Corby stake claim for promotion bid

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There was plenty of Northamptonshire interest in the opening round of the Midland Senior League with Corby AC up against Kettering Town Harriers in the Division Four match hosted by Shrewsbury at Telford.

Corby staked their claim for promotion for the second year running when they finished a close second to Banbury Harriers with Newport Harriers just behind and Kettering fourth.

Altogether, Corby had eight individual successes with Jack McShane and Gaby Bangay responsible for four of them.

McShane had a busy afternoon in the field when he competed in five events and secured victories in both shot and javelin.

In the shot, his effort of 11.51m just edged out Banbury’s Perriss Wilkins by 5cm to secure top points, while veteran Peter Knott’s B-string win gave Corby maximum points.

McShane then returned later in the day for a much more comfortable win in the javelin with a throw of 43.16m.

Bangay opened with a winning clearance of 2.90m in the pole vault and with Lauren Boyd’s effort of 2.20m taking the B event, it proved to be a good points earner for the club.

The pair returned to achieve the same outcome in the shot with Bangay winning with a new best of 9.41m and Boyd taking the B event with 9.06m.

Also performing well when taking second place with 8.61m was Kettering’s Daisy Gilbert who also set a new best in the hammer.

Corby’s final win in the field came from hammer thrower Matt Bell who, in his first competition since rejoining the club, threw 55.29m.

He received excellent support from John Hay, whose best effort of 49.32m easily won the B-string.

Successes for Corby on the track came from Dale Willis, Rebecca Hall and Ellie Welch.

Willis produced his customary strong finish to take the 400m in 50.4 before returning later in the day to anchor the club to victory in the 4x400m relay with a superb run which saw him pull back a 20-metre deficit on Newport.

Hall knocked a large chunk off her 3000m best when she clocked a winning time of 10.31.8 while Welch, who was one of many from both local clubs moving up an age group to make their league debut, took the 1500m in 5.01.6.

All of Kettering’s wins came in the female section with Niamh Bailey being responsible for two and Harriet Sumnall clinching the other.

Bailey chalked up a sprint double with a convincing win in the 200m and, despite the slight headwind, still managed to clock a respectable 26.5.

She returned later and was involved in a much closer contest over 100m in which she just edged out Newport’s Katie-Jane Priest after both sprinters returned the same time of 13.4.

In between the sprints Bailey was busy in the field with her best performance coming when she added 8cm to her best with a leap of 5.34m to finish a close second in the long jump.

Sumnall secured top points when she took the discus with her distance of 23.24m being just below her best – although she did throw a new best in the hammer.

Despite not winning their events, Bradley Fox and Matt Stewart turned in excellent performances and were rewarded with new lifetime bests.

Fox’s leap of 6.29m when finishing a close second added 3cm to his own Kettering Town Harriers Under-17 long jump record.

Stewart was delighted with his run over 800m in which he finished third with his time of 2.01.2 slicing just over a second from his previous mark.