HORWICH’S junior athletes were again the pick of the bunch in the latest cross country outing in the South East Lancashire League at Tandle Hill.

On an icy course, the under-11s girls kicked things off with a one-two-three from Emma Bradley, Charlotte Wilkinson and Imogen Andreassen to take the team win by a margin of 19 points over East Cheshire and Tameside.

At u13s for the boys, Isaac Battye took second place and Ethan Isaacs was fifth, but without a third team member they could not gain a team result.

The u13s girls took the second team place with Isabella Merritt leading them home and she recovered well because the following day, at the Sale Open indoor fixture at Sportcity, she achieved new personal bests at 300m and 600m.

The u15s boys and girls all had great results at Tandle Hill, but without a third member for each team they could not take advantage of individual efforts for the benefit of the team.

Ella Pendlebury had a great win for the girls with Milly Lever in third, while Matthew Mair took second place for the boys, marginally ahead of Isaac Simmonite.

In the u17s men’s race, Lewis Wilkes led from start to finish to record an emphatic win.

The stage was set for the small band of Horwich senior men and it was James Scott Farrington, in only his second race in Horwich colours, who held off Mussie Kassa, of East Cheshire, for the first of three laps before Kassa finished strongly to win, leaving Scott Farrington to take a well-earned second place ahead of Leigh's Dave Smith.

The rest of the Horwich team stuck to the task well but the absence of the Harriers’ other top runners, who are focusing on the Manchester Area League this year, meant they could only finish 13th out of 16 teams.

Themed races for the festive season saw a healthy mix of fun and vigorous running.

In the local Santa Dash from Curley’s Fisheries, in Horwich, there was a double vet triumph for Harriers with Tony Hesketh and Lynn Davidson each winning their V65 categories.

Meanwhile, in the Hurst Green Turkey Trot near Clitheroe, Phil Marsden powered home to fourth place overall and there was another fine vet performance with Gail Maxfield taking second place in the F60 category.

At the popular Stoop fell races in Bronte country, near Haworth, it was Lucas Milliken who stood out with third place in the u15s' race, competed for by several of Yorkshire’s best junior fell runners.

Horwich RMI Harriers results: South East Lancs XC (Tandle Hill, Royton) – 2nd James Scott Farrington 46:09, 68th Doug Fleming 57:12, 81st David Barnes 1:00:32, 117th Lawrence Pinnell 1:06:47.

Stoop fell race (Haworth) – 48th Dave Milliken 39:11, 58th Neil Holding 40:20.

Hurst Green Turkey Trot Multi-terrain race – 4th Phil Marsden 28:09, 149th Gail Maxfield 55:21, 219th Victoria Maxfield 1:06:11.

3-1-5 10k road race (Lancaster) – 13th Erica Booth 43:18.

Santa Dash trail race (Horwich) – 10th Tony Hesketh 36:38, 25th Gemma Stokes 47:08, 63rd Lynn Smith 1:07:36, 64th Lynn Davidson 1:07:37.