This was indeed a most satisfying victory, as every runner played his part magnificently to bring thee team home over 11/2 minutes ahead of the Liverpool Harriers team with Pembroke following in 3rd place. In gloriously , sunny conditions, Ron Barlow took the first leg and, running more like his old self, was soon well tucked in with the leading group consisting of Warriner (Pembroke) Needham (Sefton), Parr (Liverpool) and Gilligan (Wirral). With a mile to go Barlow and Parr started to pull away with Parr eventually handing over a 80 yards lead to team-mate Hobson, former Northern counties youth cross-country champion.
However, Wallasey's second runner, Brian Woolford was in his most determined mood and first holding Hobson's initial burst of speed, he proceeded to catch and pass his opponent and then relentless press home his advantage to give Tony Townsend a clear lead of 150 yards for the 3rd leg. Townsend took full advantage of this position by striding through the 41/2 miles with his usual fluent rhythm to gain ground all the way and increase Wallasey's lead to approximately 350 yards.
This brought the race to its crucial stage, with Wallasey's star distance runner John Wright taking on Liverpool's number one John Cleator, who is currently in great form. Although Wright was far from fit he turned in a very plucky effort to restrict Cleator's gain to only 8 seconds and place Wallasey in a virtually impregnable position. Running with his economy of effort, he put in a perfectly judged lap to hand over a lead of about 300 yards to junior Brian Chalton.
Chalton tackled his leg with his usual consistent running and his long striding, further increased Wallasey's lead. Kevin Mather set off on the final lap with an unassailable lead and took his anchor leg with the easy assurance of a runner in form. With his relaxed action he first held off a desparate effort by Bell (Liverpool Harriers) and then piled on the pressure to bring the Wallasey team home in a total time of 2 hours 21 minutes 49 seconds compared with Liverpool Harriers 2 hours 23 minutes and 22 seconds and Pembroke 2 hours 23 minutes 56 seconds. Individual Wallasey lap times were John Wright 23 minutes 18 seconds: Brian Woolford 23 minutes 19 seconds: Ron Barlow 23 minutes 24 seconds: Kevin Mather 23 minutes 31 seconds: Brian Chalton 24 minutes 1 second and Tony Townsend 24 minutes 18 seconds. One hopes that this victory by a Wallasey team without a weak link will do much to bring a feeling of real confidence in their team potential for next season's cross country championships. Today there will be running from club H.Q. at Leasowe Road, cpmmencing at 3 p.m Prospective members are invited to consult general secretary Matt Smith at 29 Beechwood Avenue or track captain Carl Gee 78 King St. (Wallasey 5129).