Lions pounce to raise hopes of cross country clean sweep

Stainland Lions took a massive leap forward in their quest for cross country honours with an outstanding team performance in the fourth fixture of the West Yorkshire Winter League at Thackley Woods, Idle.

The Lions already led the Women’s, Vets and Overall competitions, but needed a big score to catch Pudsey Pacers who led the men’s competition setting the scene for an epic battle.

However, with a record men’s score, Stainland leapfrogged Pudsey and put the club at the top of all four competitions. With only one fixture left, a final push at Stainland Recreation Ground on February 19, it could see Stainland complete a historic League record trophy haul

The five mile course along the valley side had been subjected to several days of rain which made for a brutal combination of hills and mud to test the Lions and more than lived up to its host billing of The Jungle.

It was Stainland’s Ben Mounsey who proved he was king by manoeuvring himself to the front of the pack on the fast downhill start to dictate the pace around the narrow winding paths of the woodland course. He was chased by Quentin Lewis of Baildon, Rob Bridges of LBT and team mate Gav Mulholland.

With Mounsey leading the way, Mulholland launched an attack from the back of the pack first picking off Bridges and then passing Lewis. Mounsey’s victory was in no doubt as he cruised home while Mulholland held off Lewis to take a memorable second and a season best.

Further down the pack Josh Whiteley, Phil Tucker, Mark Pigford and Richard Hand held formation before Whiteley and Tucker used their superior descending skills to forge ahead and pick up valuable places, finishing seventh and ninth respectively.

Mark Pigford and Richard Hand then battled each other all the way before being stalked by Pudsey rival Darren Burnley who managed to take 11th from both of them leaving Pigford 12th and Hand 13th. Steve Hall capped off a great day for the men with a season best finish of 33rd to round off the Stainland counters.

In the ladies competition, LBT’s Donna Edmondson-Booker showed her class to take a third successive series victory, but Stainland’s duo of Mags Beever and Angela Jordan pushed her all the way to take second and third places They were closely followed by Dewsbuy’s Treena Johnson in fourth.

Amanda Zito was the next Stainland counter in fifth place, whilst Julie Field showed she had recovered from an earlier season foot injury to finish 10th and take the fourth and final counting place ahead of team mate Danielle Kobak who finished 11th.

Male: 1, Stainland 5231 points; 2, Pudsey 5223; 3, Lbt 5047; 4, Dewsbury 4811; 5, Baildon 4773; 6, Idle Ac 4165; 7, Craven En 3046; 8, Skipton 1969.

Female: 1, 1526; 2, Lbt 1489; 3, Baildon 1402; 4, Pudsey 1307; 5, Dewsbury 1203; 6, Idle Ac 1074; 7, Craven En 887; 8, Skipton 808.

Veterans: 1, Stainland 1894; 2, Pudsey 1831; 3, Baildon 1813; 4, Dewsbury 1797; 5, Lbt 1790; 6, Idle Ac 1530; 7, Skipton 1406; 8, Craven En 1405.

Team: 1, Stainland 6757; 2, Lbt 6536; 3, Pudsey 6530; 4, Baildon 6175; 5, Dewsbury 6014; 6, Idle Ac 5239; 7, Craven En 3933; 8, Skipton 2777.