“Harriers resolute in the face of challenging conditions!”
Repeating the excellent team performance at Shipley Park last month (Men 2nd/Ladies 2nd/Combined team 2nd) was going to require another sterling effort at last night’s penultimate race in the BDL series. Put to the test again, the Harriers’ spirits were certainly not dampened by the tough, wet conditions as our MEN’S TEAM beat Heanor to record a clear WIN on the night; our LADIES TEAM once again achieved an excellent 2nd PLACE, and the COMBINED TEAM finished 2nd – equal on points with winners Heanor.
The sequence of results for the combined team reads… Race 1 – 3rd/ Race 2 – 1st/ Race 3 – 2nd/ Race 4 – 2nd – and with just one more race to go the overall league standings are now as follows…
Ladies: Holding the top spot by 2 points from 2nd placed North Derbyshire (having been 3 points ahead after last month’s race).
Men: Strengthening their hold on 2nd place in the standings…having reduced Heanor’s 5-point lead by 1 point and increased the gap over North Derbyshire from 1 point to 6 points.
Combined team: Consolidating 2nd place – remaining just 2 points behind leaders Heanor… and a whopping 12 points clear of 3rd placed North Derbyshire!!
Demonstrating their excellent strength in depth, in the absence of several of our potential scoring runners, our winning men’s team packed extremely well – with 3rd to 7th placed counters coming in within a space of just 35 seconds across 8 positions. Good as that was, the big story happened three minutes or so before this influx of yellow & black vests…. when GORDON IRVINE crossed the finish line in 1st PLACE to record his first league win for Belper. Not far behind him came DALE ANNABLE, who delivered yet another superb performance to finish in 3rd PLACE – just 37 seconds later.
Five of the counting runners from the previous race made the seven-man scoring team again last night: along with Dale, we had ALEX DUTHIE in 17th; ANDY PARKIN in 19th; SAUL TAYLOR in 23rd, and MARK RICHES in 24th. The other ‘new entry’ to the scoring seven this season (besides Gordon) was ALAN BILLINGTON, who had an excellent run to finish in 22nd place in his return to league competition for the club.
On the ladies side, it was great to see yet another very good turnout – as nine of our girls took up the Carsington challenge. In a remarkable demonstration of consistency, our three scorers from the previous two races finished almost the same number of positions apart, and within a similar timescale to the Shipley race. SHARON MELLORS once again ran strongly to lead the team home in an excellent 68th place (6th in the ladies race) and was well supported by STEPH ILSLEY in 77th (10th lady) and the evergreen THERESA HEMPSALL in 82nd place. (11th lady). Another very creditable performance was that of GEMMA REDFERN, who in 94th place (12th lady), had an excellent run to finish significantly higher than last time – crossing the line within just 36 seconds of our 3rd scorer!
Last but not least – congratulations to our three category winners on the night: Mark Riches, 1st VM45; Roger Morgan, 1st VM55, and Malc Weir, 1st VM60.
As usual, the attached results spreadsheet shows both individual and team results. (Click on ’Sheet 2’ for the team details).
The final BDL race will be at Shipley Cricket Club on Tuesday August 3rd.
Well done everyone… and thanks for your efforts!!