By Owen Morgan
Cardiff Amateur Athletics club celebrated its 50th anniversary on Saturday by hosting some of the biggest names in British domestic athletics.
The Cardiff International Sports Campus was the venue for the club’s British Athletics League Premier Division fixture, along with a UK Women’s Athletics League Division One fixture.
With the likes of Birchfield Harriers, City of Sheffield and Dearne AC, Shaftesbury and Barnet Harriers taking part, points were going to be hard won in the men’s fixture for Cardiff and their fellow newly promoted club Swansea Harriers.
And so it proved with Cardiff finishing the day in sixth position and Swansea propping up the board in eighth place.
However, there were some excellent individual performances from Cardiff and Swansea athletes in a wonderfully organised event which did the home club proud and was a fitting celebration of its anniversary.
After the parachute display team of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment had set the high quality standard for the event by dropping in from the skies to get proceedings under way, the athletes took up the challenge in style.
Cardiff got off to a flying start in the discus where club captain Brett Morse led by example with a win in the A string with a throw of 58.52m.
And team-mate Curtis Matthews finished second in the B competition with a winning distance of 45.92. This despite the Commonwealth Games multi-eventer hot-footing it over to the long jump pit in between throws to take part in that competition, where he was fifth in the B string.
Both men had a busy afternoon with Morse later finishing sixth in the shot put A event and Mathews coming fourth in the B section.
Cardiff’s first top three placing on the track came in the 400m B string where Ryan Cooper finished third in 54.76.
The 800m saw Swansea Harriers first and only win of the day when Jonathon Tobin won the B event with a time of 1:54.49. Cardiff’s John Cove finished third in the A field with a time of 1:51.36.
Both Swansea and Cardiff scored well in the 110m hurdles where Harriers’ Glen Elsdon finished second in the A string in 14.98. Chinua Ebereonwu was also second with a time of 15.47 in the B race.
The 1500m was also a profitable event for Cardiff as Alex Coomber finished third in the A section in 3:52.75, while club-mate Sam Blake took first in the B section in 3:53.72.
There was a tremendous finish to the 5000m A section where Cardiff’s Matt Clowes (14:14.95) was just pipped to the line by Sheffield’s James Gormley (14:14:70). Long time leader Kristian Jones, of Swansea Harriers, eventually finished fourth in 14:21.63, while Cardiff’s Daniel Nash finished first in the B section in 14:35.73.
Cardiff’s Tom Williams enjoyed an excellent run in the 200m B race where he finished second in 21.77.
And there were further points for Williams and the rest of the Cardiff 4x100m squad – James Griffiths, Arron Owen and Jeremiah Azu – as they finished second to a strong Birchfield Harriers combination in a time of 41.22.
Meanwhile in the field events Swansea’s Ieuan Hosgood claimed third place in the B string pole vault with a height of 4.03m.
Cardiff’s Jonathan Bailey was involved in an excellent high jump competition where he eventually finished third with a jump of 2.08m.
Swansea Harriers’ Osaze Aghedo jumped to third place in the triple jump B section with a leap of 14.48m.
The javelin was another successful event for Cardiff as Jason Copsey finished third in the A string with 64.63m, while team-mate Richard Dangerfield went one better in the B string with 58.87.
The overall result on the day saw Birchfield Harriers finish top with 337pts. The Birmingham based club have now won the last eight fixtures in the Premiership of the British Athletics League and have been champions since 2015.
Barnet Harriers were second with 308 and Woodford Green with Essex Ladies third with 299. Cardiff were sixth with 264.5 and Swansea eighth with 213.
After two rounds of the Premiership season Birchfield are clear league leaders from Sheffield in second and Shaftesbury Barnet in third. Cardiff are fifth and Swansea eighth.
The next premiership fixture takes place July 7.