Stainland Lions began their Cross Country campaign in the West Yorkshire Winter League with a wonderful team performance in Black Carr Woods, Pudsey.
The muddy 5.7 mile course provided a challenging test for the 48 Lions who made up nearly a quarter of all the runners.
Stainland’s men made their intentions clear with all seven counters appearing in the top 35. First man through the mud and over the finish line was Stainland’s Ben Mounsey. Having been unable to train for several weeks ahead of the race, victory for Mounsey must have tasted even sweeter.
Gav Mullholland was third overall and first M40, just behind Baildon’s Quentin Lewis and 250 yards ahead of the fourth runner.
Men’s Captain Mark Pigford chased down team mate Richard Hand on the final half mile climb to the finish to edge ahead and claim 11th. Hand’s 12th position was his best ever cross country finish after a previous season dogged with injury.
Jon Collins also managed a career best cross country finish in 18th position. Phil Tucker crossed the line in 27th and Lee Greenwood 35th in his first Cross Country race since joining the Lions, rounding off the Stainland counters to put the team on a firm footing.
Stainland’s ladies performance was equal to the men’s effort with Mags Beever battling the full distance with her sister Angela Jordan to claim third and fouth place respectively behind the LBT runners Rachael Bamford and Donna Edmondson-Booker.
Cross Country debutant Lucy Thompson put in a solid performance to finish sixth and Amanda Zito rounded off the ladies with an excellent ninth place finish
The final standings for the day leaves Stainland’s combined team at the top of the league by 28 points, with the men in second, ladies first and Vets first.
With the men only six points behind Pudsey, the Lions will surely be looking to take the lead in all four competitions at the next race in Skipton on December 18.