Unbeaten City raise UK League hopes

Jordan Burton. Jordon Burton ? Southern Men's League (June 2011)
Jordan Burton. Jordon Burton ? Southern Men's League (June 2011)
Anja Fairbairn. Picture: Paul Smith

Masters title has Anja set fair for next target

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City of Portsmouth men sent out a clear message of intent with a third successive victory in the Southern League.

Lee Jones’ side travelled to Yeovil for the latest match in the series, determined to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

And they did not disappoint, securing victory by a staggering 35.5-point margin from nearest challengers Newbury.

The win keeps City top of the division one standings and on course to join the club’s women’s outfit in the UK ranks.

That remains the ultimate goal for the team and manager Jones, who was impressed with what he saw at the weekend.

‘In my three years as manager of the team, this has been the best performance I have been a part of,’ he said.

‘We knew it wouldn’t be easy but every single member of the team stepped it up a notch and we dominated the match from start to finish.

‘I can’t be any more proud of the way everyone performed and supported each other.

‘Our team morale is extremley high right now and I hope that this is something that we can carry on through with us for the rest of the season.

‘Our goal at the start of the season was to win this league and prove to ourselves and the British league we are good enough to be competing there.

‘If we can carry on like this, that goal of British league status will soon become a reality.

‘Our athletes are amazing and deserve their chance to compete on the higher stage.’

City were dealt a blow the night before travelling to Yeovil with news Harry Carter and Jamie Gabbidon were unavailable.

But their absence went relatively unnoticed as the team roared to victory in style.

In the sprints, Jordan Burton did the double in the 100m and 200m, recording times of 11.0secs and 22.5.

Second-placed Chris Tandi was pipped to victory in the 100m B string but followed this with victory in the 400m B with a time of 50.1.

Mo Abdullahi’s impressive early-season form continued with second in the 400m A race, recording a great time of 49.7.

He then jogged round to the 200m start and comfortably scored maximum points in the B event.

Tony Hooker once again lowered his season best in the 400m hurdles, with a time of 69.1. Meanwhile, in the middle and long distances, Alex Budd (1min 56secs) returned to form with victory in the 800m A.

Alex Tueten won a blistering 1500m before cheering on his brother James to victory in the B race.

Alex then followed up this victory with another impressive win in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking 10.05, with Gavin Jones winning the B race.

And, not to be outdone, Chris Scott recorded victory in the heat in the 5000m A race, clocking 17.08.

In the field events, the day belonged to Adam Akehurst and Steven Davey.

Akehurst competed in a total of seven events, placing first in all but one, while team captain Davey came away with maximum points in all his events – winning the 110 hurdles (B), shot putt (B), discus (B) and the javelin (B).

Their impresssive showings were then added to by Tandi in the long jump, Richard Healey in the discus, Neil and Alex Fitzpatrick in the hammer, John Price in the pole vault and the multi-talented Dan Cleal.

Victory was assured by the time the relays were held.

But determined to break the 150-point mark, City maintained their momentum by claiming wins in both the 4x100m and 4x400m to put the seal on an impressive afternoon.