HORWICH Harriers junior athletes put in some notable displays despite the tough conditions at the final Red Rose Cross-Country League fixture of the year at Marl Pits.

The team of 25 Horwich juniors took it in their stride and with some impressive runs.

At under-11s, Charlie Cowburn was first on the day but had to settle for second place in the series - just one point behind the winner. The u11 boys’ team were second in the series.

The u11s girls’ team of Gracie Sherbourne, Grace Freary, Lily Mort and Kitty Crossland did enough with a great team effort to win on the day and take the series prize.

The u13 boys finished third in the series with Mark Titmuss top scoring for the team, while the u15 boys’ team were second on the day as were the girls’ team with Charlotte Wilkinson finishing third and third in the series.

In the u17 men’s category it has been nip and tuck all season and Isaac Battye and Benjamin Hall secured second and fourth series places. Together with Lucas Collings they were team winners on the day.

The Harriers men fielded six at Marl Pits and 11 at Kenworthy Woods for the Manchester fixture.

At Marl Pits Phil Marsden was in action again after a spell out of races and he duly took seventh place, while James Titmuss was 20th.

The vets excelled. Gordon Stone did enough in last place to take the second-place M65 series position, while Doug Fleming was somewhat higher in the field and had a well-earned second series place at M60. Tony Hesketh secured the M70 series prize and John Parker was first M80 on the day, beating Stone but having to settle for second place in the M70 series as there is no M80 series category.

The senior men at Kenworthy Woods were a little depleted due to travel conditions but still took third team place on the day and thereby maintained a one-point lead over Chorlton for second place behind Sale in Division One with two more fixtures to go.

Toby Middleton and Joe Mercer were challenging all the way and the former eventually used his track sprint training to just hold off Mercer as they took eighth and 10th places.

James Kevan returned to competition with a strong top-20 finish in a field of 387 runners in conditions only slightly better than at Marl Pits.

Nick Leigh was first M45 and the team was completed by George Martindale and Paul Grundy. There were also age-category wins for Toby Middleton at u20 and for Julian Goudge, winning the M50 category by more than 90 seconds.

Janet Rashleigh as the sole Harriers woman at Kenworthy Woods and once more smashed the race for top F60, winning that category by more than two minutes. Suzanne Budgett has also taken the F55 series second place in the Red Rose League.

On the road for the Myerscough 10-mile race, Richard Pollitt top scored for the Harriers in 10th place with a fine run just under the one-hour mark.

Jane Counsell had a great run, too, taking first place in the F45 category, just ahead of David Unsworth who finished third in the M55 category.