League title race set for thrilling showdown
THE destination of the women's team title in the Gwent Cross Country League will go down to the fifth and final fixture in Brecon next month and it will be a shoot-out between Bristol & West AC and Westbury Harriers.
The two clubs finished joint first in Saturday's fixture at the University of Bath, but Westbury have a slender lead of 24 points going into that last match to set up a thrilling climax to a hard-fought contest.
If Bristol & West's new signing Helen Sharpe was in the scoring team the result would have been different as she was second – she was actually leading but went off course towards the finish – but she is not allowed to score at present.
So, instead, Emma D'Alton came through for a terrific victory from Sharpe, with North Somerset AC's Flo Dannah continuing her good season in third.
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"It was an exciting day for our ladies and I can't remember the last time a Westbury lady won," said team manager Tamsin Chick.
In the young athletes' races, Westbury's novice girl Ellie Hobbs put in a stunning display of front running and enjoyed a wide winning margin to extend her overall lead.
With Anne Jones and Charlotte Livesey making the top ten and Rosie Hamilton-James in 11th, the youngsters can go into the final fixture knowing they just have to turn up to take the title.
Alex Grocott raced to his first ever win in the under-11 boys' race, while Hannah Hobs led home Westbury's strong under-13-girls' team.
Bristol & West's Victoria Kenny followed up her fine win in the South West Schools' with another victory in the combined under-20/17 women's event.
Gwent Cross Country League, Bath University, senior women: 1= Bristol & West AC & Westbury Harriers 630 points.
Overall (after 4 meetings): 1 Westbury 3012; 2 Bristol & West 2988; 3 Chepstow 2831.
Bristol & West: 2 Helen Sharpe; 6 Marie Kirton; 1 Charlotte Green; 11 Viv McConnell (W55 1st); 18 Georgie Salon; 20 Sarah Everitt (W45 1st); 23 Claire Joliffe (W45 2nd); 37 Tracy Allan (W50 1st); 44 Henrietta Anstey; 67 Aimee Davies; 68 Alison Hurford; 85 Becci Colquhoun; 102 Marie Lakin.
Westbury: 1 Emma D'Alton; 4 Lucy Richens; 8 Sophie Voller; 25 Robyn Golding; 27 Zoe Barber; 28 Kelly Winstone; 31 Emma Journeaux; 32 Katie Hughes; 35 Tamsin Chick; 41 Vicky Jones; 48 Lizz Pick; 63 Sarah Thorne; 65 Katie Elliot; 73 Maria Hobbs; 74 Sarah Ratcliffe; 83 Cara Collins; 94 Anneke Bull; 107 Zoe Dixon; 108 Sarah Tucker. 115 Eithne Noonan; 122 Kay Ridgewell.
Under-20/17 women combined: B&W: 1 Victoria Kenny. Westbury: 8 Abi Hall; 0 Kelly Leat; 11 Zoe Gould; 14 Lacy Berry.
Under-15 girls: Westbury: 4 Ellie Leather; 9 Georgia Taylor; 15 Emma Taylor; 17 Emma Jones 19 Sophie Nash; 20 Emma Tomes.
Under-13 girls: 6 Hannah Hobbs; 8 Sophie Reed; 16 Rosie Allen; 24 Georgie Hamilton-Jones; 36 Phoebe Gould.
Under-11 girls: 1 Ellie Hobbs; 6 Anne Jones; 10 Charlotte Livesey; 11 Rosie Hamilton-Jones; 17 Jessica Bull; 22 Amie Leather; 29 Isabelle Parry.
Senior men: 1 Les Croupiers 1044; 5 Bristol & West 917; 9 Westbury 786.
Overall (after four matches): 1 Les Croupiers 5268; 2 Cardiff Uni 4978; 3 Bristol 7 West 4935.
Bristol & West: 10 Phil Parry (M45 1st); 19 Andy Cooke; 40 Martin Lucas; 49 Peter Gandon; 53 Paul Jefferson; 57 Andy Malloy; 64 Dave Bedwell (M55 1st); 85 Colin Traer; 102 Jack Loveday; 117 Mark Grace; 140 Mo Osman; 142 Daryl Begg.
Westbury: 11 Scott Campbell; 46 Dave Hobbs; 81 Robin Phillips 87 Ken Ham 94 Rich Lukes; 100 Justin Grimwood; 120 Nick Elliot; 175 Tony Jefferies; 186 Mike Hopkins.
Under-20 men: 5 Kieran Young (B&W).
Under-13 boys: Westbury: 14 Leon Graham; 17 Sam Grimwood; 38 Benji Hall.
Under-11 boys: Westbury: 1 Alex Grocott; 14 Henry Smith; 17 Bryn Davies; 24 Jack Broadhurst.
Team Bath AC have linked up with Stroud & District AC to stage a 'Field Fest' at the University of Bath on Sunday, April 14.
"Unfortunately, it will clash with Yate's Sprints and Hurdles meeting, but it is the only viable date as the first YDL match is the following weekend, closely followed by the Avon League and the young end YDL match which we are hosting on May 4 here at Bath," said joint organiser Di Viles. For entry details see the website at: wwww.teambathac.org.