Morpeth land a double

Morpeth Harriers won the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield for the third successive year at Saturday's opening fixture of the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League at Temple Park, South Shields.

Morpeth Harriers won the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield for the third successive year at Saturday's opening fixture of the Start Fitness North Eastern Harrier League at Temple Park, South Shields.

In the men's Sherman Cup competition, they finished ahead of Gateshead with Sunderland third.

Morpeth won none of the team events in any of the four male races for which the strongest team overall takes the trophy.

Ryan Stephenson won the senior men's event, leading North Shields Poly to the team title. Stephenson dropped main rival Matthew Nicholson of Gosforth after the first of the three laps with Durham's Jonathan Powell finishing third.

Morpeth were second in the team event led by fourth-placed Neil Wilkinson. The Northumberland club finished second in the Under-17 men's and Under-15 boys' team races and third in the Under-13 age-group. Gateshead had a clean sweep in the Under-17 men's race with schools' international Ross Murray opening his season with an easy victory.

Tynedale, who were fourth overall, had individual victories from Josh Brown (Under-13) and Tristan Venus (Under-15). They also won the Under-13 team event and were third behind Sunderland in the Under-15 race.

Morpeth were unchallenged in the women's trophy, the Davison Shield. They were the only club to finish a team in each of the age-groups, the second place going to Tynedale, who closed in three teams.

Performance of the day came from Durham University student Felicity Milton, who won the senior women's race by over two minutes. Milton, from Lincoln but running in the Durham City colours, has returned to athletics after six years of playing hockey.

She led from the start, holding the challenge of Chester-le-Street's Claire Simpson and pulling clear of her rival on the second of the two laps. Chester-le-Street athlete Tracy Laws finished strongly to take third.

Morpeth took the team event and were successful in the Under-13 and junior events. They also provided the individual winners in Hannah Rank and British Schools 1500m champion Laura Weightman, respectively. The latter gained a hard-earned victory, overcoming the challenge of Blaydon's Helen Gertig. Gateshead won the Under-15 event and provided the individual winner in Sigourney Bell. A weakened Morpeth were fourth.

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