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Lee Gratton helps England win Masters International Cross Country

Written by 
Published in Athletics
Monday, 13 November 2023 04:46
England win the overall contest but Ireland take victory in the womens overall event in Glasgow on Saturday

Last year in Dublin the Irish surprised England, who have dominated the event since it was first held in 1985. But this time England, who were boosted by an overwhelming mens performance (five wins and four seconds in nine events), ran out comfortable winners of an event which is regarded as the highlight of a packed masters calendar.

The womens victory went to Ireland by just three points as they won four of the eight events and also had three seconds. They were well beaten by Scottish men, but their womens success pipped Scotland overall for second by a point.

Unlike so many championships events where masters can just turn up and run for their country as long as they can afford it, here the five home nations (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland) choose their best four athletes or six in the four youngest male age groups (M35 to M50). And just as in every year other than 2022, it was the biggest nation with the most athletes who regained the initiative.

Tollcross Park in Glasgow, which was the last venue used north of the border in 2016, provided a great event with a tough testing course on a cold but sunny day and the whole event was immaculately organised by Scottish Veterans Harriers, which means Northern Ireland will have a hard act to follow in 2024.

There were a number of Scottish individual successes during the day despite a few big name absentees and individually Englands Angela Copson added to her incredible streak with her 14th successive victory which puts her two clear of any other athlete male or female in the long history of the event.

While the event is a huge event for the masters, UK athletics has never paid any attention previously so it was encouraging that the governing bodys chairman Ian Beattie was there to give out the medals at the evening reception.

Record-breaker Angela Copson

Race 1:
M65 race:
Defending champion Alastair Walker, a nominee for AW masters athlete of the year, was in the programme but having only one parkrun under his competition belt due to injury in the previous six months, he decided against racing and instead was watching his beloved Sunderland play Birmingham City.

Scotland still took the individual title though as their trials winner and European masters 10,000m, 10km and half-marathon champion Colin Feechan won easily.

They also won the team title their first ever in the age group by six points from England as all five team were separated by just 15 points. England had won 20 of the previous 23 with Ireland the only other winners.

M65 winner Colin Feechan

The Cambuslang Harrier who was seventh M60 in Dublin, was over 30 seconds ahead of Northern Irelands Laurence Johnston, who advanced from 11th M60 last year in his new age group, a result that would see him his countrys top male performer of the day.

Englands Paul Merrison, who only turned 65 in October, made it a clean sweep for younger runners. He had finished fourth in the BMAF M60 race back in March a place behind Feechan.

Gordon Jones of Wales was another first year athlete in fourth with Eugene Moynihan of Ireland the best of the returnees from last years M65 race.

M65 (6km): 1 C Feechan SCO 21:56; 2 L Johnston NIR 22:30; 3 P Merrison ENG 22:35; 4 G Jones WAL 22:45; 5 E Moynihan IRL 23:01; 6 C Graham-Marr SCO 23:07; 7 N Mawhinney NIR 23:14; 8 J Haynes ENG 23:17; 9 J Farquhar SCO 23:43; 10 M McDonald IRL 23:50; 11 K Newman ENG 23:56; 12 P Thompson SCO 24:22; 13 D Bedwell ENG 24:49; 14 D Watson WAL 25:16; 15 C Purse WAL 25:16; 16 M Walsh IRL 25:17; 17 G ODoherty NIR 25:44; 18 D Walker WAL 27:45; 19 J Gallagher NIR 28:37

Colin Feechan wins the M65+ race by a big margin

TEAM: 1 SCO 16; 2 ENG 22; 3 NIR 26; 4 IRL 31; 5 WAL 33

M70 race:

Though Tony Martin of the host nation, defended and was in good form he was behind two M65s last year who have now moved up and as expected 2022 runner-up Joe Gough and English trials winner David Butler, a former three-time winner in the M55s, dominated.

M70 winner Joe Gough

Gough led early on but though Butler caught and passed him, he was never able to shake off the multi world and European track champion, who inevitably sped away in the last 800 metres and opened up a 12 second gap to add a rare cross-country victory to his many track victories, indoors and out.

The 2023 British champion Martin was another 12 seconds in arrears though with Stan Owen fourth and Peter Hough fifth, England were able to win their 18th team victory in the 20th running of this age group and regain the title from Scotland, who won in Dublin.

M70 (6km): 1 J Gough IRL 23:42; 2 D Butler ENG 23:54; 3 A Martin SCO 24:06; 4 S Owen ENG 24:32; 5 P Hough ENG 25:21; 6 N Owens  WAL 25:31; 7 T Hutchison ENG 25:37; 8 E Norton 27:01; 9 F Hurley SCO 27:14; 10 M Kerr IRL 27:21; 11 R Curran NIR 27:24; 12 R Evans WAL 27:27; 13 B Stewart NIR 27:47; 14 P Harding WAL 27:50; 15 A Doyle IRL 28:23; 16 W Belton IRL 29:04; 17 D Passe WAL 31:10; 18 D Cowier SCO 36:08

Joe Goughs finishing sprint

TEAM: 1 ENG 11; 2 SCO 20; 3 IRL 26; 4 WAL 32

M75 race:

With England able to ignore the selection claims of defending champion Pete Giles, it was no surprise they dominated with a clean sweep of the medals and retained a title that they have now won seven out of eight times contested.

Their trials winner Malcolm Weir had one of the days easiest wins as he added to his British titles this summer at 400m, 800m and 1500m, two days after his 76th birthday.

M75 winner Malcolm Weir

Mick Casey went one place better than in Dublin to take silver while Isle of Wight athlete Peter Young matched his M65 bronze from a decade earlier.

Young finished two seconds ahead of Irelands former Herne Hill Harrier Martin McEvilly who won the gold medal a decade ago and British Masters champion from March, Scotlands Alex Sutherland.

M75 6km:  1 M Weir ENG 26:33; 2 M Casey ENG 27:13; 3 P Young ENG 27:20 ; 4 M McEvilly IRL 27:22; 5 A Sutherland SCO 27:25; 6 J Exley ENG 27:34; 7 N Baillie SCO 28:25; 8 R Mullins IRL 29:58; 9 B Parham WAL 30:20; 10 S McMullin IRL 31:12; 11 R Sandilands SCO 31:57; 12 R Marshall SCO 32:00; 13 G Hughes WAL 32:29; 14 L OHare IRL 33:38; 15 J Adgey NIR 35:30; 16 P ODriscoll NIR 40:38

TEAM: 1 ENG 6; 2 IRL 22; 3 SCO 23; 4 WAL 39

M80 race:

This event does not have full team status as Britain is not awash with over-80 cross-country competitors as just five participated with no English taking part and Scotland provided the first three.

Predictably, Robert Young, who won the M60 title in 2005 and the M75 title in 2018, and was moving up after a fifth at the age of 79 in Dublin, won by over four minutes from the 2022 winner Pete Cartwright and James Scobie.

M80 winner Robert Young

M80 6km: 1 R Young SCO 29:27; 2 P Cartwright SCO 34:11; 3 J Scobie SCO 34:19; 4 J Stewart IRL 35:34; 5 B Roberts WAL 41:53

W65 race:
Irelands Pauline Moran, who has also won two W60 titles, easily defended but she couldnt stop Scotland achieving a V65 double and a comfortable defence as they had the next three finishers.

W65 champion Pauline Moran

It was a case of as you were as Jane Kidd and Isobel Burnett matched their 2022 positions as they completed the medallists and they were followed home by Erica Christie to ensure their fourth title in this age group which is their most successful.

Jane Fabes led a below par English team in fifth and she was their only finisher in the top half of the field.

W65 6km: 1 P Moran IRL 25:48; 2 J Kidd SCO 26:25; 3I Burnett SCO 26:57; 4 E Christie SCO 28:05; 5 J Fabes ENG 28:19; 6 J McMinn NIR 28:21 ; 7 M Browne IRL 28:22; 8 A Mangan IRL 28:26; 9 M Martin SCO 28:27; 10 J Morgan ENG 28:35; 11 L New ENG 28:46; 12 S Clarke ENG 29:04; 13 G Grennam IRL 29:07; 14 F Davies WAL 29:11; 15 A Webster WAL 32:35; 16 B Jones WAL 33:09; 17 M Baugh WAL 34:15; 18 B McGrillen NIR 35:16
TEAM: 1 SCO 9; 2 IRL 16; 3 ENG 26; 4 WAL 45

W70 race:

Two-time W65 winner Ann White gained her biggest ever win in the W70 age group with a hard fought win over the Irish pairing of Margaret Glavey and Eileen Kenny.

W70 champion Ann White

Glavey matched her second from last year reversing form with defending champion  Kenny who only just got bronze sharing the same time with English trials winner Dot Kesterton who was fourth.

Hong Kong Olympian and UK marathon record-setter, also representing England, Yuko Gordon was fifth and Scottish trials winner and last years bronze medallist Jeanette Craig completed a quality first half dozen.

Six points separated the team medallists with Irelands three in seven giving them a narrow edge.

W70 (6km): 1 A White SCO 28:11; 2 M Glavey IRL 28:17; 3 E Kenny IRL 28:25; 4 D Kesterton ENG 28:25; 5 Y Gordon ENG 29:05; 6 J Craig SCO 29:20; 7 M Lynch IRL 29:57; 8 L Nicholson SCO 30:27; 9 M Statham-Berry ENG 30:43; 10 E Evans WAL 32:16; 11 J Georghou ENG 33:05; 12 R Lynch IRL 33:39; 13 M Fleming SCO 34:08; 14 A DAlbuquerque WAL 37:34
TEAM: 1 IRL 12; 2 SCO 15; 3 ENG 18; 4 WAL 39

W75 race:
Angela Copson who already had the most wins over all age groups, gained her 14th successive win as she won the W75 category having debuted in the W60s in 2008. There is no team contest in this age group.

Angela Copson wins the W75 event

She won gold by just under two minutes from English team-mate Anne Dockery, who had followed her home in the European Masters at 800m, 1500m and 5000m out in Italy.

Over five minutes behind Copson, Irelands June Comiskey proved the best of the rest as seven W75 athletes completed the gruelling 6km course.

W75: 1 A Copson ENG 30:09; 2 A Dockery ENG 31:41; 3 J Comiskey IRL 35:23; 4 D Henderson SCO 35:37; 5 B Quinn NIR 36:56; 6 A Docherty SCO 37:12; 7 M Oliver WAL 39:45

Race 2: Women W35 to W60

W35 race:
This age group was looking like it might be unusually high quality but England lost Gemma Steel and trials winner Becky Penty from their original selection while Scotlands Olympian Freya Ross, who was moving down an age group to help the Scottish team, was another late withdrawal.

Though she trailed the W45 winner and the top two W40s, last years bronze medallist Jennifer Wetton enjoyed a comfortable W35 victory. The Scot finished 23 seconds clear of Irelands Aileen Arthur.

W35 Jenny Wetton

Catherine OConnor, only eighth in 2022, took the bronze medal and with Sarah McNutt and Judith Storm fourth and fifth, Northern Ireland pulled off a stunning victory their first womens team success in any event and so it was effectively their first womens win in almost 200 attempts over the last 35 years.

Tracy Rogers led the English to second in sixth spot.

W35 (6km): 1 J Wetton SCO 21:23; 2 A Arthur IRL 21:46; 3 C OConnor NIR 21:49; 4 S McNuuu NIR 21:56; 5 J Storm NIR 22:00; 6 T Rogers ENG 22:05; 7 L Niemz ENG 22:06; 8 E Gaffney IRL 22:15; 9 B Kelly IRL 22:28; 10 N Sutton ENG 22:29; 11 Y McNairn SCO 22:32; 12 M Jones IRL 22:38; 13 K Law NIR 22:58; 14 A Sneddon ENG 23:17; 15 S Attwood SCO 23:27 ; 16 E Morris SCO 23:58; 17 J Rambaldi WAL 24:08; 18 E Palfrey WAL 24:22
TEAM: 1 NIR 12; 2 IRL 19; 3 ENG 23; 4 SCO 27

W40 race:

Irish trials winner Dympna Ryan, third the previous year in Dublin, surprisingly beat in-form Sara Green who had been half a minute clear of Ryan in 2022.

W40 Dympna Ryan

Former senior international Juliet Potter, who was between Green and Ryan last year, took a bronze. Earlier this year Potter had won the British Championships and the English trial.

Ireland with three in five were clear team winners and that gave them their sixth age-group victory though they are still 20 short of Englands total.

Though they didnt provide the overall womens winner, this was the best quality womens age group with the fifth-placer going faster than the W35 bronze medallist.

W40 6km: 1 D Ryan IRL 21:1; 2 S Green SCO 21:18; 3 J Potter ENG 21:27; 4 F Gettings IRL 21:38; 5 M Kenny IRL 21:47; 6 R Luxton ENG 21:57; 7 M Sandison SCO 21:59; 8 N Curtis ENG 22:02; 9 J Hodgson ENG 22:04; 10 K White SCO 22:17; 11 S McDougall SCO 22:26; 12 N Newcombe-Pieterse IRL 22:28; 13 G McCrory NIR 22:52; 14 T Cumming NIR 23:36; 15 N Hall NIR 23:39; 16 G Moore WAL 23:41; 17 H Sharpe WAL 23:52; 18 L Jones WAL 24:38; 19 L McKenna NIR 25:31
TEAM: 1 IRL 10; 2 ENG 17; 3 SCO 19; 4 NIR 42; 5 WAL 51

W45 race: defending champion: Natasha Adams (IRL). TEAM: Ireland

The overall race womens winner Teresa Doherty was 10 years older than some of her opponents in the younger age groups and she still won easily as she repeated her overall victory from Swansea in 2018 as a W40.

Teresa Doherty wins the overall womens race

She finished exactly half a minute ahead of the 2022 winner Natasha Adams.

Bronze went to Scotlands British W45 Indoor 1500m record-setter from earlier in the year, Lesley Bell who had one of her best ever cross-country races.  Fourth was Wales hill running international Joanne Henderson who was Wales top woman over all age groups.

Fifth was one of the favourites, the overall 2019 winner Kirsty Longley, who has faster road times this year than Doherty, but not feeling well, she struggled and dropped back on the last lap and collapsed at the finish. She did win a silver team medal though as they beat Scotland on countback but trailed Ireland by eight points who again achieved their sixth team win.

W45 (6km): 1 T Doherty IRL 21:01; 2 N Adams IRL 21:31; 3 L Bell SCO 21:43; 4 J Henderson WAL 21:56; 5 K Longley ENG 22:07; 6 K Kelly SCO 22:17; 7 Z Oldfield ENG 22:18; 8 S Murphy ENG ENG 22:26; 9 Z Quinn IRL 22:43; 10 K Neely NIR 22:48; 11 C Heasman SCO 22:52; 12 J Sanzo ENG 23:09; 13 C Devine IRL 23:22; 14 R Fraser-Moodie SCO 23:37; 15 H Parker NIR 24:46; 16 W Price WAL 24:48; 17 C Coffey NIR 24:52; 18 T Breedon WAL 25:09; 19 P Worthington NIR 26:06; 20 J Doughton WAL 26:11

TEAM: 1 IRL 12; 2 ENG 20; 3 SCO 20; 4 WAL 38; 5 NIR 42

W50 race:

Kate Rennie, winner of the W45 race five years ago, was only second in the English trials, but here was a clear winner from last years runner-up Elisoa Crawford of Northern Ireland who again enjoyed their best individual womens result.

Kate Rennie (right 5042) won the W50 race

Third went to English trials winner Nikki Sturzaker, who won three medals in the European masters including 800m gold as she added to her many medals this year though wasnt at her best after a recent bout of Covid.

Sturzaker and Rennie also won a team gold as Dawn Richardson in sixth completed a relatively rare but very easy womens win in Glasgow. It was a record 29th victory for England in this age group with Ireland the next best with three wins.

It was close for second with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland separated by just three points and the Irish rarely out of the medalss.

W50: 6km: 1 K Rennie ENG 22:00; 2 E Crawford NIR 22:10; 3 N Sturzaker ENG 22:50; 4 B Gaffney IRL 23:18; 5 J Dunbar SCO 23:31; 6 D Richardson ENG 23:32; 7 J Menzies SCO 23:39; 8 M Lannon IRL 23:55; 9 K Wilton NIR 24:04; 10 A Davies ENG 24:06; 11 M Senior SCO 24:10; 12 A Chong SCO 24;27; 13 S Leetch NIR 24:49; 14 K Lavelle IRL 25:30; 15 C Jacobs WAL 25:56; 16 J Carty IRL 26:08; 17 G Redpath NIR 26:17
TEAM: 1 ENG 10; 2 SCO 23; 3 NIR 24; 4 IRL 26

W55 race:
Irelands world and European champion Annette Kealy who won the W35 title in 2005 and then the W50 race in both 2019 and 2022, successfully moved up an age group to win her third successive gold over the two age groups.

W55 winner Annette Kealy

Englands defending champion Clare Elms is focusing on preparation for the indoor season as she turns 60 in a few weeks and in her final major race as a W55 she still finished almost a minute ahead of the bronze medallist Mari Johnston, who was also new to the age group. Carmel Crowley also took fourth and she too was new to the age group and as Irelands W50 team from 2022, won the W55s in 2023.

Thus England missed out on victory for just the third time in 24 runnings in this age group. Unusually the two W35 winners either side of Kealy from almost two decades ago Nicki Nealon and Susan Ridley finished eighth and ninth.

W55 6km: 1 A Kealy IRL 22:42; 2 C Elms ENG 23:09; 3 M Johnston IRL 24:02; 4 C Crowley IRL 24:21; 5 S OKane IRL 24:40; 6 C Jolliffe ENG 24:40; 7 J McMonagle IRL 24:44; 8 N Nealon ENG 24:52; 10 N Skilton ENG 25:14; 11 M McCutcheon SCO 25:42; 12 K Dobbie SCO 26:08; 13 S Lewis SCO 26:15; 14 D Matchett NIR 26:29; 15 K Chapman WAL 27:28; 16 A McNeill NIR 28:17; 17 E Dillon NIR 30:22
TEAM: 1 IRL 16; 2 ENG 16; 3 SCO 32; 4 NIR 35

W60 race:

Last year there was a great race between two multiple former winners and Scotlands Fiona Matheson just got the better of former overall womens winner Niamh OSullivan. This time they were close early on, but eventually Matheson pulled well clear of her rival to win by 24 seconds. It was her eighth victory since her first in 2011 in the W50s.

Fiona Matheson wins her eighth title

Northern Irelands former UK W60 marathon record-holder Mary Slocum improved on her fifth from last year to take bronze ahead of last years bronze medallist Monica Williamson.

The latter at least had the consolation of leading England to their 18th win out of 20 in this age group. It was close though as they only beat Ireland on countback helped by their non scorer Caroline Wood beating Irelands third scorer.

W60 6km: 1 F Matheson SCO 23:34; 2 N OSullivan IRL 23:58; 3 M Slocum NIR 24:09; 4 M Williamson ENG 24:28; 5 K Byrne IRL 24:53; 6 C Page ENG 25:04; 7 S Cordingley ENG 25:29; 8 C Wood ENG 25:44; 9 H Ritchie SCO 25:59; 10 I Clements IRL 26:03; 11 C Wheeler WAL 26:14; 12 P McCrossan SCO 26:42; 13 E Collins WAL 27:21; 14 Y Crilly SCO 27:31; 15 M Elliott NIR 27:38; 16 S Barham WAL 28:02; 17 P McGilloway IRL 29:02; 18 S Phillips WAL 29:54; 19 S Allen NIR 31:00; 20I Downey NIR 31:14
TEAM: 1 ENG 17; 2 IRL 17; 3 SCO 22; 4 NIR 27; 5 WAL 40

Race 3 M50 to M60 8km

M50 race:

Irish trials winner Declan Toal was only sixth last year, but clearly in better form, he ran out a clear winner with his only real challenge coming from the M55 age group and one of the most successful men here of all-time Tim Hartley.

M50 champion Declan Toal

Second M50 over 30 seconds back was Englands Anthony OBrien, who improved on his fifth from 2022 while Scotlands Scott Brember was a clear third ahead of English Trials winner Ben Paviour.

It was close in the team and it was Scotland who won on countback effectively taking victory by four seconds thanks to their fourth scorer Andrew Macrae being that margin ahead of Englands final scorer Jeff Prest. It was Scotlands first win in this age group at the 34th attempt.

M50 8km: 1 D Toal IRL 26:16; 2 A OBrien 26:47; 3 S Brember SCO 26:59; 4 B Paviour ENG 27:22; 5 D Gardiner SCO 27:31; 6 J Coyle SCO 27:36; 7 S Doyle ENG 27:37; 8 A Macrae SCO 27:40; 9 J Prest ENG 27:44; 10 M Harrington IRL 27:56; 11 A Tatham ENG 28:01; 12 C McCarthy IRL 28:05; 13 D Coyle NIR 28:05; 14 P Monaghan SCO 28:14; 15 J Carter SCO 28:24; 16 L Fulcher IRL 28:33; 17 M Smith NIR 28:51; 18 N McKibbin NIR 29:06; 19 R OReilly IRL 29:19; 20 M Walker NIR 29:21; 21 G Gavin IRL 29:22; 22 J Brown WAL 29:29; 23 A Bond ENG 29:51; 24 N OGorman NIR 30:08; 25 W Williams WAL 30:09; 26 S Roberts WAL 30:23; 27 A Willis NIR 32:12
TEAM: 1 SCO 22; 2 ENG 22; 3 IRL 39; 4 NIR 68

First three in the M50+ race: Hartley, Toal and OBrien

M55 race:

Last year Tim Hartley, who has won two M40 golds, three M45 victories and two M50 titles had to settle for second in the M50 category but now into the M55 he won easily and was only headed by M50 champion Toal by 11 seconds.

Last years M55 winner Pauric McKinney trailed Hartley by a minute last year but here was 44 seconds back as Hartleys eighth individual victory consolidated his position as second in the mens all time lists to Mike Hager.

Tim Hartley

Northern Irelands Steve Cairns, who is Scottish-based, took a clear bronze.

Just as in the M50s, it was decided on countback though this time by a bigger margin in terms of seconds with Scot James Austins seventh proving crucial against rival Englands ninth.

M55 8km: 1 T Hartley ENG 26:27; 2 P McKinney IRL 27:11; 3 S Cairns NIR 27:14; 4 R Paterson SCO 27:34; 5 S Allen SCO 28:02; 6 F Rafferty ENG 28:12; 7 J Austin SCO 28:29; 8 W Henderson SCO 28:35; 9 J Richardson ENG 28:52; 10 P Cowhie IRL 29:03; 11 B Donagher IRL 29:15; 12 N Carty NIR 29:24; 13 S McCreey IRL 29:48; 14 A Brown ENG 29:56; 15 S Hoey NIR 30:26; 16 B Brady NIR 30:49; 17 J Mower WAL 31:11; 18 J Carter WAL 31:15; 19 G Hughes WAL 32:10; 20 K Lowies WAL 33:15

TEAM: 1 SCO 16; 2 ENG 16; 3 IRL 23; 4 NIR 30; 5 WAL 54

M60 race:.

Last years runner-up John Convery had won the English Trials ahead of the 2022 international winner Steve Watmough and here Convery won his biggest title to date as he headed the 2022 British champion Ifan Lloyd who gained Wales best result of the date with a fine second.

M60 champion John Convery

Watmough was close by in third and with Peter Knight fourth, England won easily though Lloyd led Wales to their best team result of the day, and indeed their only team medal, with a second place just up on Ireland and Scotland.

Last years bronze medallist Kevin Griffin was only fourth in the Irish Trials but led home Ireland in fifth.

European 10,000m champion David Thom, who won the Scottish Trials, was eighth.

M60 8km: 1 J Convery ENG 29:13; 2 I Lloyd WAL 29:23; 3 S Watmough ENG 29:27; 4 P Knight ENG 29:39; 5 K Griffin IRL 30:02; 6 D Warren WAL 30:04; 7 C Mackenzie SCO 30:13; 8 D Thom SCO 30:19; 9 E Newman IRL 30:26; 10 A Marshall ENG 30:32; 11 N Connor NIR 31:00; 12 W ODonoghue IRL 31:07; 13 D Eckersley SCO 31:17; 14 P OGrady IRL 31:16; 15 E Campbell WAL 31:35; 16 D Williams WAL 32:07; 17 D Williams SCO 32:17; 18 P Havern NIR 32:25; 19 P Brines NIR 32:56; 20 H Jones WAL 33:55; 21 P Le Blanc NIR 35:40
TEAM: 1 ENG 8; 2 WAL 23; 3 IRL 26; 4 SCO 28; 5 NIR 48

Race 4: Men: M35 to M45 8km

M35 race
Historically this is Englands least successful age group by some distance and they had previously only won the team title twice compared to Irelands ten victories but here they dominated with an individual one-two and a clear team victory.

overall mens winner Lee Gratton

Midlands senior sixth-placer Lee Gratton was a clear English trials winner and here he also dominated as he led all the way to win gold by 20 seconds.

He enjoyed his biggest win to date and patiently waited at the end of the finishing funnel to shake the hands of his opponents.

Second was close as a late sprint from trials runner-up Paul Wright saw him nip ahead of the top M40 plus Scotlands trial winner Gregor Yates who won M35 bronze.

Greg Jayasurina was fourth and though Ireland packed five runners from fifth to ninth, Englands fourth scorer David Awdes 12th place proved sufficient.

M35 8km: 1 L Gratton ENG 24:49; 2 P Wright ENG 25:09; 3 G Yates SCO 25:11; 4 G Jayasuriya ENG 25;17; 5 K Rogers IRL 25:32; 6 J Lenehan IRL 25:32; 7 P Fitzgerald IRL 25:40; 8 J Doherty IRL 25:50; 9 H Lupton IRL 26:07; 10 C Loudon SCO 26:09; 11 M Malone NIR 26:11; 12 D Awde ENG 26:13; 13 R Davies WAL 26:18; 14 P Goss NIR 26:19; 15 R Connor ENG 26:20; 16 C Reilly SCO 26:21; 17 C Doherty SCO 26:25; 18 J Read ENG 26:28; 19 W Ewens SCO 26:42; 20 R Chesser IRL 26:46; 21 L Northall WAL 26:48; 22 S Macleod SCO 26:56; 23 O Carleton NIR 27:20; 24 M Jennings NIR 27:39; 25 A Ladd NIR 29:27; 26 T Wood WAL 29:56
TEAM: 1 ENG 19; 2 IRL 26; 3 SCO 46; 4 NIR 72

M40 race:

Just  as in the M65 race, defending champion Mark Doherty was in the programme but did not compete but Scotland still won the individual and team titles and won their first ever team title in the age group of what is generally regarded as the premier male team age group as it was the initial youngest age group and has a far greater history than the M35s.

Darrell Hastie just lost out on second overall on the line but won the M40 title by four seconds from team-mate Iain Whitaker.

M40 winner Darrell Hastie

He didnt look a potential winner on his only previous appearance in the event when he was 13th M35 in 2019 but he has been in good form this year winning the Scottish title and the BMAF road mile title and though he did not contest the trials he was first M40 in the Scottish short-course event,

English Trials winner Stephen Jackson took bronze and with another Scot trials winner Grant Baillie in fourth the title looked sewed up but in Dohertys absence they did have to wait for 16th for their final scorer compared to Englands 10th and Irelands 11th and they won by four points.

M40 8km: 1 D Hastie SCO 25:09; 2 I Whitaker SCO 25:13; 3 S Jackson ENG 25:32; 4 G Baillie SCO 25:42; 5 B Gamble ENG 25:46; 6 G Sweeney IRL 25:49; 7 I Conroy IRL 26:05; 8 B Murphy IRL 26:08; 9 M Eccles ENG 26:16; 10 R Warner ENG 26:22; 11 D Gorman IRL 26:37; 12 S Dixon  ENG 26:44; 13 B OKelly IRL 26:51; 14 L McCarthy IRL 26:54; 15 C Franks ENG 26:59; 16 M Houston SCO 27:07; 17 S Cole WAL 27:10; 18 B Butler-Madden WAL 27:23; 19 A Osborne SCO 27:41; 20 L Vallely NIR 27:41; 21 C Magill NIR 27:52; 22 J Macleod SCO 27:59; 23 F Delaney NIR 28:05; 24 J Gomes WAL 28:09; 25 T Carter WAL 28:11; 26 T Murphy NIR 28:26; 27 O Schiavone WAL 28:27; 28 B Kerr NIR 29:37; 29 D Proctor NIR 29:38

TEAM: 1 SCO 23; 2 ENG 27; 3 IRL 32; 4 WAL 84; 5 NIR 90

M45 race:

This looked a hard one to predict with no one especially standing out and it was close with last years fifth placer Jan Bailey just four seconds ahead of Scottish trials winner Jim Tole and Irish trials winner Ciaran McGonagle who was third last year matching his 2022 result.

M45 champion Jan Bailey

Bailey, who won the trials by almost two minutes, felt he wasnt as fit here and fourth placer and team-mate Oliver Beale was only 36 seconds back and with Mike Burrett fifth and James Hunter 12th, England were clear team winners in effectively the final contest to be decided and it gave them their 29th team win in the M45 event and ensured their 33rd overall victory.

M45 km: 1 J Bailey ENG 25;53; 2 J Tole SCO 25:57; 3 C McGonagle IRL 26:12; 4 O Beale ENG 26:29; 5 M Burrett ENG 26:44; 6 R Toland NIR 27:00; 7 M McMahon IRL 27:09; 8 D Kirwin IRL 27:11; 9 N Lafferty SCO 27:14; 10 M Mckenna NIR 27:17; 11 J Dunne IRL 27:23; 12 J Hunter ENG 27:25; 13 A Glover NIR 27:30 14 A Russell ENG 27:44; 15 M Lang SCO 27:46; 16 I Carroll SCO 27:48; 17 N Sheil IRL 27:54; 18 C Callaghan WAL 28:00; 19 A Gibbins ENG 28:03; 20 K Scullion NIR 28:14; 21 A How WAL 28:17; 22 B Minnock IRL 28:25; 23 D Muir SCO 28:33; 24 N Curran NIR 28:51; 25 J Speirs SCO 29:05; 26 H Drake WAL 29:7; 27 M Green WAL 29:21; 28 J Moore NIR 32:47

TEAM: 1 ENG 22; 2 IRL 29; 3 SCO 42; 4 NIR 49; 5 WAL 92

Race 5 Open 8km & 6km Race

With the course a little more cut up and with less competition Northern Irelands M35 reserve Dan Watt led home English M40s Leigh Marshall and Lee Athersmith in the mens 8km while w40 Jessica Franklin led home W45s Maria Cook and Charlotte Wills in the 6km race.

Men 8km: 1 D Watt M35 27:19; 2 L Marshall M40 27:24; 3 L Athersmith M40 27:42; 4 S Brown M40 28:03; 5 D Wheat M40 28:14; 6 A Beevers M50 28:25; 7 J Ronzale M50 29:25; 8 R Wells M50 29:39; 9 S Prentice M45 29:40

M55: 1 R McEarchern 31:25; 2 J Duffy 32:15; 3D Hands 32:27

M60: 1 E Southam 30:10; 2 I Norman 31:12; 3 A Howes 35:20

Mixed 6km: 1 J Franklin W40 23:00; 2 M Cook W45 23:17; 3 C Wills W45 23:20;  M McLeod W45 23:47; 5 K Rafferty W35 24:07; 6 R Coupe W50 24:16; 7 R Thackray W50 24:27; 8 D Gill M65 24:55; 9 O McNally M65 25:26; 10 M Whitmore M65 25:35

M65: 5 G King 26:52; 6 M Mangan 27:14; 7 S Smythe 27:37; 8 A Chisholm 28:30

W50: 3 J Johnstone 25:40; 4 K Wilton 25:56; 5 S Benton 26:33; 6 H Carsell 26:43

W55: 1 F Jeffries 26:09; 2 J Hanmer 26:26

W60: 1 F Usher 26:12; 2 S Gill 27:19; 3 S Payne 29:25

W65: 1 I Bracegirdle 28:32; 2 M Thompson 31:05

Final overall team scores: 1 England 72; 2 Ireland 63; 3 Scotland 62; 4 Northern Ireland 28; 5 Wales 20

Womens start

Overall titles after 2023: England 33, Ireland 1

Most individual wins after 2023

Men:

Mike Hager with 12
Tim Hartley with 8
Fred Gibbs with 6
Martin Ford with 6
Nigel Gates with 6
Alun Roper with 4
Austin Davies with 4
Rob Atkinson with 4
Women:

Angela Copson with 14
Carmel Parnell with 11
Karen Marshall with 9
Claire Martin with 8
Fiona Matheson with 8
Anne Keenan-Buckley with 5
Niamh OSullivan with 5
Pat Gallagher with 5
Clare Elms with 5

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