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Golden Havering start 2020 as they ended last year with sparkling county successes

PUBLISHED: 07:36 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:36 10 January 2020

The Havering senior squad that won gold at the Essex cross-country champs LtoR: Rob Warner, Gavin Watts, Grant Twist, Ben Davis, James Connor, Sam Atkins) plus far right seventh home Barry Smith

The Havering senior squad that won gold at the Essex cross-country champs LtoR: Rob Warner, Gavin Watts, Grant Twist, Ben Davis, James Connor, Sam Atkins) plus far right seventh home Barry Smith

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Havering athletes were in sparkling form on the mud once again at the Essex Cross-Country Championships as they added three gold medals and two bronze to the dozen they managed before Christmas.

Havering's Kate O'Neill won her cross-country raceHavering's Kate O'Neill won her cross-country race

Basildon was the venue for the latest county cross-country meeting and it was the under-17 women who got things started with a bronze team medal.

Sydney Foley was just short of a podium place, but earned Essex selection for the Inter Counties in March as she finished fourth.

Ella Burgess was 18th with Morgan Roman right behind her and Jessica James in 21st place to complete the scoring four and earn team bronze.

Rebecca O'Rourke was 23rd, while Jack Thompson was the only Havering male in the age group, finishing 32nd.

Havering's James O'Connor in action at the Essex cross-country champsHavering's James O'Connor in action at the Essex cross-country champs

Kate O'Neill went one better than last year as she was an emphatic winner in the under-20 race, while Sophie Rand's fourth place earned her Inter Counties selection as well.

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Grace Dukelow returned to club colours in ninth and Emily James' 10th place ensured team gold for the quartet with Angelica Thomson next home.

The senior women finished fourth as Morgan Campbell came home in a fine 10th place, with Robyn Matson 24th and Clare Davies and Bella Woods in 34th and 35th completing the scorers.

Jo Sullivan (69th) and Clare Rudgley (82nd) were also in action, but Debbie Appleton had to drop out.

The senior men continued their dominance of the Essex scene with a great victory to retain the county trophy for the second year running.

An excellent run by James Connor led them home in third place and powerful runs from Rob Warner in eighth and Grant Twist in ninth meant the club had three inside the top 10.

They were backed up by Ben Davis (14th) and under-20 Sam Atkins (18th) with a strong run from Gavin Watts (28th) rounding off the gold medal-winning team

The club's strength in depth showed with their second scoring six of Barry Smith in 42nd spot, James Stewart (53rd), John Whitehead (54th), Matt Bland (62nd), Steve Walker (102nd) and Tony Pecoraro (122nd) good enough to take ninth ahead of many good A teams.

The 16-strong line-up was completed by Graham Hogan (130th), Roy James (161st), Tony Collins (185th) and Chris Coates (186th).


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