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Season's best secures Reynolds silver

By Brian Hill

Published 22/06/2015

Top gun: Ben Reynolds was in great form in Crete
Top gun: Ben Reynolds was in great form in Crete

North Down's high hurdler Ben Reynolds had one of the races of his life at the weekend in the European Team Championships in Crete when he snatched silver in a season's best time of 13.73 secs.

Northern Ireland champion Reynolds, who is enjoying one of his best ever seasons, was only beaten to the tape by the Greek athlete Douvalidis who crossed the line in 13.58 secs.

This plus other good performances by Ulster athletes helped Ireland retain a top six placing out of 12 countries which assures their participation again in the First League next year.

The most determined run of the day came from Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty who led for most of her 1500m event.

The inevitable attack came with 200m remaining, but Kerry fought off several athletes in the home straight to snatch third in a good time of 4 mins 15.79 secs which was just a second slower than the winner Bobocea of Romania.

There was also success for Ulster's Mark English who took silver in the 800m in a time of 1.48.28.

However, the European Indoors silver medallist will be disappointed that he could not close the gap on Ilham Ozbilen of Turkey who was in control in the home straight to take victory in 1.47.97.

Ireland's top sprinter Amy Foster secured a fighting third place in the 100m in 11.60 secs behind double European champion Daphne Schippers who won with ease in 11.12 secs.

Amy's hectic schedule also included fifth place in the 200m plus the first leg of the relay where the Irish team finished sixth overall in 45.16 secs.

In the men's sprint relay lead-off runner Jonathan Browning of Ballymena helped to secure seventh for Ireland in yet another Irish U23 record of 40.18 secs.

Commonwealth Games hammer finalist Dempsey McGuigan acquitted himself well in a high standard event to take fifth with a throw of 64.95 metres behind winner Lukas Melich of the Czech Republic who recorded 74.84 metres.

Ulster University's Adam McMullen will be disappointed with his fourth place in the long jump with 7.54 metres as the winning jump of 7.77m equalled his recent PB in Loughborough.

There were seventh place finishes for Ballymena's Christine McMahon in the 400m hurdles (59.0 secs) and Finn Valley's Tori Pena in the pole vault (4.15m).

Ireland's Thomas Barr just lost out by .06 sec in the 400m hurdles to Estonia's Rasmus Magi.

Meanwhile, in the 1500m at the England U23 Championships Willowfield's Andrew Wright finished ninth in 4 mins 1 sec.

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