OLIVER Makinson made light work of the atrocious conditions on the Todmorden course at the final Red Rose Cross Country League fixture of the year.

The 17-year-old, running in his first year as an under-20, dominated the senior men’s field coming home to victory with a lead of 20 seconds.

Ben Coop consolidated his best ever Red Rose season with fifth place, followed by Jim Ardin (first V45 finisher) in eighth.

Next was Dave Cullen, relishing the tough conditions, in 13th with Josh Birmingham close behind in 15th.

Jon Evans was the team’s final scorer in a marvellous 18th place giving Bury the team victory, just three points ahead of Blackburn.

The result gives the men’s team second place in the league, their best for more than 20 years and much to the delight of team captain Byron Edwards and coach Dave Cole.

The other top-100 finishers in the men’s race were Tony Cullen (21st), Rick Solman (35th), Patrick Babb (38th), Gary Crowshaw (52nd) and Giles Bennett (68th).

The senior women also secured second place in the league.

First finisher was Christie Cook in a brilliant third place, continuing to reap the rewards of her hard work in training.

Hannah Price was second finisher in 12th, using her strength to deal with the difficult conditions.

The final counter was Caitlin Cole, back visiting from Edinburgh, with her 16th position giving the team second place on the day.

With all three athletes in their early 20s, it augers well for the future of the team.

Katie Geelan produced her trademark gritty performance to take 19th with Lizzi Cheshire (38th), Nicola Harland (41st) and Fran Pearson (44th) making the top 50.

The club wishes Lauren Booth well as she picked up a terrible ankle injury in the race and needed to be taken to hospital by the Mountain Rescue team.

In the younger age groups, the u11 boys' team of Ben Carruthers (14th), Thomas Donnelly (16th) and Ben Gardener (25th) packed well to give Bury third team on the day. The girls team of Emily Purdy (seventh), Lucy Dent  (31st) and Lily Crow (49th) had to settle for 10th but coach Fiona Healey was proud of how the youngsters coped with the conditions.

The u13 boys' team of Noah Carter (19th), Adam Warren (26th) and Jayden Barlow (37th) took seventh team place with the girls trio of Reilly Carson (12th), Chloe Ardin (13th) and Lola Potts (29th) securing sixth team place. 

The u15 boys' scoring trio of Jake Allen, David Vaughan and Nathan Ardin took an excellent third place with the young athletes finishing sixth, 16th and 17th respectively.

The u15 girls could not muster a full team with Freya Potts being the sole Bury competitor in the race. She ran well to take seventh place.

Lack of numbers also hit the u17s with Oliver Donnelly (15th) and Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth (ninth) the only local athletes in their respective races.

With the Red Rose league now complete, Bury’s cross-country runners' next race will be the Greater Manchester championships on Saturday at Manchester’s Boggart Hole Clough.