Eastbourne Rovers get stuck in - but not quite stuck in the mud

It was a muddy trek around the new Sussex League cross country course in Ardingly last weekend.

Rovers juniors at Ardingly
Rovers juniors at Ardingly

It was a muddy trek around the new Sussex League cross country course in Ardingly last weekend.

More than 500 runners from clubs across Sussex participated in the third fixture of the season and many fine performances came from the growing Eastbourne Rovers junior and adult squads.

Juniors coach Jenny Brown said: “The kids all spur each other on and pack well which is leading to improved performances in races. The team spirit is really outstanding and they all try their best to run close to whoever is fastest in the team that day.”

Rovers ladies at Ardingly

In the under-13 girls’ race speedy star Freda Pearce led the way for Rovers with a confident run, finishing second. Team-mates Lexie McLean, Raya Petrova & Katy Brown positioned well up the field in sixth, eighth and 17th.

Fin Lumber-Fry showed his strength again to take third in the under-13 boys’ race. Ben Wright had a fine finish in ninth.

Isabelle Chappell showed a return to great form with a gutsy run positioning 14th in the under-15 girls’ race.

Fintan Pearce ran a confident race to come 22nd under-15, just behind team-mate Ilya Korchev.

Talented newcomer James Jewell ran impressively on his debut placing eighth in the under-17s. Ben Brown showed his return to top form in tenth with team-mate James Stephen 15th.

Connie Hannam battled well in the under-17 category for 18th spot.

Another newcomer to the Sussex League, under-11 Ayana Reid, ran confidently to finish 17th. Her team-mate Ruby Watkins showed her strength pushing through in 22nd.

Richard Jones made a welcome appearance for his club, placing 13th senior man in a very strong field.

Rovers ladies showed their depth and ever growing form as a team. Jenny Brown pushed impressively from the gun to place second V45, Sue Fry third V45, Liz Lumber first V55.

Anna Chaplin paced well coming 20th V45 with Kate Watkins making her debut to finish a credible 24th V45.

Coach Chris Voice said: “The junior squad are dedicated to their training and ran strongly with some encouraging results. This was great preparation for many of the squad who have earned their place to represent Sussex in the Southern counties championships at Lloyd Park, Croydon this weekend.”