second place in the B string.

The 3,000m saw Cassie Thorp make her City track debut.

And she didn’t let her new team-mates down, with her time of 10min 04.02sec securing second place in the A race.

That placing was bettered by Jess Chen in the B event.

But in the 1,500m, both women brought home the glory with two superb performances.

In the field, maximum points were taken in three of the throws competitions.

Katy Watts was an A-string winner in the javelin and shot, where she was supported well by B-string winners Amber Perry and Irish Sirmons.

American Sirmons then secured victory in the discus, with Lyn Carey making her return to action from a foot injury with second place in the hammer.

Following her first place in the B long jump, Annie Onions recorded a new personal best of 11.20m to take second in the A triple jump.

Meanwhile, captain Sam Vaile recorded a season’s best of 5.27m for second spot in the A long jump.

The women were assured of victory when the relays brought the curtain down on their afternoon.

But that didn’t stop the quartet of Gault, Deanna Giddings, Vaile and Gilmore bringing the baton home well clear of the rest of the field in the 4x400m.

Not to be outdone by their female counterparts, Lee Jones’ men’s side were 29-point winners over second-placed Medway & Maidstone.

All members of the side pulled their weight as they made it two wins from two, leaving Jones buoyed by what he saw.

‘It was a brilliant result, with the guys doing exactly what we wanted them to do,’ said Jones.

‘The team pulled together well, with impressive runs from debutant Mo Abdullahi in the 400 and both relays.

‘There was, once again, impressive and consistent performances from Steve Davey and Adam Akehurst, a great high jump from Dan Cleal – being the last man standing at 1.90m – and an impressive win in the B 400m hurdles from Tony Hooker.’