Buckingham regains crown

Mark Buckingham (Holmfirth) took the Yorkshire Cross Country title at Thornes Park, Wakefield, on Saturday and Bingley's Victoria Wilkinson won the women's race. Hallamshire Harriers won both team races.

The men's race was a close affair between Buckingham, 24, and Longwood's Andrew Pearson, 38.

The two soon opened up a gap over the 200-strong field and there was rarely more than a few metres between them.

On an undulating course, Buckingham gained a few yards at the top of most hills only for his older rival to close on the downhill stretches.

Only in the final 200m did Buckingham finally get away to win the title he last held in 2006. Pearson won the title back in 1993.

Rotherham's Phil Hoole ran well for third and then came a trio of Hallamshire runners – Andy Thake, Andy Heyes and Rob Little – all within a second of each other.

They were superb and set the scene for Hallamshire to cause an upset by beating Northern champions Leeds City. Hallamshire were always ahead and went further clear on the last lap with Rob Baker (13th), Tom Jenkins (16th) and Alex Smith (18th) all finishing ahead of their Leeds opposite numbers to win by a comfortable 25 points.

With three top runners unavailable because they run for other counties, and others not wanting to race so close to next week's National Championship, Leeds's team was weakened but they were still disappointed to lose their title and Hallamshire rose to the occasion in style.

A keenly contested women's race saw Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) produce a strong last lap to win the title ahead of Leeds City's Susan Partridge.

Julie Briscoe got the better of her Wakefield team-mate Charlene Thomas for the bronze medal. World Championship 1,500m runner Thomas was having her first race since September following injury.

Julia Russell (5th) and Lizzie Adams (6th) set Hallamshire on the road to retaining their team title and Ruth Proctor completed the count with a sound run in 12th place. Leeds were just five points adrift in second place.

Top Hallamshire runner Hatti Dean was a spectator on this occasion, opting to focus on defending her National title next week.

The Humberside Championships were also decided with Jon Frost (East Hull) and Joanne Maddick (Kingston upon Hull) winning the titles.