Alloa battle for Johnston and Murdoch

ROUND two of the East of Scotland Cross Country League took Gala Harriers to the hugely impressive Lornshill Academy Complex in Alloa on Saturday

In spite of fairly cold conditions the sun shone and not a breath of wind greeted the hundreds of runners from Under 11 to Seniors.

With the juniors again representing Team Borders (see corresponding report) it was left to the seniors to fly the flag for the green machine. Disappointingly, for the second league race in a row, the senior women failed to turn out a team, with only Rachel Fagan making the trip. Obviously still on a high from her Scotland honours the previous week in Cardiff, she ran a typical gutsy race on the 3.5 mile course to finish 23rd in a good time of 25.57.

Despite two late call offs, the senior men still fielded nine runners, and they went under starters orders in the last race of the day over 5.25 miles.

Fergus Johnston and Graeme Murdoch both went out hard from the gun and had a great tussle for the first two laps before Murdoch edged ahead to finish in his best East League position of 15th (31.20). Fergus also finished well in 19th (31.50).

Colin McCall needed no encouragement either as the prospect of half a dozen chilled beers for the journey home propelled him to his best East League placing (58th) in a time of 34.30. In his first year at the club Andrew Lawrie continues to improve and ran well to finish 95th (36.17).

In the battle of the veterans, Derrick Brydon (37.31) and Rory Campbell (37.33) worked well together round the course before Derrick outsprinted Rory in the home straight for 118th and 119th place respectively. Men’s Captain Billy McCulloch also ran well for 137th place in 38.22. James Purves (193rd) enjoyed his first taste of East League with a 43.12 clocking to complete another good day for the club.

The next two races for the club are Round Three of the Border Winter Cross Country series at Peebles on Sunday followed by the East of Scotland Championships in Dundee on December 7.