GCR's title hopes suffer a severe blow

PUBLISHED: 12:49 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 26 October 2009

GARDEN City Runners hopes of winning the Midweek Road Race League for a fifth consecutive season have suffered a severe blow. They were beaten into second place by St Albans Striders in both the men s and ladies competition at Royston in the second race

GARDEN City Runners' hopes of winning the Midweek Road Race League for a fifth consecutive season have suffered a severe blow.

They were beaten into second place by St Albans Striders in both the men's and ladies' competition at Royston in the second race in the series of five.

Despite a healthy turnout from the club, the men's higher order was fatally weakened by work and family commitments.

With several absentees from the convincing home win a fortnight earlier, it was Paul Adams of the Striders who stormed to victory in the 10km race in 32 mins 44 secs.

By way of some compensation, GCR men were able to call on the services of their Irish international duathlete David Vaughan.

The Irishman, fresh from his outstanding victory at the European 30-35 age group championships at Serres in Greece, was on top form as he took third place in 33 mins 23 secs.

Simon Mace continued his run of excellent performances with another fourth in 33 mins 44 secs.

Meanwhile, GCR veteran Steve Livingstone just gets better; this time he crossed the line sixth in 34 mins 10 secs.

Terry Fowler, just nine days after being blasted by gales in the Edinburgh Marathon, returned with 12th in 35 mins 15 secs.

Chris Baynes finished in a creditable time of 39 mins 34 secs in his first league race for years.

Martyn Perkins overtook everyone in sight in the final 3km uphill drag to finish 33rd in a splendid 37 mins 29 secs.

But the St Albans side again demonstrated their impressive strength in numbers.

Their A team took places 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13 and 18 to close a first 12 in an aggregate of 222 to GCR's 258 to win and put them level on match points, behind the WGC lads on countback.

Striders' B team was also ahead of GCR B, while the GCR veterans were again comfortably in second place behind Barnet.

Garden City are going to need a massive turnout in the next race at Epping Forest to have any chance of holding off the challenge and making it five wins in a row.

That is because the fourth race in the series is St Albans' own home fixture and as hosts they won't be giving the opposition any quarter in that one.

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