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Beagles Record breaker is in a defiant mood

17:00 10 July 2014

Rabah Yousif shone for Beagles in their latest British League match

Rabah Yousif shone for Beagles in their latest British League match

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Yousif makes a defiant claim

Beagles star Rabah Yousif made a defiant claim after Saturday’s penultimate British League match of the season at Allianz Park, Hendon. “This club is too good to go down!”

The prospect of relegation from the Premier League for the first time in their history looked a decided possibility after poor showings in the first two fixtures.

Manager Rowan Griffiths looked for a top-four finish in match three, but incredibly he was rewarded with match victory.

“Things were going well throughout the afternoon,” he said. “Some of the other teams hadn’t really turned up and we were going very nicely and about halfway through club official Bob Smith said to me: ‘We are going to win this match!’ As usual, he was absolutely right.”

Yousif was the star for Beagles as his 400 metres time of 45.41 seconds was not only a season’s best, but also broke the British League record.

“Rabah was magnificent,” said Griffiths. “That time is close to international standard and I think he can go under 45 seconds soon.”

This was a meeting where the Beagles rallied round to get a result for the proud club.

Keith Gerrard flew in from the United States to win the 5,000m in a season’s best of 14.23.36, while new Beagle Kostas Stathlokos, the Cypriot hammer champion, flew in from there to win with a 69.47m throw.

“Kostas has been unavailable for our first two matches as he has been involved in Cyprus, but he was excellent on Saturday and beat some very good throwers,” added a delighted Griffiths.

Rory Chesser finished second in the B 1,500m and first in the B 3,000m steeplechase, while Frank Baddick won the A 1,500m in 3.53.24 to complete a fine set of results.

Matt Roberts continued his fine form in the high jump with a leap of 2.20m to take maximum points, while there were a host of runners-up spots.

Tom Burton moved from the hurdles to the flat 400m to finish second in a fast 47.49, while Simon Phelan was second in the B high jump, Bradley Pickup leapt 7.37m to finish second in the A long jump, with Andre Fernandez runner-up in the B event.

Julian Golley rolled back the years again to leap 14.49 for second in the A triple jump as 43-year-old Gintas Degutis threw the shot 15.05m, while Neil Crossley was second in the A javelin.

“The secret was that we made sure we had someone in each event and the points kept piling up,” said Griffiths. “We had a 16-year-old in Abass Hemoh in the 100m, who did well and should run well in the English Schools this weekend.”

The victory still has them one place above the drop zone with one match to go in Manchester on 
August 9. “We have a little bit of breathing space on the teams below us, but we are not taking anything for granted,” said Griffiths.

“I think probably fifth or sixth place in the last match will be enough, but we are aiming higher than that.”

After Saturday’s victory, that can be no surprise.

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