THURROCK Harriers secured both team and individual success in the Essex Cross Country League.

In the third round of the competition, the powerful under-17 squad delivered the goods on all fronts.

Leon Wheeler showed he has fully recovered from recent illness and injury with a battling second place. He led a fine team to victory with Sarab Dhillon coming fourth, Taylor Newall fifth and Ben Prior eighth to ensure the team were victorious.

They had Jack Exley (15th) and Henri Willett (20th) backing up the team’s efforts.

Finnlay Lowe had a fine race to finish second in the under-15s and Dylan Harrod battled to 17th and Sunny Vehit was 27th.

Hayley Instance ploughed a lone furrow as the only Harrier to finish in the under-17s girls race and she finished third in a top quality field.

The senior men’s team is slowly improving. New recruit Shawn Brown and the returning Rob Doyle have made a great difference. On this occasion, Brown was 43rd and Doyle 61st in the 207 finishers.

Alec Finch (17th), Scott Rice (52nd) and Keith Willett (72nd) had great runs to help the team to an excellent sixth place. The result means they have secured their place in the top division next season.

On his 60th birthday, Chris Applegate ran an excellent muddy five miles to finish second in his new age group.

Thurrock’s only winner in the senior women’s category was Jodie Farrell, while Toni Radley had a good day as well, finishing 28th, and Charlotte Edwards showed signs of improvement as she closed in 76th place.

Jayne Elvin’s 10th place in the under-13 girls event was enough to lead her three-strong team to sixth place. Rosie Spring (22nd) and debutant Olivia Higgs (35th) ensured she had good back up.

In the same under-13 age group, the boys confirmed their potential with Thomas Peacock finishing 16th, Harry Tobin 19th, Noah Trencher 30th and Jack Warren 32nd. The group finished fourth in the team event.

The under-15 girls were led by Sarah Blockley in 12th place. Other finishers included Hannah Peacock (15th), Emily Fall (23rd), Leah Brewer (25th) and Kennedy Beardwell (29th).

The other senior men finishers were Eamonn Shelley (80th), Paul Mitchell (114th), Mick Bumstead (119th), Steve Ball (120th), Bernie Johnson (154th) and Nigel Instance (188th).