NEYDL Returns a Last!

It’s been a long wait, but finally, the North East Youth Development League returned last weekend, as Middlesbrough Sports Village opened its doors to hundreds of young athletes from the region.  The last NEYDL Match was pre-Covid way back in July 2019, so it was fantastic to see our DHAC juniors teaming up with Allerton once again for a new season of competition.  Even though the first match at Whitley Bay had to be cancelled, there’s still another three to enjoy, and if rules permit, an Inter-League match against Yorkshire at the end.

Having been clear winners of their Division 2(S) back in 2019, the Darlington/Allerton team now found themselves in Division 1.  As is the way, we’ve lost some quality athletes as they’ve now moved up to U20, but at the same time gained some exciting new talent in a new generation of U13’s.  So here’s how things went in the first NEYDL match for nearly two years…….

Under 13 Boys

Hugo Douglas-Reeves was in outstanding form for his first NEYDL competition, coming away with 2 PB’s!  He started the day off with the 75m Hurdles, smashing his previous best by well over 3 seconds, finishing 1st in 14.2s which equalled the DHAC club record!  In his first 800m of the season he managed to improve his PB by a couple of seconds, crossing the line in 2nd place in a time of 2:34.5, and finally in the 200m it was another 1st place for Hugo finishing in 28.4s, an AAA grade 4 time.  A great day’s work!

Tomos Cowell made his debut for DHAC today, competing in 3 events! On the track he ran an excellent 100m finishing 2nd in his race in 16.9s. A great result on its own, but it was in the throws where he really excelled. He showed real strength in the shot put, finishing 2nd overall with a best of 7.15m which is a AAA Grade 4 throw. He continued with his great form in the Discus taking 1st place with 13.68m. An excellent debut from Tomos with some super results!

Just the one event for Rowan Steel today, his first ever track 800m, and what a run he had. He’s a year younger than Hugo so ran in the B-String race, but paced himself beautifully.  It was an excellent run finishing in 1st place in a time of 2:47.4.  Nice one, Rowan!

We had three of our Under 13 boys competing against each other in the 1500m; Daniel I’Anson, along with brothers, Jack and Harry Glenton.  For Daniel, it was his first official 1500m race, which he ran with great confidence, pacing himself very well.  He was the 3rd B-String runner to cross the line in an excellent 5:41.8.  Jack and Harry both debuted at the 1500m just a week earlier at the NECAA Open meet so it was great to see them both improve on their previous times with new PB’s.  There’s never much between them but it was Jack who crossed the line first in 6:17.9, with Harry not far behind in 6:22.7.  Daniel was back in action again in his first outdoor Long Jump.  He’d competed indoors at Gateshead before so was keen to improve on his previous best, which he did in style!  He smashed his PB with a new best of 3.87m, an increase of 36cm and the overall winner!  Superb effort lads, well done!

Under 13 Girls

We just had one of our U13 girls in action today, Chloe Graham, and what a day she had!  She started off with the 70m Hurdles; her first attempt at the discipline.  It was a great debut, finishing as the 2nd B runner in a time of 15.4s.  Next up, she had another debut, this time in the 800m.  Chloe produced another strong run and once again finished as the 2nd B runner in an excellent 2:56.2.  Finally, she was back again in the 100m sprint where she finished 5th in her race with a new PB of 16.8s.  An impressive set of results for a Year 1 U13, well done, Chloe!

Under 15 Boys

It was a busy day for our U15 boys with five of them competing today; most of them in more than one event.  Ashton Harrison and Thomas Hill started their day off with the Shot Put.  Some excellent throwing from both boys with Ashton smashing his PB by over a metre, with a new best of 9.4m to take 2nd place.  For Thomas, this was his first ever shot put competition and he performed very well; an excellent debut with a best of 6.17m.  The two boys returned for more throwing action later; Ashton threw the 1.25k discus for the first time and managed a new PB of 18.86m, over 2m more than his previous best with the 1k discus, finishing in 2nd place.  Thomas debuted for the second time today, in the javelin, and what a great result; he took 1st place in the B-string with a best of 15.75m – and he didn’t stop there!  On the track he took part in the 100m finishing 5th in a tough race against some older athletes, just outside his PB with a time of 14.8s.  In the next heat, Jack Johnson ran one of his fastest 100m with an excellent time of 15.6s crossing the line in 4th place.  Jack and Ashton were back again later in the day, running the 300m; a really tough race requiring huge sprint endurance.  For Jack, it was his first attempt at the distance; a difficult one to pace when it’s your debut.  But he put in a great effort finishing 4th in his heat in a time of exactly 56.0s.  Ashton has run the distance once before so he knew what to expect.  He looked strong all the way, and also finished in 4th place with a time of 43.5s.  Onto the middle distance and we had Harry Lyons and Matthew Vest competing in the 1500m.  Harry dominated the race looking strong and confident all the way round; he won by a clear margin of 21 seconds, just outside his PB with a time of 4:31.2.  Matthew has had an issue with a knee injury recently, but in true Harrier spirit he battled on to the end crossing the line in 5:49.9 – a fantastic effort.  Well done to all our U15 boys today!

Under 15 Girls

There we some excellent performances from our four U15 girls competing today.  Tori Buckley started things off in the long jump with a superb win and a new PB of 4.36m.  She then followed that up in the javelin.  This was her first time throwing the heavier 500g javelin and she coped with the new weight with ease – in fact, it was Tori’s second PB of the day; a terrific 23.54m to take 2nd place.  Finally, she decided to give the 300m ago, and like Jack earlier, it was her debut as well; although you wouldn’t have thought it.  In typical ‘Buckers’ style she pushed hard and looked strong from start to finish, crossing the line in 3rd place, setting a new best of 46.9s.  Next we had Zara Jones and Savannah Tarn who both competed in the 800m.  It was a drop in distance for Zara from her usual 1500m, but the shorter distance suited her just as well.  She controlled the race in her usual manner, crossing the line to win comfortably with a new PB of 2:26.5 (AAA Grade 4 time.)  Savannah also had an excellent race, working hard as usual and her PB of 2:36.5 was well deserved, plus she was the 1st B runner across the line!  Not bad going for two Year 1 athletes!  Our final U15 girl today was Libby Hammond in the 1500m.  Once again it was another gutsy performance from Libby, and just over a second off her PB.  She crossed the line in a time of 5.22.2 to take 7th place overall.  As usual, a superb effort from our Fantastic 4, well done girls.

Under 17 Girls

There were no U17 boys competing today, so it’s straight onto the girls.  It was an excellent start for Krista Bissett-Brown, competing at her first NEYDL today.  She ran a terrific 100m taking a well deserved 1st place with new PB of 13.5s.  In the following race Olivia Bell was back for her second competition this season.  She had a great run crossing the line in  3rd place, only beaten by athletes a year older, finishing in 14.0s.  Krista’s second event of the day was the long jump.  She was in great form here and managed to smash her PB by 55cm, taking 1st place again with a new best of 4.71m.  Finally, Krista was another of our junior athletes who decided to take on the 300m for the first time.  As expected she produced another strong performance to finish in 3rd place in a time of 45.4m.  In the 800m, Olivia Douglas-Reeves was in action.  She had an excellent run and was frustratingly just over a second off her PB when she crossed the line in 5th in a time of 2:53.3.  Our usual trio were back again for the 1500m; Mia Wetherill, Emily Vest and Macy Kelly.  All three have had an excellent start to the season and once again it was Mia who lead our girls home in 2nd place in a time of 5:07.8.  Emily wasn’t far behind in 4th place with a fantastic new PB of 5:14.6, and Macy hot on her heels in 5th less than half a second behind in 5:15.0.  Our resident throws expert, Lily Thompson had a busy day competing in 3 events.  It was her first time for the Hammer throw this season and considering it’s been a while she produced some pretty solid throws; her best on the day was 21.71m which was enough to take 3rd place.  She was a little off her best in the shot but 9.39m still made her the clear winner at the end of the competition.  And more top throwing in the Discus put Lily in 3rd place with a best of 19.25m.  Some excellent performances across the board from our U17 girls, well done to all!

4 x 100m Relays

The relays are always an exciting way to conclude the day’s events, and although the Darlington/Allerton partnership didn’t have a relay team for every age group, plenty of our DHAC athletes took part.  Here’s how they did….

Under 13 Boys – 2nd place in 60.7s

Under 13 Girls – 1st place in 58.3s

Under 15 Boys – 4th place in 57.7s

Under 15 Girls – 6th place in 57.8s

Overall it’s been a fantastic start to the new NEYDL season.  Every one of our Juniors gave it their all, doing themselves, and the club proud.  There were some terrific performances alongside their Allerton team mates, up against the tough Division 1 competition; we even managed to beat Gateshead in the final match scores to take 3rd place.  Well done to everyone.

The next match is planned for 20/06/21 back at Middlesbrough Sports Village.  Hope to see you there!

Final Match Points

Harrogate                            808.5

North Shields                     695

Darlington/Allerton         534

Gateshead                          531

Morpeth                              514

Blyth/Alnwick                    318.5

You can check out the full results at

Big thanks to Penny I’Anson and Gillian Buckley for the use of their photos. Much appreciated as always 🙂

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