The final match of the 2019 season took place yesterday in familiar surroundings, at Grangemouth, as 2 of the previous 3 had. Corstorphine sat 6th in the table, leading Falkirk and Victoria Park by 8 points to 6 and 6 points with the bottom two to be relegated from the 8 team top division. Whilst that sounds quite safe, we were exposed to the risk of Falkirk or VP putting in a great club performance on the final afternoon to overtake us. If either club finished more than 2 places above us in the standings on the day, we would be down.

Most of our longstanding competitive weaknesses come in field events. The enclosure at Saughton has not allowed us to practice Discus, Hammer or Pole Vault in the past and triple jump can be tricky on our short runway. We are still short of a throwing cage at Saughton but there is a facility at Meggetland which some of the club hope to use before next season. The big positive in the closure of Meadowbank Stadium for us has been the arrival of Pole Vault landing mats and paraphernalia. A couple at our club have been developing (or redeveloping) a competence in the event, quietly, on Thursday evenings over the past couple of months. This has come about through contact with a very experienced coach who has been kind enough to share his time and wisdom with our athletes.

Patrick Millar opened the day on the Pole Vault runway, the first home grown Corstorphine AAC Pole Vaulter for several years. His competition was complicated by concurrent participation in the Javelin and very high winds which frequently dislodged the bar prior to athletes’ run ups. Patrick made 3 fantastic attempts at the opening height of 2.40m. Unfortunately the conditions on the day made it difficult and despite being very close to clearing the bar on all 3 occasions, Patrick was not able to record a height. On the plus side, between his vaults, he ran to the Javelin runway and was able to hurl in excess of 44m to win the A string competition. It is a big achievement for Patrick and the club to be able to enter a Pole Vault competition. Well done Patrick! Ally wrote last month that Paul Masterton has been reacquainting himself with the event too, competing at Match 3 in Aberdeen. Maybe next year we can celebrate the milestone of entering two Pole Vaulters at the same match?

Dugald Williams joined Patrick at the Javelin for his second appearance at the Scottish Athletics League, coming 4th with a safe first throw. Unfortunately for us, Falkirk came 3rd and 1st with their Javelin results, scoring more points than us in this event. Jacob Scott and Elliot MacKay recorded 4.91m and 4.70m in their Long Jumps, supported by tailwinds of 4.4m/s and 3.5m/s – a side wind for Patrick!

Patrick stayed busy with 4th in 400mH A string, before James Harrison also finished 4th B string. Times were slow because of the disruption the wind offered to stride patterns on the back straight and final bend, forcing athletes to adjust their stride patterns approaching the hurdles. VP and Falkirk won the A and B string races.

Thomas Ross led the first lap of his 800m, shielding his competitors from gusts before finishing 6th in 2:06.60. Cameron Thores clung on to the back of the group in has B race for 2:20.26 after arriving with strapped fingers following his morning rugby match.

George Key was accompanied by sprints coach Lewis Innes to the Shot, George narrowly missing his best by a handful of centimetres and Lewis Putting 8.65m for 6th, with Falkirk winning both strings.

Back on track, Cole Milne and Jacob Scott took advantage of the conditions to record a wind illegal personal best of 11.07s (2nd, Falkirk and VP in 8th and 6thand Jacob 12.32s with a 5.0m/s tailwind! Cole moved on to High Jump with specialist Dave Singleton, clearing 1.45m. Dave wasn’t able to record a height after colliding with one of the uprights, attempting his opening height of 1.60m. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to continue, having to seek help with a wound. Heal quickly Dave! We look forward to having you back and clearing high bars again next year.

Steeplechase suffered the same problems as hurdles and a sure foot on the back straight barriers was the order of the day. Team managers James and Ally played it safe, both hitting the finish in around 11 minutes for 4th places ahead of Falkirk (6th and 6th) with no VP scoring athletes.

George took on the hammer alone (no B string today) and made the 20m standard with a 3cm margin of comfort before Lewis’s Discus fell 7cm the wrong side of that mark an hour later. George threw 23.84m for 8th as VP won both strings.

We were unable to enter any 110m hurdlers at this match– a weak point of ours now that Tom Hunt is away. Please voice your interest if you have one. We’ll source the best available help to make you race ready. Jacob Scott hopped, skipped and jumped his way to 7th place with hefty assistance of 4.4m/s. Maybe he could have gone further with Finlay Rollo’s (Inverness) 6.7m/s gust!

Track events rounded off with two good 400m races, Patrick and Elliot 5th and 3rd. A sub-par David Addison was exposed at the front for the first half of his 1500m race. It turned out to be very tactical, not quite echelons but runners were definitely seeking as much shelter as possible. Kane Elliot of Falkirk ran the legs off the field to win. David crossed the line in 5th at 4:21.24s. Evan Ross, new to Corstorphine but not so new to 1500m came home 12s later to take 4th B string with no VP representation.

Cole and Elliot continued their busy afternoons with 3rd and 5th in the 200m. Tom Martyn ran superbly with the leaders of the 5,000m, trying all sorts of tactics to overcome James Hoad and Michael Christiforou, attacking on the home straight with 900m to go, hoping to expose his followers to their own headwind but to no avail. He finished 3rd as James coped through 12 ½ more laps for a safe 5th place.

Two 5th place relay teams rounded off our afternoon. An above season average match point score of 192 left us 7th on the day. The all important positions for us (besides our own) were Victoria Park Glasgow – 5th – enough to keep us ahead of them, and Falkirk – 2nd– sadly too strong for us.

After 4 matches

Match points total

League Points total

Aberdeen AAC



Edinburgh AC



Inverness H



Central AC



Shettleston H



Falkirk Victoria H



Corstorphine AAC



Victoria Park Glasgow



 It seems that we have been relegated to the second division after just a year. VP and Falkirk both brought strong teams to the final match. Falkirk overhauled us comprehensively and decisively. Results of 7th, 5th, 7th and 7th, made it difficult for us to remain in the division. There were no matches when a close result might have favoured us. The standard of competition is high but the match point scores show that we have been competitive throughout the year, justifying our place in the division.

Not all is lost! Next season still offers great competition opportunity, with some events being more competitive in the lower division. It is a 9 team division, potentially 10 next season, depending on interest over the winter. Ally, Ryan and James have tried to find ways to broaden our event base and enlarge the club’s roster of athletes with some success. Some of that takes time and work, as Patrick’s Pole Vault shows. Hammer and Pole Vault were big empty spaces on our team sheet a few years ago and we struggled to fill relay teams.

Sourcing officials has been a challenge in the past. We need to supply 3 at each match. Yesterday we took 3 graded officials and our ever-present John Ross. Next year we hope that we will have more qualified officials to reduce the burden on Chris Peggie, Janet Grigor and Annette Harrison, all of whom have given several days to our team this summer, as well as FVL, CSSAL and other competitions. Ally, James and Ryan have all completed officials courses – might you do one too? There are a few interested people already and the club will cover the cost of the course: or coaching?

We won Division 2 in 2018, let’s make it happen again in 2020…

James Harrison, Ally Brockie and Ryan Kyle.

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