Woodford Green enjoy good start to Met League

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 October 2012

Kevin Murphy followed by Darren Southcott, James Stockings and Liam Blakie. Pic: Ken Bray

Kevin Murphy followed by Darren Southcott, James Stockings and Liam Blakie. Pic: Ken Bray


Woodford Green hope to build on solid start after hosting opening fixture at Claybury Park.

Woodford’s senior teams got off to a strong start in the first race of this winter’s Metropolitan Cross Country League which the club hosted at Claybury.

The men’s A team were first in Division One and the women’s A team took second in their Division One equivalent.

That result means the club lead the combined Howard Williams Trophy at this early stage.

Matt Gunby’s fifth-place finish led the men home, while under-20 athlete Liam Blaikie’s 30th and Sidnie Sales’ sixth in the women’s race were particularly pleasing.

Ed Shepherd was the next Woodford Green runner home in the men’s race in seventh and second under-20 after passing clubmate Martyn Cryer, who ended up having to settle for ninth place.

Kevin Murphy crossed the line in 22nd and that sparked a rush in where the club had seven more finishers inside 36.

Jordan Donnelly was satisfied with 23rd and Angus Holford was a place further back.

Darren Southcott was next to cross the line in 28th before Bertie Powell, recently returning from injury, finished 36th.

In between these two was under-20 James Stockings, making his debut in the event with a 33rd place despite falling over twice and banging his head on a tree.

Liam Blaikie’s 30th was the most pleasing run of the day though, as he destroyed his previous Met League best of 79th.

The A team was closed by Gavin Lewis, who was placed 44th and Tom Beedell, who opted to compete just six days after placing third in the Liverpool Marathon.

■ Meanwhile, the women’s team had set their sights on the senior title and retain the Veterans title.

Sidnie Sales was the first runner home in sixth and second under-20, while sister Georgie was next in 12th.

The next finishers for the club were Lauren Stewart in 16th, team captain Kat Gundersen 17th and Rachel Lund 20th. Linda Jackson in 42nd closed out the scoring team.

■ There was also action for the Woodford Green youngsters where new club signing Isabella Hoy eased to victory in the under-13 girls race, while Aoife Guyatt was third, Olivia Hounsome seventh and Katie Petyt ninth to complete the winning team.

Rosie Poole took fifth spot in the under-15-17 age group, two places behind club-mate Amelia Barrett who battled to a super third.

Canaan Solomon was another to make a step up in age groups and finished in a solid fourth spot, also just behind another club runner, Perry Rowan, who took third.

Alfie Poole missed out on top spot in the under-13 boys race in a sprint finish, instead having to settle for third.

For the under-13 Bs, the club’s second scorer behind Poole was James Wakefield in ninth.

In the under-15-17s, George Hoy was Woodford’s third runner home behind Rowan and Solomon.

Harry Cavell and Taylor Reece, moving up an age group, raced sensibly and came home in 40th and 51st respectively.

Stef Smith and Isobel Moss closed out the scoring for the under-15-17 female race in 34th and 38th to complete a great day for Woodford Green.

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