Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: Bully for Archer, Delight for Delyth

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: Bully for Archer, Delight for Delyth

Article excerpt

Byline: By BILL MCGUIRK

JON ARCHER hit the target to win the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League fixture at Cramlington.

The Low Fell athlete defied a two-and-a-half minutes handicap to overhaul long-time leader Damien Weston (Sunderland) and a 300-plus field to win by five seconds from Blaydon's Daniel Flint, who also overtook Weston in the closing stages of the 10.5 kilometre contest.

Despite Archer's fine run, the fastest runner on the course was Morpeth's Ian Hudspith, who was giving five minutes start to most of his rivals but managed to work his way through to fifth place at the finish.

On a testing course which churned up as the race progressed, it looked as though Weston would take advantage of his fine handicap as he controlled the race from the front for the first two of three circuits on reclaimed pit land.

However, approaching the final kilometre first Flint edged ahead and then Archer, who snatched victory in the last 600 metres.

Hudspith, meanwhile, was eating up ground with every stride and it was an impressive performance on what was his first cross-country outing of the winter and his debut in the Harrier League as a senior! While most observers were captivated by the proceedings at the sharp end of the race, excitement was building up as to how the team race was working out.

Heaton went into the meeting in pole position, one point ahead of local rivals Wallsend with holders Sunderland, who are chasing 10 league titles in a row, in third place and Morpeth just behind in fourth.

It was soon noticeable that Heaton were not at their strongest while Wallsend had gathered the troops in an effort to halt the Wearsiders' record bid.

With one lap remaining it looked as though Wallsend would win on the day. However, Sunderland's big guns, Brian Rushworth and Tom Doughty, had other ideas as they clawed back bunches of runners after giving away a five-minute start.

And so it proved when the results were published. …

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