Sunderland Echo - - Sport - By Kevin Carr

Sun­der­land Har­ri­ers, Sun­der­land Strollers and Houghton Har­ri­ers will all be out to im­prove their league stand­ings in the third fix­ture of the North East­ern Har­rier League se­nior men’s di­vi­sions.

All three clubs are in­volved in the chase for league ti­tles and they con­tinue their task at Ayk­ley Heads at Durham on Satur­day.

Sun­der­land Har­ri­ers are in fourth place in Di­vi­sion One, six points be­hind lead­ers Mor­peth, who are on three points. Tyne Bridge are sec­ond on four points, with Durham on five points in third.

Sun­der­land team man­ager Al­bert James, who steered the club to the league cham­pi­onship ti­tle in 2016, will bid to cut the gap on the clubs ahead them by turn­ing out a strong team.

He said: “This fix­ture will mark the half­way stage of the sea­son and we need to make in­roads on the clubs in front of us, if we are to be in­volved in the league ti­tle race.”

Sun­der­land Strollers are in fourth spot in Di­vi­sion Two on nine points, with Gos­forth at the top on four points. Al­nwick have five points and South Shields eight points.

Houghton Har­ri­ers are in a pro­mo­tion place in Di­vi­sion Three, just one point be­hind league lead­ers Low Fell.

In the women’s leagues, Sun­der­land Har­ri­ers are in a pro­mo­tion spot in Di­vi­sion Two, just two points be­hind lead­ers Heaton.

The Strollers are third (eight points) in Di­vi­sion Three. Saltwell top the ta­ble on three points and Jar­row are also on eight points, but ahead of the Strollers, as they have a league win to their name.

The lead­ers in the early stages of the Sun­der­land Har­ri­ers’ Cross Coun­try Grand Prix are headed by two women. They are Vikki Cot­ton on 12 points and Lau­ren Flaxen on 11 points.

The third race in the se­ries is at Ayk­ley Heads on Satur­day.

The big points scor­ers in the grand prix are the ap­proach­ing North East­ern Championships at Red­car on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 9 fol­lowed by the North­ern Championships at Leeds on Satur­day, Jan­uary 27 and the English Na­tional Championships at Lon­don on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 24.

Twelve North East ath­letes have been se­lected for the Eng­land team for the Bri­tish and Irish Mas­ters’ Cross Coun­try In­ter­na­tional in Derry on Satur­day.

For­mer Sun­der­land Har­rier Roger Wil­son, now liv­ing in War­wick­shire, de­fends his Over-75 ti­tle.

Sun­der­land Har­rier Jac­que­line Ether­ing­ton rep­re­sents Scot­land in the W35 event.

Bor­der Har­ri­ers host their 66th Bramp­ton to Carlisle 10 mile road race on Sun­day. It in­cor­po­rates the North­ern Ath­let­ics Championships.

The race starts at 11.30am. Chang­ing and reg­is­tra­tion is at the Wil­liam Howard School, Bramp­ton. The fin­ish is at the Sands Cen­tre, Carlisle.

There is a £200 award to first male and fe­male, plus £100 for the win­ners if time is sub 49 min­utes for men and sub 55 min­utes for women.

A me­mento is awarded to all fin­ish­ers. This is the old­est 10-mile road race in the UK.

It was in 1993 that Sun­der­land Har­rier Brian Rush­worth had a fa­mous vic­tory clock­ing 47:37.

Left to right: Sun­der­land Har­ri­ers Vikki Cot­ton, Lau­ren Flaxen and Brian Rush­worth, who clocked 47:37 in the Bramp­ton to Carlisle 10 miler in 1993.

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