City of Sheffield and Dearne begin their British League (Premiership) campaign tomorrow at Eton. Last year they were narrowly beaten for the title by Birchfield, the final result depending on the last few events in the four meeting series.
Commonwealth pole vault medallist Luke Cutts has his first outdoor competition of the year for the Sheffield club and he is partnered by top junior Adam Hague in what is Sheffield’s strongest event. Glen Plenderleith and David Dempsey form a strong pairing in the 400 metres with Dempsey also doing the 800 metres together with Joe Lancaster.
James Gormley, whose winter preparation has been restricted due to injury, is listed for the 1500 metres along with Dominic Walton whilst the experienced Matt Bowser and junior Jonathon Shields should score well in the 3000 metres.
Decathlete Liam Ramsay has a busy day, competing in the 110 hurdles, long jump and high jump and most likely one or both relays.
In the throwing events Joe Dunderdale (javelin), Mark Plowman (discus) and Gareth Winter (shot) should all be well placed.
With some strong teams taking part, this year’s event promises to be close with Sheffield again likely to be among the leaders. The full line up is:
Birchfield, Liverpool, Newham and Essex Beagles, Sale Harriers Manchester, Shaftsbury Barnet, City of Sheffield and Dearne, Windsor SHE, Woodford Green with Essex Ladies.
Doncaster AC make their debut in the league with a place in division 4, a landmark achievement for the club. They travel to Derby where they face Brighton and Hove, Portsmouth, Derby/Mansfield, Reading and Rugby/Northampton.
The opening matches in the Northern League are also tomorrow (Sat). City of Sheffield and Dearne are in Division 1 at Wakefield. The Northern League features a full range of events for men and women. The Sheffield men’s team is effectively their second team but they have sufficient depth to make an impact. Wakefield defend their title with Blackburn, Kingston upon Hull, Preston and West Cheshire in a powerful line up.
Doncaster, Rotherham and Chesterfield are in Division 2EC at Doncaster, Hallamshire are in Division 3EC at Scunthorpe and Barnsley AC are in Division 4EC at Grantham