BOLTON United Harrier Tom Lancashire helped the Great Britain and Northern Ireland cross country team to third place at the European Championships.

The 32-year-old Bromley Cross runner was third British counter in 25th place, with Andy Butchart third and Ben Connor sixth.

Britain's Dewi Griffiths pulled out with an injury when leading, meaning Lancashire had to dig deep to hold his position in the field to ensure the team at least finished with a bronze medal, behind winners Turkey and runners-up Spain.

The race, held in Samorin, Slovakia was won by Turkey's Kaan Kigen Ozbilen in 29mins 45secs, with Lancashire coming in 1:09 behind.

Paula Radcliffe, commentating for BBC, which broadcast the championships live on the website and via the red button, was impressed with Lancashire's performance.

"That was some really strong running from Tom to get the team points," she said.

"I don't know how much he will have been aware of Dewi having to stop, so it's fantastic that he kept going right to the line as his effort proved crucial to the team winning that bronze medal."

The Great Britain team finished the meeting on top of the medal table with four golds, ahead of Turkey with three.

Harriet Knowles-Jones won the women's under-20s race and led the team to overall gold, while the women's u23s and senior team also claimed gold.