CROFT Ambrey R.C. were celebrating after claiming both the individual women and team prizes in the Herefordshire Cross Country League.

Mallett has been in fine form throughout the five-race series and she took the top prize for the first time.

The final race was held in Presteigne and saw the women run separately from the men.

Ludlow Runners' reigning league champion Amy Fulford set the early pace and established an early lead as the field of 97 female runners left the main forestry track on the first sharp ascent into the woods.

Rhayader R.C.'s Jo Rees was biding her time at the rear of the chasing pack, but as the race developed, she took the lead as the runners charged down the more solid surface on the final gradual downhill track towards the finish line.

Rees won the race by just seven seconds to become the fourth different race winner in the series and was followed home by Fulford, with Wye Valley Runners' Laura Tootell, another former league champion, completing the top three.

Mallett ran in an arduous long distance race the previous day and that accounted for her below par performance, with her just holding on to five place, still good enough for her become the individual champion.

Croft Ambrey's women's team again won the final race, by the narrowest of margins, to make it a clean sweep in the series.

They were led home by Irina Dale in fourth place, Mallett in fifth and Kelly Bowen in 10th to ensure they pipped Wye Valley Runners by just one point.

Wye Valley's Tootell was well supported by Claire Sims in sixth and Becky Ansfield in 11th.

The strength in depth of the Croft Ambrey squad was well displayed by also claiming the third place team thanks to the grouping of a fast-finishing Katie Jones in 13th, evergreen Nicky Turvey in 14th and a determined Sam Wickham in 15th. These teams also took the respective first three places in the overall championship with Croft Ambrey celebrating their first league title since 2014.

The contest for the men's title was also a close run affair with Builth R.C.'s Robin Woods biding his time until the closing stages of the race before unleashing a devastating burst on the downhill gradient towards the finish to overtake his team mate, Jonny Pugh and win by three seconds, with Croft Ambrey's Andy Salt in third.

Wye Valley Runners had started the race defending a slender six point lead over reigning champions Maldwyn Harriers and they fought hard to hang on to this advantage.

Sam Mayglothling led them home in eighth place, closely followed by Christian Jones in 10th.

Steve Flowers battled tenaciously to take 12th place and former six-time league champion Mike Fawcett finished 17th.

That gave them a total of 47 points, but the four-counting Maldwyn runners totalled 40 points to take the league title by a single point in a dramatic climax to the cross country season.

It was the Newtown based club's third successive triumph.

Woods also took the individual men's title, repeating his success of last season.

Medals were also awarded to the first three runners in each category, based on the best four performances in the five races.