Athletics: Little to cheer about for Sunderland Harriers in Sherman Cup and Davison Shield

Sunderland Harriers were pushed into fourth place in the women's Davison Shield and fifth in the men's Sherman Cup cross country events at South Shields on Saturday.

Monday, 30th October 2017, 2:40 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 10:15 pm
Eva Hardie. Picture by Geoff Fenwick

The competition, based on the overall strength of clubs, encompassing all age groups, saw the Wearsiders having very little to cheer about.

They saw the Elswick women’s team snatch the Davison Shield bronze medals in the last event of the day, the veteran women’s race, finishing third team to Sunderland’s eighth position.

Alex Brown. Picture by Geoff Fenwick

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Gosforth retained the Davison Shield, scoring 20 points for the five events.

Durham City claimed second on 32, Elswick finished third 33 and Sunderland ended fourth with 39 points. Houghton Harriers were eighth.

In the men’s Sherman Cup event, Sunderland failed to field a team in the Under-17 men’s event, finishing complete teams in just four of the five races.

Morpeth won the Sherman Cup title once again on 11 points, with Durham second on 21, Gateshead third (34) and Gosforth fourth (40). Sunderland were fifth and Houghton sixth.

Alex Brown. Picture by Geoff Fenwick

The Wearsiders gained their best result in the veteran men’s event, finishing in second place to Elswick on countback.

Sunderland’s Ian Dixon was the first Over-40 in 21st (31min 57sec), followed by Simon O’Donnell in 39th (34.05) and Paul Merrison in 72nd (35.35).

Sunderland’s best result in the Davison Shield came in the Under-17/20 women’s race where they finished second to Gateshead thanks to good runs from Sarah Knight in sixth, Eve Quinn ninth and Hannah Wight 19th.

Houghton Harriers were also ruled out of a top placing in both the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield by having incomplete teams. But they had a number of fine performances by their youngsters.

The Under-15 boys’ team won and had the first two home in Henry Johnson (10.20) and Will Bellamy (10.29). Chris Coulson closed the scoring in 18th (11.57).

The Under-15 girls’ team equalled that result with another fine performance from second-placed Lydia James (12.10)m who finished five seconds behind winner Holly Peck (Morpeth). Amy Leonard, in fourth (12.23), and Anna Pigford, seventh (12.35), completed the Houghton team score.

There were also good runs from Eva Hardie with fourth place (22.25) in the Under-17/20 race and Alex Brown, an Under-20 junior, who finished an impressive fifth (30.46) in a competitive senior men’s race.

Morpeth Harrier Carl Avery won the race in 29.21, with Andy Burn (Jarrow) second in 30.25. Durham City Harrier Dan Jenkin finished third (30.37) and Gateshead’s Conrad Franks took fourth (30.43).

Sunderland Harrier Kevin Calvert finished 20th (31.54) and Houghton’s Lee Dover was 29th (32.53).

Newcastle University’s Amelia Petitt triumphed in the women’s race (22.51), heading Morpeth’s Jane Hodgson (23.19) and Chloe Price (Birtley), who was third in 24.00. Sunderland Harrier Alice Smith finished 10th (25.12).

The Under-11s races, which did not form part of the overall competition, saw Houghton Harrier Joseph McGinley finish in second place, with club-mate Thomas Pigford fifth. Sunderland Harriers had Harry Clay in eighth and Sam Field ninth.