Sunderland wary of relegation threat

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SUNDERLAND Harriers senior men’s team are just four points off relegation after finishing seventh in their North Eastern Harrier League First Division match at Alnwick on Saturday.

The Wearsiders got off to a bright start in the six-to-count team race, where Craig Isherwood was the fastest overall runner in the six-mile handicap race, finishing 18th (35min 1sec) at The Pastures.

With only one league fixture to go, the royal blue vests cannot afford any further slip-ups.

The club also had another two men inside the first 26 finishers – Steve McMahon 25th running from the medium pack (38.00) and slow pack runner Michael Heskett 26th (40.34).

But their last three counters finished 109th, 140th and 224th.

This gave them seventh team place out of 10 competing clubs, which saw them drop to seventh in the table.

With only one league fixture to go, the royal blue vests cannot afford any further slip-ups.

Isherwood’s fine performance, running from the fast pack and giving away a five minutes start to the slow pack, was one second faster than the next best.

Morpeth’s Robert Balmbra finished second, running from the medium pack.

Isherwood is now lying second in the individual grand prix behind Gateshead’s Conrad Franks.

Sunderland Strollers’ promotion hopes from the Second Division have dived after they finished eighth in their league.

They are now too far off the pace in fifth place.

They had two men finishing inside the first 100 in Tim Allsop in 22nd (40.22) and Declan Munnelly in 96th (42.19).

The Strollers’ women now have a five-point advantage over Blackhill Bounders at the bottom after finishing fourth in their First Division contest.

The team counters were Moyra Magowan 19th (32.15), Rebecca Calvert 23rd (30.23), Gillian Richie 30th (32.37) and Ashleigh Ewen (31.02).

Sunderland Harriers finished seventh in the Second Division, with Nicola Woodward 75th (29.33), Colleen Compson 78th (33.37), Vikki Cotton 116th (34.06) and Judith Thirlwell 125th (30.22).