GFDR in win double at Mid-Essex opener

Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners' James Bosher and Lee Pickering lead the way at the first Mid-Essex Cro

Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners' James Bosher and Lee Pickering lead the way at the first Mid-Essex Cross-Country League meeting of the season - Credit: Archant

Grange Farm and Dunmow Runners topped the table in the first Mid-Essex Cross-Country League meeting of the season at Little Baddow.

Runners from five local clubs took on a challenging, hilly course across Woodham Walter Common, with GFDR represented by 15 men and nine women.

James Bosher won the men’s race to lead his team to victory, as Lee Pickering, Matt Bainbridge and Josh Sowman finished fourth, fifth and sixth.

Dan Reynolds (10th), Alistair Brown (20th) and Kevin Mitchell (23rd) also contributed to the scoring for the winners.

Meanwhile, for the women, Claudine Davie finished in second place ahead of Kerry Harrington (third), with Charlotte King (sixth) and Brady Ramsay (11th) also scoring team points to secure another team victory.

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In the men’s race GFDR was followed by Springfield Striders, Braintree and District Athletic Club, Little Baddow Ridge Runners and Mid-Essex Casuals.

And for the women, Springfield Striders finished second again, ahead of Little Baddow, Braintree and Mid-Essex Casuals.

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The second race of the series will be held at Rivenhall on January 7.

*John Steele, Ridley League organiser-in-chief, is hoping for a change in luck after two dominoes pairs finals.

He faces a brace of first-timers in his third crack at the trophy after winning a deciding leg with Black Bull team-mate Bruce Huggett against John Jordan and Anna Kirk (Red Beret) to see the Margaretting pub into the final for the first time in nine years.

They will face Carol Hughes and John Morris (City FC), who maintained their fine early form, ending Colin Smith and Dave Suckling’s hopes of a third final on the trot, then dominating the third leg of their semi-final against 2013 winner Bert Fuller and partner Kerry Ketley (Little Waltham SC).

Clubs heard at last week’s meeting that the league now has its own Facebook page, thanks to the work of Compasses player Chris Cook.

Dominoes pairs, first round: C Hughes & J Morris (City FC) bt C Smith & D Suckling (Dog & Partridge) 2-0; B Fuller & K Ketley (Lt Waltham SC) bt L Hayes & C Peck (Compasses) 2-0; J Jordan & A Kirk (Red Beret) bt D Wilks & K Sweeting (Chequers) 2-1; B Huggett & J Steele (Black Bull) bt T McCallum & M Rolfe (City Birds) 2-0. Semi-finals: Hughes & Morris bt Fuller & Ketley 2-1; Huggett & Steele bt Jordan & Kirk 2-1.

Team semi-finals draw, Darts Cup (Feb 27): City FC v Compasses, Dog & Partridge v Lt Waltham SC.

Dominoes Cup (Mar 20): Black Bull v City FC, Dog & Partridge v Chequers. The postponed Compasses-Red Beret match will also take place on Mar 20.

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