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BAL Knockout Cup

Report by: Martin Cunnane

18th July 1999 - Robin Park Stadium, Wigan

Wakefield Harriers' senior women just failed to make the final of this year's British Athletics League final after a third-place finish in the semi-finals at Wigan's Robin Park.

UK Women's League Division 1 outfits Sale Harriers and Trafford AC took first and second respectively.

Wakefield put on a good show but were without first-team choices Becky Foster, Michelle Lonsdale, Shirley Griffiths, Emily Freeman, Emma Phillips, Elaine Sutcliffe, Judith Payne, Tara Wilson and Lindsey Jones, all unavailable for a variety of reasons.

And with both Sale, and Trafford fielding strong teams and only two teams from the match going on to next months final at Bedford, the Harriers finished just one place behind the qualifying positions for the second year running.

International heptathlete Kerry Jury was on spectacular form, completing a scintillating track and field double. She won the high jump with a 1.75m clearance before going on to the 200m start where inspired running saw her come from four metres down on Pitreavie's Natalie Hind entering the home straight to sweep into the lead close to home and win going away in 24.6 secs.

Jury, who also ran legs in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, ended her personal points contribution with fifth place in the javelin.

Penny Thackray ran her first 3000m race in Wakefield colours and showed she will be a major future points contributor by forcing the pace from the off to gradually pull well clear and cross the line over 18 seconds ahead of Liverpool's Gill Varley in a speedy 9 mins 46.1 secs. - a good time considering the gusty winds swirling around the Robin Park circuit.

Vicky Shepherd putted 12.14m to claim third place in the shot behind Trafford's Helen Wilding, who won with 12.83m.

And Jenny Cunnane also finished third, in the pole vault behind UK record holder Janine Whitlock of Trafford, who won with a season's best clearance of 4.25m - a new cup record for the discipline.

Cunnane also finished fifth in the hammer with her best throw of 40.88m behind another UK record holder, Lorraine Shaw of Sale, who also set a new cup record with her winning throw of 61.17m.

Amanda Sheppard currently struggling with an Achilles tendon problem, supplied third-place points from the discus, earned with her day's best effort of 38.69m behind Shaw of Trafford who completed a double with her winning effort of 49.92m.

Other team members: Sarah Beevers, Alice Butler, Fiona Westwood, Julia Sykes, Ruth Dales, Laura Sheard, Clare Dunstan.