Eliot Taylor and Kathryn King take individual top spots in Herefordshire Cross Country League's third race

ELIOT Taylor of Hereford Couriers and Kathryn King of Wye Valley Runners took the individual top spots and led their respective teams to victory in the third race in the Herefordshire Cross Country League series.

The race near Ufton Court, Holme Lacy and organised by Hereford Triathlon Club, was over a 6.4 mile one-lap undulating course around field margins which proved the flattest on the league circuit but still tested the runners with its unrelenting nature and with a surprise steep climb and tricky descent in the one section of woodland.

Taylor hit the front and began to dictate the pace as the early leading group started to splinter and recorded his second win of the season by more than 40 seconds.

Wye Valley stalwart John Pullen produced another outstanding performance to take a worthy second place 30 seconds ahead of Couriers’ Matt James, who is beginning to rediscover his best form.

Couriers’ men, for the third consecutive race, dominated the team race with Taylor and James bolstered by veterans Mike Link in seventh place and Richard Hughes in 11th.

With two races to go in the series, this has tightened the red-vested squad’s grip on the league championship trophy.

Wye Valley continued to battle in second place with Pullen backed by a best-ever sixth place from Jim Masters plus Jeremy Jehan in 13th and another best-ever 14th place from the improving Steve Flowers.

Croft Ambrey finished third thanks to Stacey Morgan,fourth, Mark Lamonby, eighth, Dave George, 12th, and Dave Ameghino, 16th.

Over the same demanding course, King soon stamped her authority on the race as she enhanced her growing reputation.

She remained unchallenged throughout to record victory by a significant margin.

Croft Ambrey’s consistent team captain Sue Davies recorded another second place, while Wye Valley’s summer league champion Becky Davies showed that she is returning to form after an injury setback with a confident third place.

King and Becky Davies were bolstered Daneen Hughes' fifth place as Wye Valley registered a comprehensive victory, having fielded their strongest unit for the first time this season.

Croft Ambrey dug deep to take second place with Sue Davies backed by another assured run from Irina Dale, fourth, with Jo Marriott, 16th, completing the team. Home club Hereford Triathlon Club remained in overall contention with a determined 3rd place thanks to Anne Dobson, sixth, Jenny Papworth, ninth, and course designer Nicola Goodwin, 13th.

The penultimate race in the league series will be held at Monkhall Farm on Sunday, January 12. This race will also incorporate the Herefordshire County Cross Country Championships for Senior, Veteran and Junior men and women.

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