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Welcome to Derby Athletic ClubMoorways Stadium, Moor Lane, Derby, DE24 9HY Correspondence to: Moorways Stadium, Moor Lane, Derby, DE24 9HY

Promotion to the Northern Premier League For Derby AC

Derby Athletic Club has at last gained promotion to the Northern Premier League after winning the Division 1 promotion match at Doncaster.

The club was promoted from Division 2 several years ago, but with only the top team going up to the premier league each season, it has been a tough challenge in the last few years.

Derby started the day at the top of Division 1 after winning its home match and coming second out of all the teams in two away matches over the last three months. 

Finishing the day in the top three would see the club promoted. 

The day started with good points in pole vault, long jump, hammer, discus and shot.

The ever reliable Kelse Hutchinson picked up major points in her three throws, alongside Olivia Bartlett, who stepped in to gain points in the B throws.

David Kennedy, who travelled from his holiday, partnered Trevor Tarbit and Richard Coulson in the men’s throws.

In the 400m hurdles Lauren Blakey and Angelica Operinde both came first, with Manuel Diaz Brito finishing second in the men’s and later winning the men’s 110m hurdles. 

The men’s 800m A race was incredibly tight with less than a second separating the first four. Matt Ward worked his magic to finish first.

There was drama struck in the 100m when Akaylah Lobban was judged to have false started and was disqualified. Chloe Graham who finished joint second was moved to third. Later Akaylah won the 200m with a PB and Chloe was second in the 400m B race. Ruby Davies also came second in the 400m A race and first in the 800m B race.

Sarah Bourne and Bethan Hudson helped put the team back into top spot, winning the 3000m, with Bethan also winning the steeplechase. This was followed by Joseph Booth and Grant Cummings both winning their 5000m races.

Martin Kerr and Russell Parkin both coming third in the A and B 1500m put Derby 12 points clear. The woman’s 1500m was dominated by Lillie Jeffries-Williams and Daisy Walker, both coming first. 

Derby were in full flight now and it was a clean sweep in both the men’s and woman’s 200m, with Joel Akande, Max Bishop, Akaylah and Angelica all winning comfortably.

At the same time Manuel was coming third in triple jump and Kacper Kukla second in the B event. Kacper also competed in the pole vault, long jump and high jump alongside his training partner Sammy Coulson, who picked up three PBs in his events.

Before the relays, it was announced that Derby AC was promoted, and the celebrations continued with both the men’s and woman’s sprinters winning the 4X100m relays. 

Team manager Paul Blakey, who is the club’s senior sprints and hurdles coach, said everyone who had competed this season had been outstanding and gave a special mention to Manuel, whom he managed to re-sign for the club in March after a two-year absence. 

Manuel has competed in all four matches, travelling up from London, where he now works.

Paul said: “Manuel is so enthusiastic and competitive, his energy rubs off onto the other athletes; he has been a joy to work with again.”

Things were taken easy in the 4x400m relays as athletes finally realised their hard work had paid off, and Derby AC had crossed the finishing line as Division 1 champions.

Pictured above: athletes, officials and supporters with the trophy at the Doncaster match.