Men enjoy Bury good first year in Winter League

First published in Sport by

Sunday saw a new competition, an Inter-league Cross-Country Relay at Temple Newsam, for the 28 clubs of the Peco Cross-Country and West Yorkshire Winter Leagues.

It rounded off the two leagues’ own competitions, which concluded last Sunday in exciting finishes.

Queensbury RC entered the Winter League for the first time and their men came a remarkable fourth, overhauling Baildon Runners on the final day. They finished third at Dewsbury, behind overall winners Stainland Lions and men’s champions Pudsey Pacers.

Chris Williams (5th), Darren Midgley (11th), Martin Firth (15th), Pete Hughes (20th), Ben Clare (29th), Curtis Brennan (31st) and Carl Heron (36th) were Queensbury’s counters.

The women’s league was tighter still. Stainland were clear winners with Leeds-Bradford Triathlon second.

Four of the seven clubs were separated by just 38 individual points.

Baildon’s ladies climbed to third, through Alice Buttle, Denise Johnson, Barbara Lee and Liz Caven. Skipton AC just held off local rivals Craven Energy tri-club for fourth.

In the Peco League, Saltaire’s men’s team faced stiff competition from Abbey Runners and Valley Striders.

Only one team point separated the clubs before the race. Valley won the final race at Bodington Hall in Adel, overhauling Abbey and winning the league on count-back (overall individual scores).

Saltaire had a huge turnout and their best team performance in a decade, far ahead of the other Premier League teams.

Saltaire’s ladies were comfortably sixth in the Premier League, though Airecentre Pacers were relegated. Ilkley’s men gained promotion from Division One but their ladies missed out in fourth.

Lucy Haines won her junior orienteering international race on Sunday in the Netherlands.

Her winning time of 34min 48sec was over a minute ahead of team-mate Gabriel Lawrinson.

Fellow Airienteer, and Baildon Runner, Steve Watkins was ninth in the over-40s category in a time of 59.48, on a bitterly cold day in the woods near Breda.

The English team of 36 runners across 12 age and gender categories contained four Airienteers. They beat France, the Netherlands, Germany and the two halves of Belgium, with the Flemish team second.

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