City flying high as BAL match win signals exciting future

Adam Akehurst on his way to pole vault success. Picture: Paul Smith
Adam Akehurst on his way to pole vault success. Picture: Paul Smith
Have your say

A SUPERB show from City of Portsmouth saw them win their final British Athletics League division four meeting of the season.

Even champions Trafford could not contain the home club at the Mountbatten Centre on Sunday.

City team manager Paul Farres was excited by the display and although the team finished the season in third place, missing out narrowly on promotion, he is confident they will be able to get it next season.

He said: ‘Last Sunday, for the first time in the club’s history the club was able to use almost its best possible athletes and together the club had a wonderful win, beating the league-winners Trafford and Nene Valley who finished second.

‘This was a fantastic club performance and although just missing promotion this year all signs look towards next year when we should be the team to beat in this league.

‘The club are encouraged that some of its very best junior athletes will next season become regular members of the senior men’s team.

‘The likes of Matthew Galbraith, George Rosam, Callum Shea, Lachlan Wellington, Jacob O’Hara, Joe Martin, Kameron Duxbury to name but a few moving up to this level of competition.

‘As always at this time of the season injuries hit the team and this was especially true in the sprints where Gavin Bodrell, Harry Pockock, and Charlie Craddock had to step up to fill gaps.’

During the match the club had a number of double wins.

Tom Farres, who is still unbeaten at the is level for four years now, won the A string and Adam Akehurst the B string in the pole vault.

The wonderful middle distance group, many coached by Alex Budd, did their thing, Ed Dodd and Toby Roe did the double in the 800m, while Matt Gordon and a late replacement Lachlan Wellington, coached by Vince Stamp, both won in the 1.500m.

Mike Muckelt set an amazing personal best, a fraction short of 61m in the javelin to take the A string with the amazingly versatile Adam Akehurst winning the B string.

The team depends on solid performances across every event and this was where the club excelled this time.

Eimantas Margelis picked up two second places in the long and triple jump, George Rosam did well in the B string in the same events, while Dawid Marchiewicz, Paul Derrien, Steve Davey and Akehurst all placed well in the field events.

On the track Will Boutwood, Damian Spreckley, Callum Shea, Tony Hooker, Nialls Davies all played their part.

Zack Lahlal won the 3,000m steeplechase and it was his first time competing in the event. His natural running talent means that by next season, when he works on the technical aspects of the event, he could be making his mark at national level.

The traditional final event the 4x400m relay saw a last leg by Pocock, digitally timed at 47.7sec.

It all bodes well with exciting times ahead for Portsmouth.