|Eagles Swoop to Victory|
First big win for ladies despite marshalling mix-up
Ealing Eagles’ ladies team secured the club’s first cross country title by winning the Sunday League in an unexpected fashion.
A marshalling mix-up meant several runners covered the wrong distance during Sunday’s fixture at Cassiobury Park, near Watford, causing the results to be declared void.
And it left the Eagles ladies, who’d climbed to top spot in the last fixture at Royston, celebrating the club’s first victory in major competition. There was joy, too, for Jenipher Laughton, who took the Senior Women’s title.
Skipper on the day, Jen Watt, said: “This was a fantastic win. We just got stronger as the season went on. It was disappointing not to have our final performances count but we’re just really proud of our efforts.
“It was great for Jen to take home a trophy because she’s been a real star and has developed with better training over the winter. Hopefully now we can go on to get even stronger over the next few seasons.”
The Eagles ladies had gone into the last of five fixtures level on points with Herts-based Team Trisports and one ahead of Trent Park. But, crucially, the Eagles’ countback score – determined by the sum of the finishing places of the five first finishers making up the women’s A-team in each race – put them ahead.
The team went all out to win the trophy outright and victory looked assured when they placed six women among the first 12 finishers over the six-mile course, only for the confusion to be revealed.
Jose Manuel Pabon placed second overall in the senior men’s category, while the men’s A-team – made up of the first eight finishers in each event - finished in sixth place for the season. It meant the club finished fifth in the combined competition.
Chairman Andy McFarlane said: “When we entered our first cross-country fixture less than 18 months ago, no-one would have expected us to be taking home our first team trophy in just our second season.
“This is a tremendous achievement, not just by those scoring the points at the front but by our competitors right through the field battling to gain places to take valuable points from our rivals.
“Everyone should be very proud. Let’s hope this is the first of many successes. We have some strong male competitors at the club so we should have one eye on the overall trophy next winter.”
The men’s B-team – comprising the ninth to 13th-placed runners - finished fourth overall, while the women’s B-team, for those placed sixth to eighth, were third overall. The women’s masters team was fourth, while the men’s was 13th.
18th February 2014