Thames Valley Harriers are the team to beat in Bedford this weekend with a number of Commonwealth Games competitors in action
Bedford International Stadium will play host this weekend to the National Athletics League Grand Finals, where several recent Commonwealth Games stars are set to be in action.
The UK’s top league for clubs is set to come to an exciting conclusion for 2022, with most of the bigger names expected for the Premiership final on the Saturday. Entry will be free for both this match and the Championship final on the Sunday, which will include Bedford & County AC.
Early names announced by the clubs include shot putter Adele Nicoll (Birchfield), who was eighth for Wales at the Commonwealth Games and was part of the GB bobsleigh squad for the Winter Olympics this year.
Also in action should be Chris Bennett (Shaftesbury Barnet), who threw the hammer for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games and for Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Shadine Duquemin (Shaftesbury Barnet), who competed for Jersey in the discus in Birmingham, is another set to turn out.
Heather Paton (Birchfield), who ran for Scotland in the 100m hurdles at the Commonwealths, is one of the highlighted names on the track.
Greg Thompson (Shaftesbury Barnet) and Patrick Swan (Swansea), who are ranked fourth-best in the UK in the discus and shot respectively this year, have also been confirmed.
Yemi Mary John (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), who recently won the world under-20 400m title, has competed for her club in the league this year and could be set for a return. Sam Reardon (Blackheath & Bromley), who was fifth in the men’s 400m at those World U20 Championships, is another regular for his club in the league.
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Not only will the matches decide the overall standings for 2022 following the three earlier rounds, but the meetings will incorporate the “Cup” and “Plate” finals.
Both days will be available to view on the web via Vincosport. Please note that, although entry to the stadium is free, parking charges will apply.
The 16 Premiership teams will all be in action in Bedford on Saturday. The top eight teams thus far in the league will contest the Cup final, with the bottom eight competing in the Plate final. Also at stake will be league points to decide the overall standings for this season, including winners and relegation. The 16 championship clubs will take centre stage on the Sunday, with Cup, Plate and overall titles, as well as promotion and relegation, at stake.
The bottom three clubs from the Premiership on overall season league points will be relegated, swapping places for next season with the top three clubs from the Championship. The 13th-placed Premiership team and fourth-placed Championship club on league points will be involved in a “paper match” based on performances from this season to decide who will take a Premiership spot next year. The bottom two clubs will be relegated from the Championship, with the top two clubs from National 1 coming up.
The six National 1 clubs will compete at Yate in the usual format for their fourth round.
Competing clubs (with current points)
August 20 Premiership Cup: Thames Valley 24, Blackheath & Bromley 22, Harrow 21, Shaftesbury Barnet 20, Woodford Green with Essex Ladies 19, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow 16, Birchfield 14, Trafford 12 (1295.8 match points)
August 20 Premiership Plate: Swansea 12, Notts 11, Sheffield & Dearne 10, Newham & Essex Beagles 9, Cardiff 7, Southampton 7, Glasgow Jaguars 6, Bristol & West 6
August 21 Championship Cup: Crawley 23, Chelmsford 22, Sale 20 (1545.33), Tonbridge 20 (1488), Havering 19, Basingstoke & Mid Hants 17 (1386), Liverpool 17 (1347.3), Herts Phoenix 14
August 21 Championship Plate: Bournemouth 11 (1101.3), Bedford & County 11 (1026.3), Kington & Polytechnic 9 (956), Herne Hill 9 (878.5), Enfield & Haringey 9 (832), Peterborough & Nene Valley 7, Wigan 4 (729), Reading 4 (680)
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