Leeds city bring home double from North East

In a great day for Yorkshire teams, Leeds City retained their men's title and Bingley took the women's crown at the Northern Cross Country Championships at Sunderland on Saturday, and Leeds City's Susan Partridge won the women's individual title.

Leeds were without, arguably, their top four runners. James Walsh was successfully defending his Midlands title at Leamington and Dave Webb and James Wilkinson opted to miss this event. Then on Thursday, Alan Buckley, who led Leeds home last year, went down with a bug and pulled out.

It is a measure of Leeds City's depth that they produced a top class display to record their ninth successive win in this event.

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Simon Deakin led them home in 12th place and there was top support from Martin Hilton (15), Carl Smith (20) and veteran Martin Roscoe (22). Another veteran, Darran Bilton again played his part with 36th place and the count was completed by Chris Birchall (41).

Leeds's winning margin was 21 points from Yorkshire champions Hallamshire. They were splendidly led by Andy Heyes in ninth place with Dave Archer running his best race in Hallamshire's colours for 19th and Andy Thake 21st.

Individually, the race was a triumph for 1500m star Tom Lancashire (Bolton) who proved too strong for Steve Vernon (Stockport).

Partridge was a convincing winner of the women's race, as she had been when winning the Yorkshire title two weeks earlier. She finished 120m ahead of Bingley's Victoria Wilkinson who had to settle for silver for the second year.

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Bingley dominated the race. Wilkinson's namesake Mary was eighth, Jo Buckley ninth and Emma Clayton 11th to take the title with ease, Leeds City doing well to take silver and Holmfirth third.

In the Under-17 age group, Fergus Roberts (eighth) led Richmond and Zetland to a team win. Max Wharton (eighth) led Halifax to Under-15 victory and Joshua Schofield (City of York) won the Under-13 title and led his team to victory.

The Under-15 girls' race was won by Scarborough's Bronwen Owen.