Gwent League#1, Cardiff: u15 and u17 boys

19 Oct

Emma Withers reports…

21 u15 and u17 boys made the journey to Cardiff on Saturday for the first Gwent League of the season. The rain held off and we adorned Gwent League bibs, got spikes on and completed warm ups.  At 12.20 the u17 men headed off for the obligatory team photo and the start line.

Ollie Harper (19.12) brought the A team home in 11th place, picking up his pace in the home straight to overtake runners coming into the finish.  Fred Hawker (19.54) with a solid performance, followed in 22nd place. Jay Akbar (20.03) had an exceptional race for his first year in the u17 category, gliding round in 25th.  Completing the A team, Cole Edmonds (20.17) also first year u17, in 29th place.

It was great to see Steve Kerfoot (20.25), embracing the mud, leading the B team in 32nd position.  Otto Kingston (21.37) enjoying the soft ground underfoot in 48th place.  Lewis Adamson (22.42) with gritted determination, whilst battling a painful stitch, 69th place and completing the B team, Jacob Roe (22.54), who had not realised it was two laps, in 71st position.  James Casling (23.33) had the most amazing sprint finish, heading up the C team in 73rd place. 

The u17 men are currently 5th, 12th and 28th respectively. 


1.25 saw the u15 boys ready to run,  Eoin O Halloran, who is first year in the u15 category (11.57), heading out the A team, finished in 31st place, 2nd home, Misha Evans, also first year u15 (12.12) in 40th place. Another first year u15, Ishmael Bradley (12.18), also taking on his first XC race this season in 44th place and completing the A Team, Joseph Hull knocking 13 seconds off last years time, (12.19) 46th place.

Amos Kingston (12.30) headed up the B Team, in his new white (yes white!) spikes, with Jay Hunt (12.31) hot on his heels, both managing to stay on their feet this week. Jacob Franklin (13.02) next in, who is improving with every race, position 62.  Completing the B Team, Tomek Czerepinski (13.26), returning from injury for his first race this season, 71st place.   Ismail Rashid (13.49) has been training with the u15 boys for some time and decided this week that it was time to become a club member, taking on his first ever cross country race, we hope he will return for many more, 76th place.  Zac Roe (14.11) recovering from a football glory goal scoring injury, finished in 79th position and Joe McNamara, holding off several Aberdare boys at the finish,  (15.23) completed the runners for the C Team, in position 89.  Fred Cummins set off solidly but his knees refused to stand up to the run and he was unable to complete the second lap.  This did not stop him from cheering on his team mates and he is very determined that he will be back to do it all again in Mansfield.  

The u15 boys are currently 7th, 12th and 23rd.

Gwent League #1, Cardiff: u11 and u13 boys

19 Oct

Ali’s Army Deliver In Wales: Ali Hurford reports…

Although I forgot to drape the prayer flags round the tent, the gods were kindly looking down on us. The plan was to start the season on the front foot & all the lads gave it their best shot.

The u11s was a very competitive race as  Oisin O’Halloran (14) who is now well accomplished in his second season,  just missed out on a top 10% T shirt. Finishing in exactly the same time was Tom White (15) who was representing the club for the first time so what a great way to start. Slightly further back Eddie Bent (52) who not only being young in the age group suffered an unfortunate fall  & likewise Rufus Hull (81) also fell victim to the fast & furious start. Both these lads will fare much better next time round as long as they stay on their feet. Our final finisher was Alfie England (98) who has recently joined the squad & is going from strength to strength & providing excellent back up to the team.

This was a large race with 130 boys finishing, 45 teams completing so our team position of 7th was an excellent start to a busy season.

The u13 team consisted of several lads who have been with the group for several seasons plus 4 boys who have not competed at this level before, so very much into the unknown for all of us.

After a couple of very successful recent road relay races it was no surprise to see Zachary Cox (11) run a very well paced race & finish just inside the top 10%. Training partner Alex Auton Green (18) was not far behind & as both these lads are  young in the age group this early excellent result really bodes well for the future.

An ever improving Ronnie Wilmott (26) had the race of his life & along with a very reliable  Vijay Bakrania (36) who closed in the scoring A team.

Joey Taylor (41) was first in for the B team & will be fighting hard next time to improve his position amongst his training partners. I am sure it will be very close again & I would not want to call it. Max Fining (60) just got the better of Daniel Jarrold  (61) in a very close finish & this competitive running makes for a great team result. Ben Pocock (100) closed in the B team & he really kept it together for the entirety of the race such is the ethos of the group.

This particular age group is extremely competitive with 113 finishers. As a result of sheer hard work & determination we finished in 3rd position but only by 1 point. Cardiff are right behind us so we can show no weakness at the second fixture on Sat 9th Nov but whatever happens there will be plenty of cake afterwards.

u15 and u17 boys take on Midland Road Relays

30 Sep

Emma Withers reports…

17 u15 boys and u17 men travelled to Sutton Park for the first race of the up and coming autumn season.  Armed with the club tent we arrived on site in good time, allowing those who hadn’t run at Sutton Park before to recce the course and acclimatise to the unusually warm conditions. 

Joseph Hull in his second year at u15 level, taking on the A leg, led the first team home in 14.29 (25), handing over to Eoin O Halloran, who ran with great determination, making up 14 places finishing in 14.21 (11).  Misha Evans held onto 11th position, 14.58 bringing the first team home in 43.48.  11th team overall. 

Second Team, with newcomer Nick Pestell, despite almost missing the team bus, was not late to the start and stuck closely to Joseph, crossing the finish in 14.52 (31), handing over to Amos Kingston who held onto 31st position, 16.43 and on the final leg, Fred Cummins, returning from injury, 16.12, making up 5 places (26).  26th team overall, 47.47.

Third Team, led out by Will Chapman, struggling with painful knees, 17.03 (43) handed over to the very experienced, Zac Roe 17.17 (36) making up 7 places. Jacob Franklin the final runner, 18.45 (33), making up another 3 places, kept up the pace. 33rd team overall, 53.05.

Fourth team, unfortunately having lost a team member to injury, set out with Ollie Robertson Kurd, in his first cross-country race, 16.28 (40), handed over to Joe McNamara 18.27 (37) showing such a huge improvement, knocking over 3 minutes off last years time.  Regular training is paying off!


The u17 men set off at 12.25 following a gentle warm up.  There had been much discussion in the first team and a plan devised to try to run under 40 minutes.  Led out by Fred Hawker, who as planned, stayed in the top ten, finishing in 12.32 (8), taking 42 seconds off last years time, handed over to Ollie Harper, running here for the first time made up 3 places, finishing in 12.59 (5). On the final leg Steve Kerfoot, 8 seconds quicker than last year, 14.14 finished in 9th place.  Finishing 9th team overall and delighted to be under 40 minutes in 39.45.

Otto Kingston, led the second team out, finishing in 15.13 almost a minute quicker than last year (35) handed over to James Casling, following a track season taking on 400m hurdles, 14.45 (28) making up 7 places and the ever consistent Jacob Roe, bringing the team home in 26th place overall, 15.58 (45.26). 


A special mention goes to Nathan Marchant (time tbc) who made his debut with the Senior Men’s team and also Henry (19.03) and Billy Cochrane (23.33), who have been assisting and pacing the u15 and u17 boys recently in training.


As always the boys displayed excellent team spirit and teamwork; a good day’s running.