Red Rose Cross Country League – Marl Pits Saturday November 17th
One week ago, the Harriers Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s Team both won their races at Leverhulme Park to make it two wins out of two. This week they made it three wins out of three to put themselves in an unassailable position going into the final fixture at Todmoreden on December 1st.
The Senior Women’s team was depleted today in terms of numbers and it was everything to play for as they fielded four athletes in an attempt to continue the winning run – Joanne Nelson, Annabel Ralph, Ellen Sagar-Hesketh, Lindsay Davies.
(L-R Ellen Sagar-Hesketh – Joanne Nelson – Lindsay Davies – Annabel Ralph)
Three places in the first thirteen saw the Women take the race by just three points from Bury in 2nd place. Joanne was the first Harrier across the line in 20.11 followed by Annabel in 8th position (20.25), Ellen in 13th clocking 21.10 and Lindsay in 41st place running a time of 23.27. Joanne’s run saw her take her third successive win in the V45 category to take an unbeatable lead in the Series.
Team Captain Joanne was delighted with the day and the Team’s success, telling the Club “A fantastic team performance by the ladies at the “not for the faint hearted” Rossendale course. A depleted team of four female runners really did pull it out of the bag to win 1st place again. Well done to Annabel, Ellen and Lindsey…oh, and myself. Would be great to see all the ladies turn out for the final fixture at Todmorden… we definitely need a full show to secure first ladie’s vet teams!!! It’s looking good for Blackburn Harriers; we are definitely setting the standards”
The Harriers Senior Men were in the same position as the Women having won the first two fixtures at Leigh and Bolton. Another very good turn out by the Men and good packing saw the team take seven of the top twenty places giving them a win over a strong Bury Team by just nine points who had all of thier counters in the top twenty too, making it a very competitive race.
Men’s Team Captain – Paul Guinan – was a happy man after today’s fixture commenting “A great performance again from all the team, confirming the depth and class we have, taking the team victory again means we have retained the Red Rose Title, with still the final fixture remaining, now looking to the final fixture in 2 weeks time”.
L-R Dominic Walton – Tom Marchant – Danny Collinge – Jack Hindle – Chris Davies – Marc Hartley – Paul Bradshaw – Calum Holmes – Allan Hartley – Tom Blaney – Ben Costello – Paul Brindle (front row)
A very good run from Jack Hindle saw him take 2nd place to eventual winner Joe Johnston in a time of 27.28. Dominic Walton is showing real strength on the cross country and also had a cracking run to place 8th in a time of 28.24 followed just one place further back by Ben Costello in 28.40. Danny Collinge was next across the line in 13th after holding the lead in the race early on, in a time of 29.34 with Marc Hartley in 17th place (29.54), Chris Davies one place behind in 18th running 29.57 and Tom Blaney in 20th posting a time of 30.22. Chris also won the Vet 40 category which sees him heading the V40 table going into the third fixture at Todmorden.
Just six seconds separated Paul Bradshaw in 25th spot with a time of 30.58 and Calum Holmes in 27th with a time of 31.04. Tom Marchant in 42nd place and Paul Brindle in 43rd were split by just one seocnd as they clocked 32.20 and 32.21 respectively with Allan Hartley in 155th place (40.51).
With the Junior Harriers concentrating on the Mid Lancs League in the main this season, there were just a handful of them out on the day. In the U11 Boys the lads managed a 3rd place for the Team on the day, led home by Matthew Smith with a very good run of 5.47 in 5th place with another good run from Oliver Gill in 7th position clocking 5.54 and supported by Findlay Carroll in 31st place (6.30), George Holman in 66th spot running a time of 7.04 and Isaac Smith in 78th (7.48). Ninety one runners in the U11 Girls and for the Harriers it was Hannah Davies who toed the line at the start, producing a good run to finish 14th overall in a time of 6.46.
Oliver Gill & Matthew Smith
The U13 Boys finished in 4th place – just nine points off 3rd placed Leigh Harriers. Daniel Smith had a very good run, working his way through the field to be the first Harrier home in a time of 9.04 (12th). Codie Dewhurst was the next club mate home clocking 9.17 in 16th place, with Saul Sharp in 21st running a time of 9.28 and Harry Sambrook in 25th out of the 61 strong field in 9.37. Isabelle Hartley ran in the U13 Girls Race clocking 10.46 in 44th place.