Success At Sherdley Park
The two hundred acres of Sherdley Park in St. Helen's with its undulating parkland, grassy knolls, copses, woodland and lakes lent itself brilliantly for the second of the five Manchester Area Cross-Country League matches (MACCL) at the weekend. The venue that's already hosted several cross country championship ,county championships, the women's inter-counties and the northern cross-country championships (most recently 2004 and 2009), was a testing one. However, on an uncharacteristic November sunny afternoon the crowds turned out with even larger numbers toeing the line than Heaton Park. The club claimed a fantastic record of eight victories (against three at Heaton Park) and had fifteen teams finishing among the top three (eight at Heaton Park). Well done to all for making it a very successful day.
Our U13 girls showed the biggest improvement, moving from 4th at Heaton Park to a tremendous victory beating Manchester Harriers by just one point. In a regular tussle between the two starlets Olivia Green and Ellie Twite, on this occasion it was Olivia that won the race with Ellie just behind in second place. A special well done to unexpected third counter Aine Cunningham in ninth place running her first race for the club. (Mum will now certainly have to buy her that promised puppie!) It bodes well for the future that these three counters will be in the same age-group next year. Such is the current dept of this age-group, they finished three teams in fifth and eleventh positions. With regards the U13 boys, well done to the same trio of Jake & Adam Spilbury and Michael Quinn whoclaimed their second consecutive victory with the 'B' team of Joe Hammond, Saeed Abseyeh and Adam Kinghorn again finishing third.
Our U15 boys also notched up their second consecutive victory with a fantastic victory for Sam Mayon. Sam's gone from ninth at Heaton Park and been running only about four months. He was ably backed up by Dylan Stanway (7th) and Daniel Brint (9th). Our U15 girls improved from third at Heaton Park to also being victorious. Catherine Podmore improved from 7th to a superb second place and four of the seven girls - Catherine Podmore, Hannah Simeen, Caitlin Thomas and Rachel Hibbert had competed only the previous day very successfully for their schools in the NW Final of the English Schools. This section also finished a 'B' team in fifth place.
Our U11 girls, running their first match of the league, finished four in the first eight - a magnificent result. Well done to Tia Blisset (who was never in the first ten last year and finished second in this race), Elizabeth Twite (running a year young was the first Year 5 to finish) and Taria Keddrick. With a strong squad that also completed teams in second, third, fourth and eighth place, we can look forward to strong competition from them in the future.
Our U17 lads consolidated their top position in the league with a second great victory and on this occasion also completed a 'B' team. Alex Burchill made all the difference finishing an impressive second with Kyle Conway and Alex Bradford, who'd also competed in the first match following close behind. Our U17 girls also improved from third to second thank to fine performances from Megan Dav who finished second behind Abbie Hetherington (Cumbria), one of the best in the country and with Imani Modahl and Chloe Yates ably supporting her.
Another strong turnout in strength in depth from the senior men meant we clinched overall victory and again finished four teams. Young Charlie Hulson was sensational mixing it with much more experienced runners and finishing eight. It was great to witness Gaz Raven back to his familiar classy form (or almost!) who ran a much improved race and finished just behind James Bailey.Well done also to Ben Scarlett, Niall Brooks and Matt Holmes who completed the winning sextet. Our senior women also improved from third to second behind traditional rivals Macclesfield AC. Lucy O'Gorman made all the difference finishing a tremendous second with Emily Beedham consolidating her return to top form finishing inside the top ten, Hannah Griffiths also returned to top form with Joanne Street producing one of her best ever runs. The team are well positioned to win the League this year.....come on, girls! Junior Tyra Watson, Jenny Clink, Lauren Davies and Jenny Cordingley all improved their finishing positions by several places over the Heaton Park race.
Our veteran women 'A' team improved from seventh to sixth and consolidated their position in Division 1 of the league thanks to the trio of Jan Nichols, Helen Reagan and Zoe Gmerek in both matches. The 'B' team also finished in the top twenty. Congratulations to Jackie Cordingley who was the first L50 finisher and Lynda Rowlinson and Jenny Miles who were third in their L50 & L60 categories (respectively). The Veteran men's race is one of the region's toughest and we must be at our best to challenge. Despite having Gary Rowlinson (M45) playing his usual 'stormer' and Bill Fox (M50) displaying his old, familiar 'flair', we were still without some of our top performers and so slipped to seventeenth place.
The next match on Saturday December 3rd on home-territory, Wythenshawe Park ....a nice, flat course organised by club Director Dave Rodgers so let's see you all there once more.
Posted 15/01/2012 20:02