Saturday’s boat brought the Guernsey Island AAC cross country runners to compete in the annual match against Jersey Spartan AC. The event took place at Les Creux Country Park, happily saved a number of years back from being turned into a golf course.

All ages are represented from junior (U13) up to senior vets. The power in inter-island cross country has evolved in a strange way. Guernsey’s senior men have won what is considered the ‘blue riband’ category for the last 16 years. And not only have they won in recent years but they have filled most of the top ten places. It was therefore a surprise when only two of their really top boys showed up on Saturday, Steve Dawes winning by a huge margin and Alan Rowe a comfortable second. However young Tom Kearns grabbed a rare third place. After that it looked like Guernsey did enough to win again, but it will have been by a lesser margin than usual.

Conversley the Jersey women have generally held the whip hand, but the ladies are getting no younger. Jo Gorrod (2nd) and Claire Forbes (4th) are now in the vets category and Louise Perrio and Martine Scholes of Guernsey were 1st and 3rd. The scoring in this event has always been strange but, although the Spartan blue dominated further back I reckon the Guernsey senior ladies will have won their trophy.

Happily, Jersey’s juniors have built up to come from virtually nowhere to at least parity with their neighbours in recent times. This has had much to do with Paul Raimbault’s dedication and organisation, not forgetting Peter Hinds who has organised the junior winter cross country league for many years now.