Carter the unstoppable racing machine has fine time against Highgate

Jamie Gabbidon won a sprint double for City of Portsmouth.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (111697-10)
Jamie Gabbidon won a sprint double for City of Portsmouth. Picture: Paul Jacobs (111697-10)
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City of Portsmouth kept the winning mood spreading through the club in the Southern Men’s League.

The men’s squad opened their campaign at the Mounbatten Centre with victory in their first fixture.

But it proved a close-run thing as they edged out London rivals Highgate to grab the win by just four points.

City did enough at the death with their 124-point return edging Highgate’s 120-point effort.

It was a dramatic clash which swung back and forth, with Highgate taking the early advantage.

City assumed control, however, as Jamie Gabbidon (11.4sec) and Jason Slade (12.1, B string) grabbed a double win in the 100m.

Gabbidon showed he was in impressive early-season form to follow that up with another success over 200m in 23.8.

Harry Carter’s contribution proved key as he delivered a time of 16min 24.0sec to win the A 5,000m.

Gavin Jones’ frenetic period continued after his London Marathon exploits with a second in the B string.

The field events saw City tighten their grip on proceedings, as John Price won the pole vault with a 3.60m jump and Dan Cleal came joint first in the B (3.00m).

Cleal underlined his multi-event progress as he went on to grab two further seconds in the high-jump and triple jump.

Adam Akehurst’s quality was apparent as he picked up wins in the shot (12.05) and long-jump (6.44).

Those results saw City in front but a Highgate purple patch reduced the advantage to just a single point with two events left.

Manager Lee Jones was then forced into a last-minute rejig in the discus as Richard Healey picked up an injury.

Neil Fitzpatrick stepped in to do the business, though, and better his Highgate rival.

That left the 4x400m relay team needing a single point, and the City quartet held their nerve to grab second place in 3.39.9 and secure victory for their club.

Jones was delighted with the resolve shown by his team to beat powerful opposition.

He said: ‘It was a very good result. Highgate is a big scalp to get. They have been quite a force over the past few years.

‘To take on a side of that calibre and beat them is very pleasing.

‘It was toing and froing and proved to be tight at the end.

‘Neil Fitzpatrick came in five minutes before the discus started and did a good job.

‘It was Harry Carter’s day, though. He won the 5,000m, then an hour later he was second in the 1,500m and about 45 minutes after that, ran a leg of the 4x400m.

‘To complete all those events was brilliant.

‘It was a good day and now we’re looking forward to the joint fixture at home with the women on May 21.’