ATHLETICS: WEST CHESHIRE AC'S men have been crowned kings of the road.
The Chester and Ellesmere Port club's senior and veteran men's squads clinched the Borders Road Running League titles at Wrexham on Friday night.
West Cheshire overcame a big points deficit before toeing the line for the final round of seven and produced a convincing victory in North Wales.
The club's senior men's team finished their campaign on 2,456 points, well clear of runnersup, Buckley, on 2,613, and third-placed Ellesmere Port on 3,185.
And West Cheshire's veterans won their team title with 1,303 points, well clear of second-placed Buckley on 1,606, and third-placed Wirral AC on 1,916.
Ian Wetherall steered West Cheshire home to victory at Wrexham after covering the 4.1 miles course in a time of 21 minutes 40 seconds for second place overall, behind eventual winner, Alan Woods (Wirral AC) who clocked 20:57.
Graham MacNeil was West Cheshire's second counter after posting a time of 22:20 for fifth spot.
Ken Begley finished sixth in 22:24, just weeks after achieving his personal best London Marathon time.
Dave Alexander completed Friday's race in 22:59 for 14th position, ahead of Duncan Bell and Paul Frodsham who finished 16th and 17th respectively in 23:02 and 23:08.
Club treasurer Graham Jenkins accounted for West Cheshire's next member home in 21st spot for 23:27. And he picked up fifth place overall in the veteran over-40 category.
Gary Withers achieved 24th position in 23:36, and secured top spot overall in the veteran over-45 category; Andy Starkey was 26th on the night in 23:42; and Graham Earlam grabbed the all-important final 10th team counting position after scoring 27th position in 23:43, and cemented second place overall in the over-45 category.
Other West Cheshire AC finishers at Wrexham included Iain Wedge (29th in 23:45); Dave Tiernan (41st in 24:17, and sixth overall in the men's race series); Paul Price (48th in 24:28, and fourth overall in the over-45 age group); Andrew Clague (59th in 24:51); Bob Benson (69th in 25:13); Clive Donovan (80th in 25:42); Dave Crawford (81st in 25:43); Richard Batterham (99th in 26:22); Chris Rhodes (135th in 28:22); Tony Kennedy (156th in 29:34); Geoff Harvey (196th in 33:20); and Mike Lamb (197th in 33:25).
Sandra Owen and Jane Woodley, who have completed 100 Borders League races, helped Tattenhall Runners ladies finish fifth in the league following the final event at Wrexham.
Alison Smith retained third place in the senior ladies and Tessa Swaine finished third overall. Sandra Owen was second in veteran ladies overall.
On the day, Sarah Hammond was Tattenhall's leader in the ladies race, finishing 107th overall in 26:54 followed by Alison Smith 175th in 31:08, Caroline Howard 181st in 31:38, Jane Woodley 201st in 33:42 and Tessa Swaine 205th in 34:05.
The depleted men's team, still recovering from the London Marathon and Three Peaks race finished fourth in Division Two overall.
Simon Ellis was 45th in 24:24, Justin Realff 79th in 25:36, Steve Hammond 84th in 25:49, Justin Wyke 90th in 26:04, Mark Smith 128th in 27:52, Dave Radcliffe 129th in 27:55, Mark Hockedy 130th in 27:59, Greg Berti 131st in 28:01 and Dave Clarke 140th in 28:40.
Tattenhall Runners host the Christleton 5k road race tonight from Christleton High School (7.30pm). Competitors are urged to arrive early.
Entry forms and details are available on the Tattenhall Runners' website.
Last Thursday, 50 years to the day that Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier, Helsby runners Andy Smith and Marcus Walker joined with runners from Spectrum Striders and Warrington AC to commemorate the event with their own time trial at Warrington. Smith completed his mile in 5:45 and Walker in 5:53.
In the final race of the Border League series, Helsby's Vanessa Griffiths led the women home as 12th lady in 29:11, Rachel Arnold followed as 19th lady in 29:57, Carol Shaw, 28th lady in 31:39 and Val Ball, 43rd lady in 34:32.
Helsby ladies finished the series in third position in the first division with Vanessa Griffiths receiving third prize in the V35 category.