Wellington College clinch McEvedy Shield

You can’t beat the McEvedy on a good day.

Wellington College co-captain Robbie Delany described his school’s McEvedy Shield triumph yesterday as the best day of his life: “There’s nothing in the world like winning the McEvedy. It’s a feeling like nothing else I’ve felt in my life.

“It’s been four years too long and it feels so good.”

Wellington College have not finished further back than second in the McEvedy in the past 12 years but had to bow to St Pat’s Town in the previous three years.

Town made a brave bid to record a fourth successive win but Wellington College were always in the fight. Neither school was able to build a significant lead before Wellington College edged away to win by just 11 points.

It was the smallest winning margin since Wellington College took the shield by nine points in 2009 and contrasted with Town’s 49-point romp last year.

Delany shared the captaincy duties with his twin Harry and the pair played their part by filling the first two placings in the open 3000 metres, with Harry holding out his brother. Harry also finished third in the 1500m.

Wellington College head coach Chris Wells believed the 3000m result was a key factor in the school’s victory: “That set the tone for the team, with Harry and Robbie showing what it takes to win a McEvedy. They showed the guts and determination needed to run through the pain barrier.”

The Delany brothers do most things together. “We train together, eat together and sleep in the same room – all that jazz,” Robbie said.

Wells also had no doubt as to what a McEvedy win means. “It’s a big deal [for the school], it’s huge.

READ MORE: Live blog recap: McEvedy 2015

“I’m absolutely thrilled and just standing here and trying to take it all in, to be honest. It’s one of the older traditional fixtures and involves so many kids. And probably only the athletes and coaches understand how much work goes in.

“A huge amount goes into the preparation and I don’t think we do any more than the other schools. I was so proud of our boys today and a lot of young men stood up when it counted.

“We had a very good team and a young team. Our under-14 and under-15 squads were outstanding. You would probably find that those two grades produced the most points but that is not relevant unless the older boys are doing their bit as well.”

Town head coach Leigh Lidstone had expected a tight contest. “We had four or five crucial athletes injured and I knew that would test our depth and spirit.

“Wellington College always have a good talent base and they are well coached. They have obviously done a lot of good work in the javelin and the jumps.”

Town and Wellington between them won 48 of the 55 races last year but the individual honours were more evenly spread yesterday.Wellington College won 21 events, with Town taking 18, Silverstream 12 and Rongotai four. Silverstream recorded 116 points, compared to 87 last year, while Rongotai improved their tally from 56 to 70. Wellington won all four javelin events yesterday and swept the board in the 3000m.