Straggler Men Lord It at Lloyd

Posted by Malcolm Davies on 12 February 2018

Surrey League Men Division 3 Race Saturday 10th February Lloyd Park

Saturday 10th of February saw the Straggler men go into action for the final fixture of the 2017/18 Surrey league campaign in a good position to try and secure their first promotion in a decade and end a three-year exile in Division 3. As if this wasn’t pressure enough, there had been history of Stragglers narrowly missing out on promotion at the same venue in previous years.  The men went into the fixture in second place, with 2 to be promoted, with Woking AC putting on pressure in third place.

The Stragglers were also responsible for organising the Division 3 & 4 race, so a real army of Stragglers both runners and volunteers descended on a rather wet and windy Croydon for the crunch match. So how did the men get on?

In the event it was a ‘no contest’ with the 31 strong Straggler team overwhelming the rest of the field, with Woking, in particular, failing at the final hurdle and finishing last in the match.  It was left to Ful on Tri to provide the strongest challenge to Stragglers on the day but their points total of 337 was some way off the excellent score of 267 recorded by the men in yellow.

There were a whole series of highlights from the 5 mile race run over challenging hilly and muddy terrain.  For the A team, the familiar names all featured heavily with Rob Wilcox the first Straggler over the line and 7th overall in the Div 3 race.  Jim Lurkins, Chris Walmsley, Roy Reeder, Simon Ford and Jonathon Ormerod all made the top 10. In particular Chris recorded arguably his best performance of the season and this from someone who only took up cross country when he had his arm twisted. Jonathon also performed admirably having had to run to the race from Croydon due to transport difficulties and making the start line with about 10 seconds to spare (or maybe he was just warming up!).  

Of the other top 10 scorers, Richard Baggott, who had not made the top 10 this season, saved his best till last and had a great race to ‘put one over’ his old club.  Andy Hoseason, who has only started running cross country for the Straggs this season but has been ‘there or thereabouts’ broke into the A team scorers this time around with a storming run.  There were, however, two performances that demand to be picked out. Andrew Tugwell, making his first appearance for the Straggler men recorded a 22nd place in the Div 3 race and finished 3rd straggler over the line.  More of the same please! This was, however, all ultimately trumped by Kieran Desmond who was moving up from the Straggler juniors to the Senior men’s race.  Kieran had an absolutely sensational debut finishing as second Straggler in the race and recording 10th in the overall Division 3 match, a brilliant performance.  Both these athletes specialise in Triathlon, demonstrating the value of cross training….

The Straggler B Team continued the theme of the whole season by beating up the opposition with Ful on Tri being the only serious challengers in this category.  The scorers were Malcolm Davies, Crispin Allen, Dean Morley, Jim Desmond, Jonathan Davies, Gareth Pritchard, Tiago Ramos, Steven Clelland (making his Stragglers debut) Lewis Taylor and Trevor Ford, quite a team!

The Stragglers had once again had put on a quite magnificent performance with the 31 strong team being the best club representation in the Division 3 race by some margin. This is something we’ve done consistently across all four Surrey league fixtures, a very heartening experience.

At the end of the match, everyone, both runners and volunteers then quickly made for the nearest cafe or pub to try and get warm and dry and to contemplate next season. 

Division 2 here we come!

Full Stragglers Results Here

Link to Photos Here

Final Surrey League Table Here.

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