HOST club Croft Ambrey completed a team double at the final race of the Herefordshire Cross-Country League 2012-3 season in Presteigne.

But their success was not enough to prevent Wye Valley Runners defending their men’s and women’s team titles.

There was another victory for Hereford Couriers Eliot Taylor, who won his third race of the series to clinch the men’s individual title while Clara Evans’ unassailable lead in the women’s section enabled her to claim the title without eventaking part.

Ludlow Runners’ Claire Thomas forged ahead early on but Croft Ambrey team captain Sue Davies pulled away to open up a gap which she gradually extended to finish 28 seconds clear of her rival.

Jane Rowlands, of Wye Valley, completed the top three.

Davies was given substantial support by Gemma Mallett and Irina Dale, in fifth and sixth places respectively, to give Croft Ambrey a team victory.

Hereford Triathlon Club took second place thanks to fine displays by Sarah Holton (fourth), Claire Hebblethwaite (ninth) and Charlotte Stewart (11th).

Rowlands, Becci Ansfield (10th) and Sandrine Gorien (12th) took Wye Valley to third and helped them to defend their league title by the narrowest of margins, finishing the series on 96 points, a single point ahead of Croft Ambrey on 95 with the Triathlon Club third on 91.

Taylor was in control of the men’s race from the early stages and although Builth Wells’ Mike Pfeiffer briefly challenged his lead on the final ascent, the Couriers runner was able to stride out and cruise to victory by 25 seconds Pfeiffer finished second with Builth team-mate Tim Iveson in third. Croft Ambrey’s men dominated the team event.

Simon Norwood, running his best race for many years, led the team home with an impressive fourth place followed by Stacey Morgan (sixth), Mark Lamonby (eighth) and an outstanding run from 17-year-old Andrew Davies in 10th place.

This was Croft Ambrey’s first cross-country league double since 1990.

Hereford Couriers finished second thanks to Taylor, Mike Link (fifth), Russell James (15th) and Luke James (24th) while Wye Valley was third thanks to Luke Mason’s ninth aided by Mike Fawcett (11th), Greg Wood (14th) and Alan Lewis (16th). This was enough to give Wye Valley the men’s title for a fifth successive year although Couriers finished one point adrift, with Croft Ambrey in third.

Dave Williams (Hereford Couriers), Brian Symonds (Wye Valley), Harry Franklin (Wye Valley) and Andrew Davies (Croft Ambrey) were undefeated in their respective men’s categories while Sue Davies (Croft Ambrey), Jane Rowlands (Wye Valley), Jan Edwards (Wye Valley), Christine Motteram (Wye Valley) and league champion Clara Evans (Hereford & County) achieved the same honour in the women’s event.