Press report: Alex and Andrew top as league stops

ALEX DUFFEY and Andrew Clague head the women’s and men’s competitions in the West Cheshire Athletic Club Endurance Running League.

The pair both enjoyed two-point leads in the annual club event before England Athletics guidance to stop training sessions and competitions due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Duffey accumulated 17 points from her appearances in cross country and road running fixtures and her closest rivals, all in joint second spot, are Ellie Robinson, Clare Mallon, and Debra Bemand.

And Clague enjoys top position in the men’s competition, two points clear of Andy Carter, with Steve Fernyhough in third place, five points off top spot.

WEST CHESHIRE Athletic Club has been told that both the Northern Track and Field League and the Youth Development League fixtures have been cancelled this year.

The purple-vested club were looking forward to competing in Division One of the Northern League and were scheduled to start the campaign at Blackburn on May 2, before travelling to Trafford on June 7, Preston on July 12, and hosting the final round on August 1 at Ellesmere Port Sports Village.

League secretary, Alan Johnson, released the following statement: “The management committee has been following the current crisis with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19) very closely. 

“Having had communications from both the government and our governing bodies, your league management have come to the conclusion that it would be prudent to cancel all of the matches in the league for 2020. This decision hasn’t been taken lightly.

“We have constantly been monitoring government guidelines and communications from our governing bodies.

“Clubs were asked about this in a recent email and the vast majority of replies were in agreement with the league management committee over this crisis.

“Schools and colleges are closed until September. We have also taken into account our officials. Many are over 70 or have underlying health issues which means they have to self-isolate themselves for at least 12 weeks. This date would take us to mid-June anyway.

“There are doubts over when stadia will be re-opening • Having lost 2 matches already, it is clear that the last two matches needed to be considered.

“Making this decision means clubs can hopefully cancel any travel arrangements or track bookings without any loss of monies. All league subscription fees will be carried over into 2021.

“If the restrictions are removed before the dates of our matches, it will allow some clubs to put on open meetings on those dates, so that athletes have a path back into sport without too much stress being put on them through league competition.”

The Youth Development League also released the following statement: “In the light of the continuing uncertainty around the Coronavirus situation the YDL management committee held a Skype meeting on March 29 to look at all the possibilities for the 2020 season and have decided regretfully that all matches scheduled for the 2020 season will be cancelled forthwith.

“This decision was based on advice being communicated at the Government daily briefings where restrictions may be turned on and off and has not been made lightly; we would like to ask our clubs for their forbearance and thank you all for your support. It’s not a situation of our choosing but we hope that being pro-active will help clubs with any forward planning and help cut down any additional costs being incurred.”

West Cheshire AC were scheduled to host the opening round of the YDL under 17/under 20 Competition on April 26 at Ellesmere Port Sports Village as well as the second round of the YDL under 13/under 15 Competition on June 6.

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Posted by Dave Alexander
6th April 2020
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