Nelson takes first place for Harriers in opening fixture

Banbury Harrier Tilly Lainchbury on her way to fourth place in the under-13 girls' race
Banbury Harrier Tilly Lainchbury on her way to fourth place in the under-13 girls' race

Skip Nelson took a first place for Banbury Harriers in Sunday’s Oxford Mail Cross Country League fixture.

Harriers had a strong turnout of 34 athletes for the opening fixture at Newbury Showground where the flat course and unexpectedly dry conditions made for some fast races for the 863 runners over nine races.

The day started with the under-11’s and Charlotte Hall, making her club debut, was tenth, with the more experienced Richie Mack taking a strong seventh place in the boys’ race.

The under-13 girl’s race saw Tilly Lainchbury continue her good form in fourth position. Archie Street just pipped team-mate Sam Davis in the under-13 boys’ race, finishing eighth and ninth respectively

The club’s only individual winner was Nelson, running from the front in the under-17 men’s race.

Nelson had strong support from Daniel Roberts in fourth, Owen Know in 12th and Charlie Marr in 19th, placing the team in second, just behind Radley, and with every chance of repeating last year’s team win by the end of the season.

In the men’s race, Tim Wright was first of 13 Banbury runners in 16th place overall.

In the ladies’ race, Tia Williams’ impressive ninth place overall also gave her first place in the under-20 age category.

Supporting Williams was Michelle Bartlett, who was fifth in the over-45 category, and Ros Kelling, who was second in the over-55 category.

Ali Herbert led Cherwell Runners A team home at Newbury.

Herbert timed 32.59 minutes in the senior men’s race and was followed home by Ian Thomas 35.36, Simon Prytherch 37.44, John-Paul Hamilton 39.33, Danny Batchelor 39.47, Warren Harrison 41.25 and Kurt Trinder 41.51.

Leading the way for the B team was David Osborne in 44.12, Guy Tucker 46.55, David Coates 49.19, Gordon Hambridge 50.54 and John Shaw 54.24 in the 335 finishers.

In the 6.5k ladies race, first back for the A team was Jennifer Keal in 29.23 minutes. She was followed by Dawn Osborne 31.52 and Sharon Darke 32.07.

For the B team, Kim Shaw finished in 33.55, newcomer Martha Bagnall in 35.22 and Karen Thomas 40.48 of the 206 finishers.

The next fixture is in December when runners face the challenge of the hill at Cirencester Park.