Summer Cross Country: League Review

We finished off the season OK as 2nd team again. Going into the final event at Shobdon
13/8/11, we trailed both Croft and Wye Valley but the team was left with no option but to perform by General Rowberry. This was because the 2nd place trophy won last year had not been engraved so he needed it back in order to save the Club’s blushes and to take advantage of a 2 for the price of 1 engraving offer somewhere up Newton Farm. 
While we had performed creditably enough at Kinnersley in the 2nd race 6/7/11, with Eliot 3rd, Rich Hughes 6th in his only outing in the series, skipper Dave 9th and Sally 47th, the 3rd fixture at Westhope 20/7/11 had been a bit of a disaster as we were missing so many of our top men. We were led home by Neil here in 11th but had to rely on a geriatric [Herington, 26th] and new recruit Mark Worthing 38th [after a surging start] to add ballast to the firepower provided by Neil and the consistent Sally in 40th. Damage limitation was the order of the day.
However, as suggested, we were back with a bang at Shobdon, our leading players tense as bowstrings after Clive’s pre-race pep-talk [threats]…Eliot managed a fiery 5th, a great effort considering he was suffering from a post-holiday condition as well as Clive’s barrage of “encouragement”, the ferrous Luke a splendid 6th despite having nothing to pedal and Neil, becoming sharper with every race, in his favourite 11th position. Needless to add, Sally, looking back over her shoulder at 40 years, was again first female Courier in 36th.
Suggestions that the 2nd team trophy should be engraved not just for the 2 seasons gone but next year as well were hastily dismissed though the idea of putting Croft on for 2012 attracted some discussion and indicated a pleasing measure of confidence in the management team. 
There were some great individual performances over the season and we had no less than 5 athletes who made the top 11 at least once. Sally Bliss was always in the top 3 or 4
 women and the team was reliant on her consistency. Stuart, Kev and Alison were others who turned out for every fixture and and it was great to see Sally and Mark Worthing taking to League battle so successfully.
Couriers managed to pick up a number of well-deserved category awards : Eliot 3rd male,
Neil 1st V40, Steve H 1st V60, Sally 1st V35 and Alison 1st V40 [not bad for a 50 year
So, now on to the Winter League…..May Mr Kay’s motivational speeches bear the fruit they deserve! And don’t forget the Hurtle either on SAT 17 Sept.

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