Following the heroics of the YDL teams in Manchester the previous weekend there remained one final major fixture for the club, last Saturday. Following their victory in Round 3 of the Midland League, R&N went into the final fixture at Birmingham University in 4th place overall and knowing that they needed stay ahead of both Bristol & Cannock to retain their Division 1 status, The match was held in sweltering conditions and all 6 teams turned up in strength either to secure overall victory or to avoid relegation.
The day started slowly for R&N whilst Bristol looked very strong and moved into the lead on the day. However, as the competition progressed, R&N started to record lots of strong 2nd & 3rd place finishes to secure good points in almost every event and were optimistic knowing that they typically finish strongly. There were timely boosts thanks to A string victories from Saeed Numeri (400m), Fenton Bishop-Timmings (Javelin & Shot), Lucy Stevens (1500m) & Evie Marston (3000m) along with B string victories for Numeri (200m), Morrie Parker (400m), Jaydon Allen-Bramble (Long Jump), Ray McKenna (Shot) & Kevin Murch (Javelin).
However, the performance of the day was from Isabel Mur who won the 100m Hurdles in her debut at the Senior distance with a time of 14.56 in the best quality field of the day. Her time also secured 5 Bonus Points and propelled her into the UK Top 20 for her age group.
As the end of the meeting approached Bristol’s challenge faltered in the Men’s jumps where R&N were particularly strong thanks to Allen-Bramble, Oke Okere, Flynn Ridgway & Charlie Barker. The women’s Discus also produced a big points swing thanks to Grace Pollard, Charlotte Bowers & Debbie Murch. This left the 4x400m relay as being potentially decisive and the R&N men produced a blistering performance with Ollie Parker & Numeri moving the club from last to first on the final 2 legs with Numeri winning by an impressive 30 metre margin.
At the end of the match only 50 points separated the top 4 teams and R&N had moved up to 4th whilst Bristol had slipped back to third. This was just enough for R&N to remain in 4th place overall and retain their status in the Midland’s top flight. The league Champions were Gloucester thanks to a set of consistent performances throughout the season.