Lions roar at Skipton in pursuit of a clean sweep

Stainland Lions boosted their hopes of an historic clean sweep of the trophies in the West Yorkshire Winter League after the latest fixture at Skipton.

They travelled with their ladies and veterans top of their competitions and the pressure firmly on the men to deliver after a dip in form.

With thawing snow and overnight rain, the scene was set for a grim contest over three laps of fields around Craven College.

From the starter’s gun, Stainland’s top man Ben Mounsey made it clear he would not allow his nearest rival, Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Club’s Rob Bridges, an easy ride.

He forced a ferocious pace through the first lap and with the ground churning more through each loop, the tussle turned into a war of attrition with Bridges eventually emerging victor.

Stainland’s Gav Mulholland held off Baildon’s Quentin Lewis and Queensbury’s Chris Williams for third.

Adam Breaks showed he had recovered well from a back injury to hold off a pair of LBT runners for ninth.

Richard Hand was unable to reproduce his early season form but recovered from ‘flu to finish 27th.

Tristan Sheard and Mark Pigford went head to head before Sheard wriggled free to take 30th and Pigford 31st. Jon Collins complete the men’s counters in 37th and allowed them to close the gap on leaders Pudsey to just 25 points.

In the women’s competition, Stainland once again proved they are the dominant team in the league with another masterful display. They saw off their nearest rivals LBT by 98 points to virtually guarantee themselves the trophy.

The return of Pudsey’s Karen Pickles from a long term injury and presence of LBT’s Donna Edmondson-Booker always meant it would be a tough day at the office, but Stainland refused to rest on their laurels and were able to pack four counters in the top 10 and secure another bumper points haul.

Tanya Seagar continued to show tremendous form as Stainland’s first woman in third behind Edmonson-Booker and Pickles.

Julie Field put on another good show in seventh and edged out Danielle Kobak, who delivered her performance on the season in eight. Super-vet Aileen Baldwin rounded off the Stainland scorers in 10th and saw off her nearest category rival by six places.

Saturday’s results mean Stainland continue to lead in the overall combined competition heading into the fifth and final fixture at Dewsbury on Sunday, March 3.