Harriers are doomed but team boss Needham remains upbeat
Athletics - British League Division Three
Nene Valley Harriers suffered an agonising exit from Division Three of the British League on Saturday. They made the long trip to Yeovil for their fourth and final fixture knowing all they had to do to avoid relegation was finish above Southend.
But with a team badly depleted by injury and unavailablity they came up a fraction short.
In the final table Southend pipped them by just two match points and Nene Valley will be competing in Division Four next season.
But team manager Tim Needham, although frustrated, remained upbeat.
He said: “We know we could easily have held our owninthisdivisionwithafullstrength team. Unfortunately we just couldn’t get it out and that was frustrating. We were so unlucky with injuries.
“On Saturday we were hit by the loss of all our leading sprinters and high jumpers and had athletes arriving late and missing events.
“But we’re not whinging or downheartedaswehaveplen- ty of potential for next year.
“On the up side we have a very young team who will be battle-hardened for Division Four next year.”
Needham had s pecial praise for Under 20 athlete Ollie Bowling.
He said: “He was our manof-the-match. Heranpersonal bests in the 800m and 1500m and then went on to record a third place in the 3,000m fillinginforamissingteam-mate.
“The throwers - a mixture of veterans and youngsters - also showed great spirit and Ken Baker, Simon Achurch, Isaac Huskisson, Sam Wilson and Alex Ingram all deserve a pat on the back for their efforts.”
Ollie Bowling was man-of-the-match.