West Lancashire Cross-Country Association held their championships last Saturday at Sherdley Park, St. Helens, and for the first time for many, many years Wallasey Athletic Club had a strong senior team knocking on the door for premier honours.
This was due in the main to the fine sporting gesture of junior runners Ron Barlow, Phil Townsend and Brian Chalton who readily competed in the senior race to strengthen the team. Real club spirit this and it was a just reward that they got for their efforts.
Individually the race was run by Gerry North (Blackpool), the outstanding cross country runner in England today and fancied by many as national champion. The performance of Ron Barlow was therefore most exhilarating, as he ran one of his best races to finish in second place, less than 250 yards behind North, after nine mile of heavy going in foggy weather.
Steve Rogers of Sefton was 3rd, followed by Harrison-Jones (Pembroke), and then through the gloom came Wallasey's most consistent performer this year, Brian Woolford, in 5th place. This was a great run for Brian, who has really proved himself this year. Pembroke A.C. totalled 74 points to Wallasey's 84 points. This is the closest that any team has been to Pembroke for many years and it augers very well indeed for Wallasey next year.
Owing to sickness, Wallasey's boys team, reigning county and Liverpool and District champions were weakened by the absence of two members of their strongest team, but gained third place. John Curry, 5th; Gordon Benson 13th; Bernard Voller, 18th; John Morley 31st; were the four team counters, ably supported by W. Drabble, 37th and G. Norton, 47th.
The latter unfortunately fell and twisted his ankle badly, otherwise the team result would have been better. Wirral A.C. 47 points, were the eventual winners followed by Liverpool Harriers 54 points to Wallasey A.C. 57 points. It was therefore quite a successful day for Wallasey.