Play-off hopes ended as Scunthorpe athletes can't make home advantage count at Quibell Park
Scunthorpe and District Athletics Club entered the final league meeting in Division Two of the Northern League with an outside chance of making the play-offs.
It had looked promising in the early part of the season after the team won the first match and came second in the next.
But the bubble had burst in the third match when a much-depleted squad finished last when making the longest trip of the campaign to Derby.
Going into the final match the team found themselves in third place, knowing only the top two would go forward to the play-offs for promotion to Division One.
Despite having home advantage at Quibell Park it was always going to be tough for the team to catch Sheffield, who were in second.
Not least because Sheffield bolstered their team with a number of British league athletes (athletics' equivalent of football's Premier League), but also due to the fact the league administrators had made the strange decision to schedule the match not just in the middle of holiday season, but also on the same weekend as the Olympic 100 metres final.
It meant Scunthorpe were missing a number of athletes and two of their sporting families – the Hammonds and the Harmes – had to leave halfway through due to having tickets to watch the Olympics.
The day started well, with Scunthorpe's hammer squad winning the A and B event in the men's, courtesy of Joe Gibson and Matt Hammond, then finishing fourth and first B in the ladies' event thanks to 16-year-old Alex Lockett and Emma Gilbert.
This was to be another fine display from Gibson, who earlier in the season had smashed coach Matt's hammer, discus and shot putt club records; he made it four out of four when he added nearly two metres to the club's javelin record.
Hammond said: "Joe is an exceptional talent, as a young athlete he could do any event you could think of, from pole vault to sprint hurdles.
"He has now added gross strength to that natural talent."
Two other athletes who have broken records this season are 400m ladies runners, Alice Kaye and Freya Bradshaw.
Both showed their potential by qualifying for finals at the English schools finals, and both had easy wins in their favourite events, with Kaye winning the 400m and Bradshaw the 400m hurdles.
But it was going to be a day of few victories, so it was down to the great team spirit in the squad to cover as many events as possible. Mention has to go to two young ladies who did just that.
Laura Kaye showed her endurance by running in the 800m, 1500m and 3000m, which made it even more amazing that she knocked three seconds off her 800m best.
What do you do if you can only stay for two hours at the meeting?
Well, if you are Bethan Hammond you squeeze five events in, competing in the long jump, 100m, 800m, 400m hurdles and 3000m.
Not bad for an athlete who is training for her first half-marathon and was still jet-lagged after coming back from holiday at 4am the previous morning.
Despite covering more events than any other team, Scunthorpe could only manage third place on the day. It meant they also finished third overall in the league and missed out on the play-offs.
Team manager Brian Weaver, though, remained upbeat.
"We are disappointed, especially after such a good start," he said. "But we should be proud of our highest ever finish in the league.
"We are a young team with lots of potential, but what is nice is when other teams say they enjoy competing against our club because we create an atmosphere and show great sportsmanship."
UNDER-17 WOMEN: Alex Lockett, hammer (HAM) – 4A/37.30m; Hannah Dunkerly, long jump (LJ) – 6B/3.42m, triple jump (TJ) – 5B/8.11m.
UNDER-20 WOMEN: Bethan Hammond, 100m – 5B/15.4, 400mH – 2B/82.3, 800m – 4B/2.47.4, 3000m – 1B/13.24.7, LJ – 5A/3.16m; Alice Kaye, 100m – 4A/12.9, 200m – 3A/26.0, 400m – 1A/58.1; Laura Kaye, 800m – 4A/2.32.2, 1500m – 2A/5.28.8, 3000m – 3A/11.37.2; Freya Bradshaw, 400mH – 1A/66.8, 400m – 1B/60.7, 100mH – 4A/17.7; Shani Stathers, high jump (HJ) – 6A/1.40m, TJ – 4A/9.51m, 100mH – 3B/20.0; Georgina O'Connor, LJ – 3A/5.19m; Elicia Bones, discus – 2B/28.07m, javelin (JAV) – 5A/20.78m.
SENIOR WOMEN: Edel Meagher, discus – 1A/34.63m, shot putt (SP) – 1A/10.68m, JAV – 4B/15.79m; Emma Gilbert, HAM – 4A/37.23m, SP – 4B/7.39m, JAV – 4B/20.87m; Rosalyn Carlile, 1500m – 4B/7.28.4.
VETERAN WOMEN: Fiona Fisk, 200m – 5A/32.3.
UNDER-17 MEN: Anthony Gillatt, JAV – 1B/39.80m; Nathan Togun, 100m – 5A/11.2, 200m-5A/23.0; Andrew Harmes, HJ – 5A/1.60m, pole vault (PV) – 4B/2.20m; Jacob Hammond, 400mH – 4B/69.1, 110mH – 3B/21.0, PV – 3A/2.40m; Aaron Healey, 1500m – 2B/4.45.6; Tom Andrew, TJ – 4A/11.41m; Chris Andrew, TJ – 2B/11.19m, HJ – 4B/1.60m.
UNDER-20 MEN: Dom Green, 100m – 4B/11.8; Rob Smith, LJ – 3A/6.01m; Alex Nabias, 400mH – 3A/67.7, 400m – 4A/53.4; Lewis Stones, 5000m – 2B/17.11.6.
SENIOR MEN: Gav Marshall, 400m – 4B/59.8, 800m – 4A/2.10.8; Dan Harmes, 800m – 3B/2.27.6, 110mH – 6A/20.2, LJ – 2B/5.73m; Gav Mann, 1500m – 4A/4.45.3; Gary Crompton, 5000m – 2B/16.14.8; Joe Gibson, HAM – 1A/52.29m, discus – 4A/34.34m, SP – 4A-11.35m, JAV – 2A/51.25m.
VETERAN MEN: Matt Hammond, HAM – 1B/39.33m, discus – 2B/33.11m, SP – 3B-10.52m.