Kerry Bailey's first ever win in the Metropolitan League led Ealing Southall & Middlesex's U13 girls' team to victory at Stevenage on Saturday, writes John Falvey.
It was the highlight of a best turnout of the season by the club in the competition this winter.
Kerry had been edging closer to victory with every match. Narrowly defeated in the last match at Ruislip, she made no mistake this time, sprinting home 50m clear.
Shannon Powell also finished fast to hold onto fourth place. Evie King was seventh and Rosie Bell secured the team win in ninth place.
The senior women had their best result of the season with a third place lifting them up to sixth in the table.
Gemma Marrs made the early pace but Mel Newbery went past her in the first mile. Mel made steady progress throughout the race to finish fourth, her best race of the season.
Fiona Kennedy started slowly and worked her way though the field. With a mile to go she was one place behind Gemma but failed to catch her as the pair finished 21st and 22nd.
Ashlee McGuigan also started steadily before building up pace. She caught team mate Hannah Pollak on the first lap but Hannah hung on well as the pair finished 28th and 34th. Mary Walsh took the last scoring place in 67th.
The U15 and U17 girls also finished third. Daniella Raffel just managed to grab fifth. Helena French came home five seconds ahead of Rebecca Johnson as they finished 12th and 13th. Nicola Shelley made a rare cross country appearance to complete the team in 16th.
There was a bumper turn out in the U15 and U17 boys' race, despite several runners resting before next week's Southern Championships at Hillingdon.
Seb Zajaczkowski made another strong showing, only losing out on third place by inches.
Christopher Charles was the first of the club's U15 runners, finishing 10th. Alex Leslie and Dalton McGuigan took the last two scoring places in 19th and 20th. Behind them there were some close battles as Ben Waterman (22nd), Myles Vale (23rd), Anthony Shaw (25th) and William Pinder (26th) came home in quick succession.
Fellan McGuigan finished sixth in the U13 boys' race, losing out in a close three-way battle. The Pinder brothers Duncan and Bradley were the club's other runners in 12th and 17th.
In the senior men's race, Sam Ashcroft made the early running. However Rob Wilson reeled him in as they both recorded their highest finishes of the season in 26th and 28th.
Andy Dodd had another good run, edging out Ben McCallum by the narrowest of margins as they finished 56th and 57th. For the U20's, Luke Nicholas (63rd) and Chris Hepworth (82nd) headed first veteran Bill Gristwood in 87th.
Gavin Boyter in 105th was closely followed by Mark Delahunty in 113th but with long gaps back to the final runners, the team score suffered.
Steve Plested was next in 134th - a long way clear of the final two scorers Marcus Vallance (171st) and Phil York (178th). These two had battled throughout the race with Marcus only taking the advantage in the last mile when they passed Martin Shelley.
Martin was also passed by John Falvey but ral-lied at the end and came out two places ahead in 180th.