The final YDL Match of the 2017 season took place at Bromley on Saturday 15th July. Blackheath & Bromley AC were as usual splendid hosts, providing the very welcome BBQ & Beer Tent!
As we have all come to expect, Bracknell AC’s U13/U15 team on the day performed excellently & we covered nearly all events despite a number of unavailable athletes. In a very close finish Bracknell AC ended up in 4th place on the day just 12.5 points behind Havering AC in 3rd. Sadly this was due to 20 points being deducted from Bracknell AC by the YDL Administrators a few days later under scrutiny of the results, due to a failure to provide a Level 2 Field Official on the day. The team’s performance accumulated enough points for 3rdposition, but teams are also expected to provide Match Officials of an agreed level of accreditation & thereby secure additional Bonus Points for the team. This result also left Bracknell AC in 4th place in the Southern Premier League 1 overall at the end of the season, thereby missing out on the chance to progress to the National Final via the paper match for the first time in our history. This is not all doom & gloom, however, as 4th place secures Bracknell AC’s status in the South’s top lower age group athletics competition for another season. Our congratulations go to Southampton AC as league winners and to Blackheath & Bromley AC as runners up. Both teams have dominated this competition all season, never finishing outside the top 2 places in any match & we wish them all the best for the 2017 National YDL Final. Congratulations also to Havering AC who finished their first season in South Premier 1 in 3rd place & thereby have a chance to progress to the National Final via the paper match. We wish them good luck in this – it would be nice to see the South take up their maximum allocation in the National Final. Commiserations to WSEH & to City of Portsmouth AC who are relegated to South Premier 2 for the 2018 season.
The entire team performed brilliantly, with as usual many in events outside of their normal specialism to secure as many points as possible for the Team. Everyone should be extremely proud & our thanks also go to the Officials & parents who volunteered their time to help officiate field events. As is custom, we have selected the individual highlights of event winners & new PBs detailed below.
U13 Boys Headlines
2 individual event winners: Christian Cairns in the High Jump (his first competition for Bracknell AC) & Josh Alexander in the NS 800m.
6 PBs today as far as I can tell: Matteo Harrison in the 100m & 200m, Joshua Aaron in the 200m, Nicholas Didaskalou in the 800m, Josh Alexander in the 800m & Christian Cairns in the High Jump.
U15 Boys Headlines
Again 2 individual event winners: James Shefford in the Hammer & Frank Cotter in the NS 100m.
10 PBs: Samuel Aaron (300m & Javelin….yes Javelin), James Shefford (Hammer – first time! & Shot) Luke Turner (200m), Henry Fieldsend (800m), Ben Britton (80mH…..whilst injured & running the last 5m on 1 leg!), Marcus Bailey (300m), Cameron Enser (High Jump….take note Paul!) & Ethan Halliday (800m).
U13 Girls Headlines
The team really pulled together, after a number of athletes were not available to compete. A number of girls stepped in to cover events and score valuable points. There were a lot of second places and athletes coming very close to their PBs. Superb effort by all!
7 PBs: Megan Gould in the 150m, April Palmer in the 150m, Maddison Grandin in the 800m, Millicent Dethick in the 1200m, Ella Benson in the 100m, Isabella Izod in her first try at 75mh, Isabel Escott in the non-scoring 100m and long jump.
U15 Girls Headlines
Again brilliant display of team work. Lucy Rothwell stepped in to run the 200m at short notice after an athlete had popped their shoulder. There were again a lot of athletes coming close to their PBs. Fantastic effort.
7 individual event winners!!: Matilda Robinson in the 100m (A string), Emma Morris in the 300m (B string), Hannah Roberts in the 800m (A string), Abigail Miller in the Javelin (A string), Ciara Rainey in the Javelin (A string), Yasmin Grosvenor in the Shot (A string) and High Jump (A string), Abbie Sillett in the Long jump (B String), Layla Beaud in the High Jump (B string) and 100m non scoring, Freya Jones in the Pole Vault in her first competition for a year (B string).
9 PBS: Lucy Rothwell in the 200m, Emma Morris in the 300m, Lucy Dear in the Discus and Hammer, Abigail Miller in the Javelin, Yasmin Grosvenor in the Shot and she equalled her PB in the high jump, Layla Beaud in the 100m and High Jump and Freya Jones in the Pole Vault.
Proud doesn’t begin to describe how we feel & how you all should too of EVERY SINGLE GIRL & BOY who represented Bracknell AC with such honour this season.
To end on a sad note! This match marks the end of my time as YDL Boys Team Manager. The past four seasons has been a great ride;
2014 – Division 1 South Champions. Promoted to Southern Premier 2.
2015 – Southern Premier 2 Champions. Promoted to Southern Premier 1 for the first time in Bracknell AC’s history.
2016 – Southern Premier League 1 - 4th place.
2017 – Southern Premier League 1 – 4th place.
Every year I have started the season thinking we are going to struggle against the “Bigger Clubs” in the League, always focusing on the top-age U15s who have now moved on & I can no longer select! Then every year the latest batch of Bracknell AC athletes again shows that fantastic team spirit & produces even more records & my chest swells with pride seeing them all grow & develop from U13s to U15s & beyond into the SAL Team. It has been a pleasure to manage the Boys Team over this period, & I’m grateful to the ladies who have managed the Girls’ team alongside me (Suzanne, Cath, Caroline, Kate & Tash).
Best of luck to next year’s YDL Team.