Wallasey A.C., as expected, last Saturday added the Cheshire County Road Relay
championship to their recent road race successes when they comfortably defeated Wirral and Macclesfield over six laps of three and one-third miles.
Although the course at Sale was very fast and an ideal venue for this championship, the East Cheshire clubs were not up to their usual strength and the race was virtually between Wallasey A.C. and their close neighbours Wirral A.C.
First leg for Wallasey was entrusted to Kevin Mather, who is running so well at present. After quite a spirited tussle with Ian Keith, of Wirral, he handed over a 20 yards lead to Brian Woolford, with a lap in 15 minutes 44 seconds which turned out to be the second fastest lap of the day. This narrow lead was soon whittled away when Wirral showed keen tactical sense in sending off their fastest man, Bill Bennett, who ran brilliantly to set up the day's fastest time of 15 minutes, 28 seconds. By the halfway stage Bennett had established a lead of about 120 yards but for the remainder of the lap Woolford put in a typically fighting effort to stabilise the position and give Ron Barlow a chance of attacking on the third leg.
This, Barlow duly did and showing much of his old fire he caught Jeffs of Wirral after only a mile and then pulled steadily away to hand over a 200 yards lead to junior Brian Chalton. Barlow's time of 15 minutes 46 seconds was the third fastest of the day while Woolford's time of 18 minutes 53 seconds was also a very sound performance.
After rather a slow start when he lost about 50 yards to Wirral's Gilligan, Chalton settled into his usual powerful running to put the issue beyond doubt with a time of 16 minutes 5 seconds increasing Wallasey's lead to 250 yards, Chalton showed a beautifully relaxed action on his lap and with his abundance of strength and stamina he is clearly a great prospect for the Wallasey club.
The last two laps were rather processional, as Tony Townsend and John Wright ran steady laps of 16 minutes 28 seconds and 15 minutes 53 seconds respectively to maintain the Wallasey lead from Worrell and McAlister of Wirral. Although one would have preferred a victory against sterner opposition, the quality of the Wallasey running can clearly be seen from the times which show every Wallasey winner clocking well under 5 minutes per mile.
It would certainly seem that Wallasey have at last found a really strong team of distance runners, and it is to be hoped that they can be kept together to reap the success which must surely be theirs during the next year or two.