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Pudsey Pacers under pressure in last race
The penultimate races of the two local cross-country leagues took place on Sunday, and the pressure was on.
The fourth race in the West Yorkshire Cross-Country League was hosted for the first time by Craven Energy Triathlon Club.
The men’s league race is tightly fought. Leeds-Bradford Tri-Club won on the day with 1,281 points, putting them a clear in third in the league.
Stainland Lions finished second with a 32-point margin over Pudsey Pacers. Overall, this brings them within 25 points of leaders Pacers (5,191 against 5,166), meaning a nail-biting final day.
The fourth to seventh positions were even tighter, with Skipton and Craven Energy using home soil to post far higher tallies than usual (1156 and 1150 respectively).
Skipton’s men drew on good performances by Julian Hood (seventh), Joel Dalby (14th) and Steve Sayer (19th).
Craven Energy benefited from top-ten performances by Ian Taylor (sixth) and promising youngster Eddie Evans (eighth).
Queensbury also posted an excellent score (1,145) to beat Baildon (1,134). For Queensbury, top scorers were Chris Williams (fifth), Martin Firth (24th), Darren Midgley (26th) and Pete Hughes (29th). Quentin Lewis (fourth), Chris Burke (16th) and Steve Watkins (20th) were the top Baildon male counters.
Nonetheless, Baildon remain safe in fourth position overall, with Queensbury having done excellently in their first season to be almost assured of fifth, ahead of Dewsbury Road Runners and Idle AC.
In the women’s event, Stainland are dominant, meaning that they lead the combined men’s and women’s table too.
But Skipton’s ladies performed well with second on the day, taking them within sight of overhauling second-placed LBT in the ladies’ standings.
Claire Lilley (fifth), Jayne Butterworth (ninth), Sarah King (11th) and Jan Smith (23rd) bunched nicely as their four scorers.
Butterworth is fourth in the individual female ranking, but is being pressured by Baildon’s Emma Stoney, just two points behind.
Fourth to seventh positions remain up for grabs, with Baildon threatening to overtake Dewsbury (1,253 to 1,270).
But with Karen Pickles (second) back for Pudsey, Pacers seem secure ahead of Craven Energy (1,235 to 1207).