Jorge Thomas emerged victorious from the gloom to take first place for Keighley & Craven AC in the Complete Runner West Yorkshire Country League at a foggy Northcliffe Park, Shipley on Sunday.

The absence of Simon Deakin (Leeds City), winner of the first two races in the series, paved the way for Thomas to finish ten seconds ahead of Deakin’s team-mate, Alan Buckley, in 30mins 19secs.

Thomas and Buckley were among a group of five who left the rest of the field in the murk as they broke away on the first of four laps, with Kim Critchley (Knavesmire) and Josh Woodcock-Shaw (Spen-borough) in pursuit.

Critchley and Woodcock-Shaw had gambled too early, though, and gave way at the end of lap two to a small but determined group led by Martin Roscoe (Leeds) and Steve Broadbent (Bingley).

They proceeded to catch Leeds junior Dale Worton on the final lap to take fifth and sixth respectively.

Leeds again dominated the male team competition, with host club Bingley Harriers second.

Katie Walshaw must now be odds-on favourite for the individual ladies title having eased round the hilly parkland course to finish a comfortable 24 seconds clear of Katie Parry (Leeds), and she helped Holmfirth to first in the team standings on the day.

Having nearly pulled out at the previous race at York, Jo Buckley (Bingley) was closer to the pace this time and finished fourth, a minute behind Walshaw. Buckley’s clubmate Sue Becconsall and Ilkley’s Sally Morley also made the top ten.

Given the competing attraction of the Abbey Dash 10k in Leeds the same day, League organisers will have been happy to see 244 senior athletes compete at Northcliffe.

Almost 300 juniors also raced, with Ilkley Harriers enjoying individual victories in the shape of Georgia Malir (under-17 ladies) and Francis Westhead (under-11 boys), and a runners-up place for Sarah Pickering (under-13 girls).

Ilkley’s Thomas Kerr and Lucy Williamson were first back from local clubs with 15th and seventh spots respectively in the under-15 races. Good performances from Wharfedale’s Josh Newbold (under-13) and James Hall (under-17) earned both third-place finishes.