Chiltern League – Round One


Nineteen LBAC athletes took made the short trip across to Oxford at the beginning of October for the first race of the cross-country season. It was particularly fantastic to see eight runners from the younger section of the club making a vital contribution to the overall team effort of the day. All of the races were combined between the first and second divisions, but for the benefit of the results, they are all split at the end of the day.

First up, were the U13 girls and Beth Tippite put in a fantasic performance to finish 12th and she was well supported by Kirsty-Anya Shefferd. Both girls were making their cross-country debuts and scored absolutely vital points for the team. Following the girls, the U13 boys put out a complete team for the first time in a number of years and this was shown by them ending up in second place at the end of the first event, and not too far behind the leaders, Radley AC. Joe McGarry lead the team home in 5th place, ahead of Jordan Clay, Jake Irvine & Lloyd Milliken in 9th, 13th and 16th respectively. If these lads can keep going throughout the season as a team, they will score hundreds of points from the club and will undoubtedly leave with team medals.

It was also great to see Billy Mead and Bryan Foulter, having fantastic runs in the U15 boys as well. They finished in 10th and 15th places over the tough course in the Horspath countryside, and with more experience will both be regularly challenging in the top ten over the coming season.

On the day, we only had two lady runners available to take on the challenge of the Oxfordshire hills, but both Gail Duckworth and Amy Inchley put in good performances to score well for the team. Gail in 4th and Amy in 14th, out of the 39 2nd division finishers shows that with a full team, there is every possibility of Leighton challenging the top three positions.

The mens team did manage to put out a full team, despite various illnesses and injuries getting in the way, they currently lie in 9th place, but only 86 points behind 3rd. With the return of a couple of the absent runners this gap can be quickly closed, but it is vital that everyone makes a huge effort to run in all the future races of the season. On this occasion Andy Inchley lead the team home in 15th place, ahead on Joby Hobbs in 22nd. There was then a group of Tim Inchley, Mike Bryant, Joe Hurley and Chris Norman between 45th and 51st places making up the bulk of the scoring. Fred Watt in 74th and Richard Inchley in 98th completed the scoring team, before Dave Crawley finished off the Leighton runners in 100th position.

As a club, LBAC lie 6th overall after the first fixture, but less than 40 points behind second place. On the basis that the men who finish in the middle of the field scored over 50 points each, it is a very small gap to close, but it is crucial that we get as many members as possible running in every race as that will be the aim of all the other clubs as well.