THE MANCHESTER X.C. LEAGUE (2)
Fechin Mc Cormick
No other race of the Manchester Area Cross-Country League (MACCL) polarises opinion more than the Woodbank Park match. Its brutal hills and traditional ankle deep mud divides ‘the troops’ more than any other and the weekend’s second of five matches certainly evoked the spectrum from ‘loving’ to ‘hating’. Spectator support, therefore, was much appreciated along the course.
The afternoon began with the U11 girls and what a record turnout Sale had. This is largely due to the Primary section bursting at the seams since London 2012’s ‘Inspire a Generation’. Five of the first ten places; the first two teams and a record ‘C’ and ‘D’ team were all Sale Harriers. All who fell into the arms of their doting and proud parents were the cutest, most mud-splattered little ‘mites’ imaginable. First home among them was Lauren Smith (3rd) with Lara Crawford (4th) with Alice Dale (5th). Well done also to the U11 boys who were 4th, led ome by Joel Stringer, George Safranauskas and Jed Bailey. Zachery Gaillemin and Lewis Rowlinson also bravely emulated their dad and mum who later ran in the senior races.
In the U13 girl’s race, Liverpool was again unbeatable with their ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams again taking the first two places. However, Sale showed equal strength in depth by finishing a record five teams as against the three teams in the last match. Lizzie Twite (7th) was pack leader this time admirably supported by Tess Mc Hugh (16th) and Jemma Vickers (18th) who brought home the ‘A’ team in 4th place. The ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams all improved on their last match and the ‘D’ and ‘E’ teams did well in 14th and 18th place. In the U13 boy’s race, again Liverpool was dominant. The trio of Harry Boyd, Tom Barratt and Bailey Hulse brought the team home 7th and, with Stockport, they were the only other club to finish a ‘B’ team. Both the boy’s and girl’s teams would have finished even higher had Beth Thornton and Luke Chesters not been representing their schools at the NW Schools Cup where Luke won a silver medal and Beth a bronze medal. Well done to both.
Well done again to our U15 girls who once more responded in such large numbers and again finished four of the twelve competing teams. This time it was great to have the section’s front runners as Francesca Brint (3rd), Olivia Green (4th) and Frankie Reid (8th). who finished 2nd team. The ‘B’ team were a strong 4th; the ’C’ team were 7th and ‘D’ team 11th. The section would have been even better had Ciara Lydon, and Claudia Cowan not been representing their schools at the NW Regional Schools Cup. (Congratulations to Ciara who won a silver medal and Claudia who won a bronze medal at it). Our U15 boy’s trio of Jake Spilsbury, Dillon Burchill and Harry Brown also battled hard for their 5th team place.
As in the first match, half of the six U17 teams that finished were Sale runners. Cross-country races are the back-bone of each winter’s endurance and these youngsters turning out in such strong numbers is laying a sure foundation for a strong future for the club. It was Aimee Pratt s first race in the U17 category and she did great to finish 3rd. Well supported by Catherine Podmore (7th) and Amber Towns (10th) this ‘A’ trio finished 2nd and had every reason to enjoy their bath and girly make-ups afterwards. They also just missed out on podium position by two measly points to Stockport. Next time, go get ‘em girls! The U17 boy’s race is always much smaller and had only 15 finishers with ourselves and Stockport the only two teams. Well done to Christie O’Brien (2nd), Matt Beacock (8th) and Bradley Thornton (13th). They fought for every place and, in the end, edged out Stockport AC for top place by just one point.
Imani Modahl was the club’s sole U20 female runner. It was her first ever race over 8k in the senior event and possibly one of her best ever performances showing strength and maturity in the tough conditions. She was 4th in her category and second counter for the senior women. The U20 men weren’t as strong as in match one so finished 3rd with David Rich (6th), Andrew Keat (14th) and Matthew Metcalfe (15th).
Again, our senior women fielded a record five teams. The ‘A’ team were a new quartet of Emma Finney first home for the first time; L20 Imani Modahl (see above), Kathy Wellam, who has been a long time club servant over 400m hurdles and now taking up longer distances and relative newcomer L40 Anne Chinoy who’s in great form. The ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams were all first’s with the ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams also beating 50% of the competing ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams, proving again that Sale’s ‘girls’ are not to be ‘messed ‘with!
The massive growth in senior women’s running is displayed by the fact that, in the L35 categories upwards, Wilmslow AC, Middleton AC and Sale all fielded a record four teams for the first time. Competition, therefore in these categories is tough so the trio of Anne Chinoy, Jackie Cordingley and Cath Jones did well to consolidate the ’A’ teams Division 1 status with the ‘B’ trio 2nd just behind Stockport.
The senior men also again fielded five teams but, on this occasion, only James Bailey remained of the impressive Sale phalanx of six across the line in nine that so convincingly spearheaded the first match. As a result Nigel Martin, David Rich, and Andy Mooney, the ‘B’ team core finishers in the last match, were promoted to ‘A’ finishers and with Rob Flannery with ‘his feet back on the ground’ and Dave Marsh who flew off too fast, the team were 3rd. The ‘B’, ‘C’ teams also beat many of the regions ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams that again pays tribute to the section’s depth. Likewise, the veteran men, who finished four teams in 6th, 17th, 26th and 40th place, again showed their depth in numbers and eager competitive spirit. Amidst strong teams in the league this year, a strong turn-out is advised for the remaining matches to consolidate their league positions. Detailed individual times and performances can all be studied at www.race-results.co.uk
The 3rd of the five MACCL matches will on the undulations of Sherdley Park on Saturday December 7th. Photographs from this match can be viewed on the website and at http://www.darkstarphotos.com .....thanks to Ernie Greenwood
Posted 12/11/2013 08:23