Croydon Harrier’s men’s and women’s team picked up a crucial victory at Croydon Arena on Saturday in the second round of fixtures in the first division of the Southern Athletics League.

After finishing fourth out of four in their debut in the top flight last month at Lee Valley, the Harriers bounced back to top the standings with 197 points, ahead of Blackheath & Bromley (180), Bedford & County (164) and Havering (135).

Lee McLaughlin made a welcome return to competition with a double win in the 100m (10.94 seconds) and 400m (49.60secs), supported in the latter by Kartik Iyer (54.42secs) who took the B event honours.

A further maximum event came courtesy of Alex Penfold (four minutes 14.26secs) and Peter Chambers (4:21.45) in a tactical 1,500m.

James Eccles showed his multi-event capabilities having scooped A event wins in the 110m hurdles and triple jump and enjoyed a B pole vault victory.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Action from the men's 1,500m at the Croydon Arena

In the throws, Richmond Baah kicked off his season with a 48.97m effort to win the javelin.

In the women’s section, Ashleigh Clarke bagged the sole event victory of the afternoon for Croydon in the 100m in 12.40secs, just 0.06secs clear of the field.

The women’s team spirit however proved the vital difference though, with virtually all events being covered.

Manager Amy Dowsett ran the 400m hurdles, 1,500m and 2km steeplechase, Mandy Rowley-Jones recovered well to finish the sprint hurdles after falling at the first barrier, while Annette Gould finished the 3,000m in addition to being five months pregnant.

The relay teams brought the curtain down on an excellent afternoon with the women’s 4x100m team (Coralie Mido, Sonyce Archer, Ashleigh Clark and Eleanor Smith-Hahn) and the men’s 4x400m team (Chris Collins-Ahouzan, Alex Penfold, Jake English and Kieron Connor) taking the wins.

Croydon have three fixtures of the league campaign remaining, with the next clash on June 22 in Colchester.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Winners: The women's 4x100m team Ashleigh Clarke, Coralie Mido, Sonyce Archer and Eleanor Smith-Hahn

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

First to the tape: Ashleigh Clarke in action over 100m

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Anieshka Mido goes for broke for Croydon Harriers