BY GEOFF JERWOOD Herne Hill Harriers men bounced back from the previous weekend’s senior team disappointment at the Surrey County cross country championship in Lloyd Park, as the club turned out well with 27 finishers at the Surrey League men’s cross country fixture.
Harriers finished sixth of the A teams in Saturday’s Division One race for the third successive match on Mitcham Common – an event hosted by Herne Hill.
They remain fifth of the nine teams in the top division, with one match to go and can certainly secure a comfortable mid-table position.
The Achilles heel for the Herne Hill men is having nobody at the very sharp end of the field, despite excellent team packing behind the leading runner in red and black.
The fact that the B team placed a good fourth on the day is an illustration of squad depth within the so-called engine room and is a foundation for future success.
Mike Cummings and Richard Henderson led the A team with solid 28th and 45th positions.
Alex Hobley ran well in 53rd in front of a crowd of team-mates as Alan Barnes (61st), Jeff Cunningham (63rd), Simon Coombes (64th), Andrew Clarke (66th), Jack Dickenson (72nd), Andrew Grigg (83rd) and Angus Butler (88th) all followed closely to close the scoring A team of 10 runners.
There were two more Harriers men in the top 100 heading the B team, as Jack Brotchie placed 97th and Nick Bester, making his long-awaited cross country debut, came 100th.
The remainder of the B team were Raj Paranandi (110th), Eoin Brady (114th), Matt Munro (122nd), Myles Preston (128th), Jonathan Ratcliffe (148th), Gav Newsum (155th), Sam Knight (165th) and Henry Brown (175th).
There were seven more finishers -Derek Lee (179th), Bob Creed (184th), Trevor Chilton (190th), Andrew Simms (210th), Duncan Rimmer (223rd), 64-year-old club president Valdis Pauzers (229th) and 77-year-old John Garber (235th).
In the U13 boys’ race within the overall young athletes race of three age groups run together, Oak Buchan placed sixth and Christo Chilton seventh as the U13s finished as third best team on the day.
Jacob Taylor was fourth overall in the U17/U15 sub section and was second in the U15s. The combined team placed fourth on the day.