Carson makes light work of difficult conditions in the Birmingham League

Spa Striders' Clare Hinton stumbles her way out of the ditch in the ladies' race. Picture: Tim Nunan

Spa Striders' Clare Hinton stumbles her way out of the ditch in the ladies' race. Picture: Tim Nunan

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Kenilworth Runners’ men produced a steady performance to finish ninth of 16 teams in the opening Division One race of the Birmingham & District Invitation Cross Country League at Newbold Comyn.

Connor Carson was the first of the 33 Kenilworth Runners home, finishing 51st in 37min 32sec.

Ever-present Phillip Gould took a sliding finish with his long legs to just pip Matthew Elkington (55th and 56th in 37:44).

Stephen Page (37:53), Kev Hope (38:30) and Stuart Hopkins (40:04) completed the counters for Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Runners finishers: 51, Connor Carson (37:32); 55, Phil Gould (37:44); 56, Matthew Elkington (37:44); 59, Stephen Page (37:53); 69, Kev Hope (38:30); 97, Stuart Hopkins (40:04); 120, Marc Curtis (41:02); 130, Steve Marr (41:36); 142, Peter Bryan (42:16); 149, Mateusz Podsiadly (42:23); 155, Graham Birch (42:30); 158, Matt Dyer (42:53); 159, Dewi Williams (42:53); 191, Neil Sheward (44:00); 199, Wayne Briggs (44:25); 209, Mick Williams (44:52); 222, Roger Holmes (45:17); 228, Simon Corley (45:51); 239, Richard Steele (46:37); 246, Rob James (47:08); 247, Stuart Underhill (47:13); 259, Barry Elkington (49:00); 261, Colin Bailey (49:07); 262, James Glover (49:17); 270, Stephen Chalkley (50:21); 274, Tom Cosgrove (50:54); 280, James Delaney (51:31); 284, Gary Morgan (52:05); 293, Phil Houghton (55:18); 298, Sagar Depala (57:12); 301, Tom Dable (59:02); 304, Stef Shillington (60:01); 306, Colin Bricher (81:36).

Competing in Division Two, Leamington C&AC were seriously depleted with five of the six that scored in the corresponding fixture last season not running.

However, the club fielded 20 athletes, including a number of juniors making their Birmingham League debuts, who ran out of their skins to finish the A team only nine points off second place.

The Division Two race had 236 finishers and was won by Chris Perrin of Cannock & Stafford in 36:00.

John Knibb was the first Leamington runner home in 25th place with a time of 39:57, closely followed by Jack Savage, two places and 29 seconds further back.

The remaining four scorers bunched well, being separated by only 11 places and 28 seconds.

Dean Mawby was 30th in 40:34, Johnathon Brown 33rd in 40:40, with Garrath Schule 34th in 40:41 and George Loveday 41st in 41:02.

Leamington won the B race by more than 100 points, with Tristan Warren leading them home in 41:22 for 49th place.

He was followed by Craig Bower (51st in 41:57) and Eoin O’Flynn (74th in 42.48).

Next home was Ben Rajan (91st in 43:40) and Gavin Fowler (94th in 43:33) and the team was completed by Robert Wilson (121st in 45:07).

Other Leamington finishers: 129, Brian Miller ( 45:28), 131, Nick Tawney (45:42); 150, Graham Garlick (46.53); 158, Paul Caruana (47:54); 167, Pete Taylor (48:42); 195, Andy Higgins (51:10); 214, Graham Roberts (55:58); 225, Rupe Chahal (56:23).

Kenilworth Ladies had their best-ever opening day to the Midland Cross-Country League, finishing seventh team out of 38, with their masters’ team coming first.

Mel Price ran brilliantly to finish third in the masters in 26:24, with Imogen Peace (27:14), Laura Fuller (28:08) and Claire Murphy (28:27) completing the senior team counters.

Price and Peace were joined by Laura Pettifer (29:15) for the counters in the masters’ team.

Kenilworth finishers: 27, Mel Price (26:24); 45, Imogen Peace (27:14); 65, Laura Fuller (28:08); 71, Claire Murphy (28:27); 95, Laura Pettifer (29:15); 107, Louise Andrews (29:56); 123, Courtney Thornberry (30:32); 134, Rachel Miller (31:11); 152, Danielle Mohacsi (31:49); 165, Sara Habib (32:16); 180, Stef Lunn (32:35); 188, Laura Gould (32:50); 191, Sam Starvis (32:52); 210, Rosalind Brooks (33:40); 218, Claire Dyer (33:52); 229, Claire Goult (34:13); 233, Mandy Crust (34:32); 236, Sheela Hobdon (34:39); 272, Daniella Apagyi (36:44); 290, Sam Moffat (37:43); 306, Pauline Dable (38:20); 353, Sophie Cookson (41:52); 372, Kirsty Smith (47:03).

Spa Striders’ Susie Stannard displayed her short-course speed to finish in 28:37.

Fiona Edwards (29:09) and Kate Gadsby (29:17) fought it out for second and third spots, with Clare Hinton (30:11) completing the Striders team who finished 38th.

Kelly Edwards was first home for Leamington in 27:00, ahead of Zara Blower (27:59), Jenny Jeeves (29:16) and final team counter Helen Howells (33:06).