WITH some of Denbigh Harriers’ regular counters missing from the second fixture of the North Wales Cross Country League in Colwyn Bay, it looked like it was going to be a hard day for the club.

The course was very hilly and after the recent rain, the farm fields were a quagmire over the 8.5k for the men and 4.9k for women.

With fields of 180 runners in both races, it was a great show of strength in depth for both the women's and men’s teams.

In the women’s race, a superb performance from Rhian Pierce saw her finish 12th, closely supported by Emma Collins (1st W55), Mel Morris and Katy Baugh, meaning the team closed the gap on Buckley for fifth place in the league to one point.

Having the strength in depth meant that the next three runners - Elen Baugh, Mari Williams and Tracey Williams (running in road shoes) - pushed Buckley’s last counter back down the field and thus helping the team greatly.

Carys Davies had a superb run in the tricky conditions and Menai Baugh retained her first place in the W60 standings.

The M65s team took a bit of a hammering from Eryri and so slipped to third position.

Bob Neale (14th) just got in ahead of Chris Baldwin (15th) and much to his credit, Jeff Jones was remarkably collected despite a recent chest infection and finish 22nd.

In the men’s race, the return of Joe Welch to finish in 26th was a great help to the team, as were the best performances for two years from Tony Wood and Owen Conry.

They were well supported by Glen Price, stepping down from his recent ultra racing.

As with the women’s race, David Baugh and Mat Jones finished ahead of other counters from other teams, helping the Harriers with their efforts and moving the team up to third place in the league.

Women: 12, Rhian Pierce 24.54 (2nd W35); 31, Emma Collins 27.21 (1st W55); 34, Mel Morris 27.38; 41, Katy Baugh 28.03; 46, Elen Baugh 28.29; 48, Mari Williams 28.40; 54, Tracey Williams 28.58 (3rd W55); 56, Carys Davies 29.15; 78, Menai Baugh 31.14 (1st W60); 95, Kate Wilson 32.55.

M65: 14, Bob Neale 34.51; 15, Chris Baldwin 33.59; 22, Geoff Jones 37.36.

Men: 26, Joe Welch 40.46; 41, Tony Wood 42.20; 61, Owen Conry 44.01; 71, Glen Price 45.05; 103, David Baugh 47.40; 108, Mat Jones 48.06.

Seven Denbigh Harriers made the short journey to Mold for the Flintshire 5k and 10k races.

The races were run in near perfect conditions, although with a chill in the air for the earlier 5k and slightly warmer conditions for the 10k.

Five Harriers ran the 5k race, four of which where brave enough to do the double and run the 10k.

They were Daniel Jones, Gwenno Williams, and dad and daughter Ian and Jessica Jones.

Gwenno Williams achieved a personal best in the 5k of 27.53, supported by Jeff Jones fresh from his exertions in the cross country the day before.

Harriers' times: 5k: Daniel Jones 19.22; Gwenno Williams 27.53; Jeff Jones 27.57; Jessica Jones 32.15; Ian Jones 32.16. 10k: Daniel Jones 40.58; Steve Gadd 42.39; Melina Morris 45.03; Ian Jones 50.29; Gwenno Williams 56.58; Jessica Jones 1-15.16.