Wallasey Athletic Club's youth team gave both themselves and local enthusiasts a pleasant surprise when they gained 7th place in the National Cross-Country Championships held at Cardington last Saturday.
Seventh position may noy not sound very exciting, but when one remembers that last year, at Arrowe Park this club were only 21st and that this year there was a record entry of 83 teams, it will be seen that this club did not fare so badly.
The course was fairly flat and though there was no snow, the ground, which was mostly ploughed, constituted one of the heaviest courses experienced by this young team.
Wallasey's first man home was Roy Shaw in 43rd place. There were nearly 400 runners, so this was no mean feat, and was a fitting climax to a really good season. Roy went into the Army last Monday. Roy was followed by Bill Farrell in 64th position. Bill seems to have realised now that he can run better if he does not take the lead; third man up was Pete White, a little troubled by the very heavy going, but at least an improvement on his Northern form. He finished 97th. Brian Woolford completed Wallasey's counters in 116th place. This was quite a surprise, as Brian has not run up to form all season. Wallasey's other two representatives in this race did not disgrace themselves, and both finished in the first half of the field. They were: 171st Ian McIvor and 225th Ray Wood.
Incidentally, the youths were third northern team home, quite an improvement on their showing a fortnight ago when they finished 16th in the Northern Championships. There showing was also the best ever by a Wallasey team.
Wallasey also had two representatives in the junior, Hugh Pritchard and John Lynch. Hugh finished 207th, undoubtedly affected by the heavy going. John was 210th after losing a shoe soon after the start.
The senior race was won by Gordon Pirie, Ken Gates the popular Merseyside favourite, could not produce his usual form and was not in the first twelve and and therefore was not in the team selected to represent England in the International Championships at San Sebastian, Spain.
This week there will be a friendly club run from H.Q. at Leasowe. Anyone who would like to turn out will be welcome. Anyone interested should come to the club at 3 p.m. this Saturday or should contact Mr. R.F. Hubbard, 44 Tollemache Street, Wallasey, or Mr. Woolley, 8 Bradman Road, Moreton.