Edinburgh take women’s crown amid javelin drama

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On a day of nail-biting drama, prolonged by an unfortunate accident when British international 400 metres ace Nicola Sanders’ mother was impaled by a javelin, Edinburgh Athletic Club eventually triumphed in the final UK Women’s League Premier Division match at Norton Park, Bromley, on Saturday.

The Capital club held on to snatch the title for the first time since the then Edinburgh Southern won in 2006.

It is only the third time in club history that Edinburgh have won the top women’s league – the old Edinburgh Southern won the first division in 1975 – and it is a first for the new combined Edinburgh Athletic Club, which was renamed after the merger of Edinburgh Southern Harriers and the former City of Edinburgh AC.

“It was a great team effort as we didn’t have many individual winners on the day,” said team manager Anne Scott, whose side have qualified for the 
European Club Championships in Portugal next May.

English side Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow actually beat them on Saturday but 
Edinburgh were a close second, ahead of Trafford, with whom they had been tied going into the match, and they took the 
title by just 4.5 match points.

London club Shaftesbury Barnet, for whom Dunfermline’s Gemma Nicol won the 400m in a personal best of 52.61 secs and also set a personal best of 24.08 secs in the 200m, were third ahead of Trafford, but will still be relegated along with City of Manchester.

The end of the meeting was delayed for almost an hour by the javelin accident and Edinburgh’s 2006 Commonwealth Games pole vaulter, paediatrician Dr Kirsty Maguire, stepped in until an ambulance arrived for the unfortunate Mrs Sanders, who had bravely removed the implement from her calf.

Former World silver medallist Nicola Sanders meanwhile went on to run the 4x400m relay for Windsor, having earlier won the B 800m.

Maguire was second in the A pole vault with a clearance of 3.60m.

One of the exceptions was Emily Stewart who forsook the steeplechase, in which she is ranked second in the UK, to win the 3000m flat in 9:16.3.

Kimberley Reed, 18, was fourth in the hammer with a new best of 57.81m.

Sarah Warnock, though 
second to Scottish No. 1 Jade Nimmo (Manchester, 6.24m) in the long jump, equalled the Glasgow 2014 qualifying standard of 6.20m only to have it ruled out as the following wind was too strong.

But she went on to win the B triple jump (11.63m) and finish second in the B high jump.

Match result: 1 Windsor 215, 2 EAC 207, 3 Shaftesbury Barnet 205, 4 Trafford 189, 5 Swansea 183, 6 Blackheath & Bromley 164, 7 Birchfield 144, 8 
Manchester 101.

Final league positions: 1: Edinburgh 21 (594 match pts); 2: Windsor 21 (589.5); 3: Trafford 19.