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Good Craik as Cam and Matt lead charge to put Newbury AC in contention for promotion

Newbury Athletic Club are in contention for promotion to Division 1 of the Southern Athletics League for the first time in their history following a second placed finish in their final fixture of the season in Perivale.

Following a Herculean effort, Newbury finished second with 263 points, behind local rivals Radley with 290 but ahead of host club Ealing, Southall and Middlesex, cross-country specialists Aldershot, Farnham and District as well as south-eastern sides Ashford and Hastings.

The on-track result of the day came courtesy of long distance duo Matt Green and Cameron Craik in the men’s 5000m.

Newbury AC celebrate a successful SAL campaign
Newbury AC celebrate a successful SAL campaign

After spending the opening few laps in the leading pack of four, Green surged to the front and opened up a gap behind him, while Craik played the perfect wingman, holding up the pack for long enough to allow his teammate to extend his lead before peeling off in pursuit of him.

Green was rewarded with a superb sub-16 minute finish and the A string win, while Craik, who was just a few seconds behind him, was next across the line to secure maximum points for the club.

There was another perfect score in the ladies’ high jump, where Trinity O’Connor cleared 1.49m to share the title with her rival from Radley, while Anna Delavere earned the B string crown.

Delavere also impressed in the triple jump, winning the B string, while O’Connor cleared a staggering 3.25m in the pole vault – which would’ve been enough to win the men’s event – to take all five points and put her fourth in the individual standings on the day.

Bernie Gerrard produced a remarkable performance in the 2000m steeplechase.

Just 10 minutes after a tough 1500m race, and despite never even having attempted to hurdle a barrier before, he managed to not only win the B string race, but to set a new V40 club record.

Just a few metres ahead of him, teammate Mike Robins was breaking his own V35 club record – his second age group record of the day, after leaping 5.02m in the long jump – winning the A string race in the process.

Team captain Jenny O’Connor won the B string shot put, Will Hart triumphed in the 100m hurdles B string while five points in the 4x400m relay kept Newbury’s promotion hopes alive.

The club’s fate now rests on a rearranged fixture – which they are not involved in – scheduled to take place on September 9.

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