Matt Gordon signed off the final round of the Today’s Runner Cross Country League with a hard-fought victory in the Staunton Country Park event.
The Havant AC athlete just held off the challenge of Stubbington Green Runners’ Andy Simpson to win the Denmead Striders five-mile race in an impressive time of 27mins (approx).
While Gordon and Simpson pushed the pace along in their own private battle, the Havant man just had the extra fuel in the tank over the final stretch for a narrow success.
Another Stubbington athlete James Sawyer claimed third place ahead of Paul Mitchinson (Victory AC) in fourth.
Howard Clark of Portsmouth Joggers (12th) and Denmead Striders’ Lee Weeks (13th) also gained respectable results.
But it was Farnham Runners who sealed the team prize yet again, which ensured their overall league crown ahead of Stubbington Green.
It was fitting, though, that Denmead picked up their best result of the seven-round series in their home race with an equal third-place finish.
Striders chairman and race organiser Mark Pelley said: ‘Farnham Runners won pretty much every race this season and they are a very strong club but we were very pleased.
‘It was our best result of the season and a good way to finish.
‘Maybe home advantage paid off to a certain extent and we had some decent runners taking part.’
In the women’s race, Stubbington’s Tanya Brady showed a clean pair of heels to a Farnham trio to complete victory, while her club mate Susie MacGregor (sixth) pipped Denmead’s Angela Agate (seventh).
Pelley said: ‘It went extremely well, I’m delighted to say.
‘We had fantastic weather, which is a big help.
‘It’s a nice course all around Staunton Country Park and was quite muddy in places but it’s a reasonably flat course until the end.
‘We had a good turnout and we’re looking forward to staging the event again next year.’