DANNY Hope helped Greater Manchester to fourth place as the UK Inter-Counties Mountain Running Championships returned for the first time since 2019.

Horwich Harrier Hope, now aged 45, was making his eighth appearance in the competition but his first representing the county for a decade after gaining selection this year by winning the Greater Manchester county title and trial for the county team at the Rivington Pike race last month.

The race took place on Moel Eilio above Llanberis in North Wales and involved a seven-mile course with 2,467 feet of ascent.

Each team was made up of five and the Greater Manchester team had the first two from the trial - Hope and also Mark Smith, of Achille Ratti club.

Tony Hesketh, a coach with the Harriers, is county selector and was happy to be able to add Joe Steward (Salford Harriers), Ben Sharrock (Ambleside AC) and Fraser Macdonald (Chorlton Runners) to the team, confident that they would all give the county a great chance of winning.

Hope had a best individual result of fourth in 2009 going into this year’s event having finished in the top 10 individual places in six of his previous eight appearances.

On four occasions, (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012) he also helped the county win the championships.

This year, Yorkshire were first, Cumbria second and Greater Manchester finished equal third with North Wales on points, but had to settle for fourth on countback of places.

Steward was third overall, while Sharrock was first under-23 and Hope was the third of three counting runners for the county.