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Cross country win for Royden on home ground

BARRY ROYDEN led Medway and Maidstone to a crushing victory in the second Kent Men's League cross country race at Capstone Park, Chatham. Competing virtually in his own back yard, Royden was in determined mood and set off at the head of the field of 160 athletes. He quickly built a winning lead and was able to relax as he finished 13 seconds clear of Nick Francis of Cambridge Harriers.

The greater threat to Royden's victory had come from junior international prospect, Jermaine Mays (Kent AC) who had closed to within a few seconds at the foot of the toughest climb on this hilly course with less than a mile to run. The effort was to prove too much for Mays who slipped back to finish third ahead of the experienced Roy Smith (Blackheath) and Huw Evans (Tonbridge).

Medway and Maidstone's team success was ensured by the superb packing of Steve Clark, Gareth Williams and Andrew Thomas who occupied the next three places.

Michael Whittaker and Ian King rounded off the top 10 to set Ashford AC on their way for second team place.

Graeme Saker was the next home for Medway and Maidstone in a fine 11th place but he had not been named in the B team which finished fifth overall behind London based Cambridge Harriers and Blackheath Harriers and ahead of Tonbridge AC, the former league champions. The second team for Medway and Maidstone featured the return to competition of former England International, Chris Knight (17th), who was ably supported by Geoff Baxter (15th), Dave Morris (24th) and Tim Alexander (28th).

The Duodec 12 to score competition also went to the hosts from Medway and Maidstone who now hold a healthy lead in both competitions with two races remaining.

The Kent Men's League concludes with fixtures at Danson Park, Bexley, on December 1 and Parkwood School, Swanley, on February 16.

Results: 1 B Royden (Medway & Maidstone) 25.51, 2 N Francis (Cambridge & Harriers) 26.04, 3 J Mays (Kent AC) 26.12, 4 Smith (Blackheath) 26.21, 5 H Evans (Tonbridge) 26.32, 6 S Clark (Medway & Maidstone) 26.44, 7 G Williams (Medway & Maidstone) 26.58, 8 A Thomas (Medway & Maidstone) 27.03, 9 M Whittaker (Ashford AC) 27.08, 10 I King (Ashford AC) 27.24, 11 G Saker (Medway & Maidstone) 27.25, 12 A Draper (Blackheath) 27.27, 13 W Grant (Invicta) 27.31, 14 R Maddams (Ashford AC) 27.35, 15 G Baxter (Medway & Maidstone) 27.52, 16 M Roberts (Invicta) 27.53, 17 C Knight (Medway & Maidstone) 28.06, 18 D Lee (Sevenoaks) 28.14, 19 A Knight (Cambridge Harriers) 28.17, 20 K Williams (Ashford AC) 28.21, 21 J Rendall (Tonbridge) 28.24, 22 C Hurault (Cambridge Harriers) 28.34, 23 G Davis (Invicta) 28.36, 24 D Morris (Medway & Maidstone), 28.38, 25 D Reader (Blackpool guest) 28.42, 26 S Keywood (Tonbridge) 28.56, 27 A Stowe (Cambridge Harriers) 29.06, 28 T Alexander (Medway & Maidstone) 29.10, 29 M Barlow (Kent AC) 29.13, 30 S Wilson (Dartford) 29.14.

Further Medway & Maidstone: 37 L McMeekin 29.38, 41 D Jackson (guest) 29.59, 44 P Wallace 30.05, 47 A Brodie 30.16, 50 J Saunders 30.24, 51 A Newman 30.28, 77 P Firmin 31.54, 89 S Nice 32.36, 103 B Fursey 33.37. (157 finished).

Teams (4 to score): 1 Medway and Maidstone 22 pts, 2 Ashford AC 53, 3 Cambridge Harriers 69, 4 Blackheath Harriers 81, 5 Medway & Maidstone B 83, 6 Tonbridge AC 84, 7 Invicta East Kent 98, 8 Kent AC 119, 9 Medway & Maidstone C 173, 10 Tonbridge B206, 11 Tunbridge Wells Harriers 213, 12 Bexley 217, 13 Dartford Harriers 277, 14 Deal Triathletes 305l, 15 Paddock Wood AC 307.

Overall positions: 1 Medway & Maidstone 183, 2 Blackheath Harriers 178, 3 Ashford AC 174, 4 Cambridge Harriers 169, 5 Tonbridge AC 159, 6 Medway & Maidstone B 153.

Duodec (12 to score): 1 Medway & Maidstone 165, 2 Tonbridge AC 320, 3 Cambridge Harriers 403, 4 Blackheath Harriers 502, 5 Tunbridge Wells Harriers 618, 6 Bexley AC 620.

Overall positions: 1 Medway & Maidstone 40, 2 Tonbridge AC 38, 3 Blackheath Harriers 35, 4 Cambridge Harriers 35, 5 Tunbridge Wells Harriers 32, 6 Bexley AC 30.

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