Written by DB
With due respect(really!! well, OK,just this once!) to Olympic Bids,Foster Roadshows & Tony Ward,many Surrey eyes will be turned towards West Ewell & Croydon,where the fourth and final rounds of the Surrey Cross Country leagues take place this Saturday - and Kingston will be no exception!
Debbie Raymond's ladies will be in action(12.30 pm for Senior race) at Epsom & Ewell's Ewell Court track(race HQ) and,after last year's elevation to Division One for the first time,will need to be fully attuned to the task of staying out of the bottom three places(i.e.relegation!).Currently in 11th of the 15 clubs in Div One,full back up for leading performer,Rachel Burbridge,will be the order of the day.The races for youngsters follow and it is hoped those who performed so admirably in our Stan Belton races recently will spearhead our challenge - the likes of Harriet Owens,Maddy Hardwick,Issie Penney,Mary Iheke,Charlie Kelly,Josie Inverdale & Molly Renfer.
Over on Croydon's undoubtedly sticky Lloyd Park,Bob McDonough's crew go for Glory,with Membership of Surrey League Division One next winter,for the first time since the merger in 1985, the absolute Prize. Going into this 4th fixture,K&P have the advantage,leading nearest challengers,Walton & Hercules Wimbledon by some 100 & 200 points respectively. Nothing is for sure - and we are taking a batch of chickens with us,especially to count AFTER the race! The home club's Jon McCallum & Steve Bayliss will surely be in the van,and Walton will pack very well early with Jon Hamblen,James Harvey & Robin Copestick;Hercules' Dereje Kebede would figure but has not yet turned out for a Surrey League. Nonetheless,K&P's leading performers - Mark Reed,Mike Maranzano,Ant Budarkiewicz,Andy Arbour,Dennis Ojera & Jamie McCullagh - are likely starters;it will,however,just as likely hinge on the last four or five scorers in the Ten to see us stay at the top and go on to the top echelon in 2005/6.Also very important will be the turnout of our runners not likely to figure on the scoring - with our leading performers very aware of the mass of support from behind them and from the spectators. Walton accompanied us up from Div 3 last winter and it will need a substantial challenge from the others clubs to break into the frame. The YA race at 2.30 pm precedes the Senior race by half-an-hour.
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