Superb performance from James Loftus

The final Liverpool and District League cross country match was held over a decidedly miserable and wet course at Stadt Moers Park, Whiston. Course organisers were probably predicting a poor turn out but in the event it was even worse than anticipated with the field halving from its usually fairly healthy numbers to a depressing 76 finishers. There were desertions on a massive scale, most notably from the Liverpool Harriers club, the normally runaway winners but who have now forfeited the title. Liverpool Pembroke Sefton were down to five but all produced heroic runs. James Loftus in particular seized the day. The 19 year old tracked two tough Wirral runners easing past first one and then the other on the final lap to come home superbly as victor. This was the first time in 15 years that an LPS senior runner has headed the local field. Club captain Mark Wynne poured his frustrations at the poor club turn out into his running and finished a remarkable fifth. On his heels was Sean Kirkbride(7) who is quietly making significant progress. Jonathan Bride(11) had the cross country run of his life looking totally confident and relaxed. Matt Thompson(22) was hardly at his fittest but he too responded well. The Wirral club, obviously unaffected by the blight north of the Mersey, packed well on the day and dominated the race taking the title comfortably . An anomaly in the rules allows clubs with 5 runners to still count but with added penalty points. This conveniently helped LPS to avoid the ultimate embarrassment of elimination and they will now appear in the records not too far down the table. Still, there was much to savour especially James Loftus`s break through.
Earlier in the day at the same venue there were local school races. Among LPS runners Joe Houghton was an excellent second in the Year 9 Boys race. The Molyneux sisters Morag (3) and Corinne(4) were highly placed seniors. Jenny Williamson(Year 8/9 Girls) was another creditable fourth while Faye Hannaway was 7th in her Year 7 race.
International, Rosie Johnson, guested in the South East Lancashire League at Heaton Park. The conditions were as equally deplorable as Merseyside. She came home second overall but first Under 20. Valuable preparation for the New Year championships.
In the Ormskirk 5K Park Run Jack Crook (18.19) and Dan Jones(18.20) raced each other to the line to finish second and third. Joe Martin came home fifth in 19.16. Other LPS finishers were Adam Jones, 7th in 19.55 and Anna Hulme 11th in 21.28.

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