Sunderland Harriers, Strollers and Houghton Harriers aimimg to maintain title push

Sunderland Harriers' Vikki Cotton.
Sunderland Harriers' Vikki Cotton.

Sunderland Harriers, Sunderland Strollers and Houghton Harriers will all be out to improve their league standings in the third fixture of the North Eastern Harrier League senior men’s divisions.

All three clubs are involved in the chase for league titles and they continue their task at Aykley Heads at Durham on Saturday.

Sunderland Harriers are in fourth place in Division One, six points behind leaders Morpeth, who are on three points. Tyne Bridge are second on four points, with Durham on five points in third.

Sunderland team manager Albert James, who steered the club to the league championship title in 2016, will bid to cut the gap on the clubs ahead them by turning out a strong team.

He said: “This fixture will mark the halfway stage of the season and we need to make inroads on the clubs in front of us, if we are to be involved in the league title race.”

Sunderland Strollers are in fourth spot in Division Two on nine points, with Gosforth at the top on four points. Alnwick have five points and South Shields eight points.

Houghton Harriers are in a promotion place in Division Three, just one point behind league leaders Low Fell.

In the women’s leagues, Sunderland Harriers are in a promotion spot in Division Two, just two points behind leaders Heaton.

The Strollers are third (eight points) in Division Three. Saltwell top the table on three points and Jarrow are also on eight points, but ahead of the Strollers, as they have a league win to their name.

The leaders in the early stages of the Sunderland Harriers’ Cross Country Grand Prix are headed by two women. They are Vikki Cotton on 12 points and Lauren Flaxen on 11 points.

The rest of the front runners are: Paul Merrison 10, Paul Redman 9, Peter Richardson 9, Andy Powell 8, Linda Mudford 8, Sean Mackie 8, Kevin Calvert 8, Alice Smith 8, Kris Cantle 7, Judith Shotton 7, Susan Clughen 6, Lucie Forster 6, Karl Robinson 6, George Harden 6, Alan Knebel 6, Peter Shaw 6 and Allan McManus 6.

The third race in the series is at Aykley Heads on Saturday.

The big points scorers in the grand prix are the approaching North Eastern Championships at Redcar on Saturday, December 9 followed by the Northern Championships at Leeds on Saturday, January 27 and the English National Championships at London on Saturday, February 24.

Twelve North East athletes have been selected for the England team for the British and Irish Masters’ Cross Country International in Derry on Saturday.

They are: M35 Andy Burn (Jarrow and Hebburn), Cees Van der land (Tyne Bridge), M45 John Clifford (Evenwood), Terry Scott (Tyne Bridge), M55 Guy Bracken (North Shields Poly), M70 Mark McNally (Elswick).

Women: W35 Carla Maley (North Shields Poly), Tracey Millmore (Birtley), W50 Elaine Leslie (Jarrow and Hebburn), Kath Aspin (New Marske), W55 Sue Phillips (Darlington) and Heather Robinson (Jarrow and Hebburn).

Former Sunderland Harrier Roger Wilson, now living in Warwickshire, defends his Over-75 title.

Sunderland Harrier Jacqueline Etherington represents Scotland in the W35 event.

Border Harriers host their 66th Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile road race on Sunday. It incorporates the Northern Athletics Championships.

The race starts at 11.30am. Changing and registration is at the William Howard School, Brampton. The finish is at the Sands Centre, Carlisle.

There is a £200 award to first male and female, plus £100 for the winners if time is sub 49 minutes for men and sub 55 minutes for women.

A memento is awarded to all finishers. This is the oldest 10-mile road race in the UK.

It was in 1993 that Sunderland Harrier Brian Rushworth had a famous victory clocking 47:37.