CITY of Portsmouth had to settle for fourth place in their latest outing in the Sweatshop Southern Athletics League division one.
A depleted side travelled to Chelmsford on Sunday in the hope of building on their third-place finish in match one.
But up against stiff competition in the form of Nene Valley Harriers, hosts Chelmsford and Blackheath & Bromley Harriers, they had to make do with a place outside the top three.
Nene finished top dogs with a points tally of 231, with Chelmsford second on (195) and Bromley third (158).
City completed a tough day with a total of 136 points.
Despite their end-of-the-day standing, there was still plenty of encouragement from the team’s overall performance.
Fresh from his double silver-medal delight at the previous weekend’s Hampshire Track & Field Championships, Harrison Pocock secured two individual winner’s positions in the A-string 200m and 400m.
The 18-year-old continued an already-impressive 2015, which has also seen him medal at the South of England Indoor Championships and London Indoor Games, by finishing a second clear of Blackheath’s Matthew Knight in the 200m with a time of 22.4sec.
That was added to by a run of 49.6 in the 400m, with his nearest challenger, Nene Valley’s David Brown, coming second in 50.9.
Sticking with the shorter distances, the travelling City contingent proved their sprinters are in fine fettle as Jamie Gabbidon and Charlie Craddock claimed first places in the men’s 100m. A-runner Gabbidon – a third-place finisher at the county championships – ran his slowest 100m of the season (11.3) but it was still quick enough to see off the challenge of Nene’s Jake Berney (11.6).
Meanwhile, Craddock claimed the B race in a time of 11.5.
Both sprinters were part of the City team that came home first in the 4x100m relay (44.9), while Craddock added to his impressive day’s work with a second-place, personal-best leap of 10.14m in the triple jump and a third in the long jump (5.10).
Runners-up spots were also secured by team-mates Matthew Bartlett (200m B – 23.5), Luke Younghusband (400m B – 54.3) and Tom MacSwayne (800m A – 1.58.7).
And for the ladies, Bobbie Davies (400m A – 60.8), Claudia Cubbage (100m hurdles B – 19.2) and Rosalind Stansbury (shot putt B – 9.41) also returned home with second places to their name.
Third-place results were acquired by Hollie Fudge (100m A – 13.0), Sam Vaile (100m B – 13.4), MacSwayne (1,500m A – 4.18.5), Tony Hewitt (3,000m B – 12.05.2), Steve Davey (400m hurdles B – 74.4 and pole vault A – 3.40), Tony Hooker (3,000m SC B – 13.55.3 and long jump B – 4.68), Cubbage (high jump B – 1.30 and pole vault A – 2.50), Lynne Newton (pole vault B – 1.25), Rosie Castle (triple jump B – 8.19), Yasha Bobash (shot putt B – 9.35 and discus B – 16.14), Gaia Osborne (shot putt A – 10.91) and Alex Pope (discus A – 36.08).
Portsmouth’s next Southern League outing is on Saturday, June 20, when they travel to Milton Keynes for match three.