LUDLOW Runners’ Oliver Perratt claimed a runners-up finish in the third race in the 2019/20 Herefordshire Cross Country League series.

Perratt pushed four-time league champion Matt James of Hereford Couriers all the way at Queenswood.

James established a positive lead in the early stages of the race and, despite a couple of falls in the seriously slippery and treacherous muddy sections of the arduous terrain, he kept Perratt at bay.

Croft Ambrey RC's Gareth Leek fought hard to gain third spot but James’s win helped Hereford Couriers claim first place in the team standings.

He was well supported by Thomas Synge-Curtis, making his league debut, in 14th place, while hosts Wye Valley – led by Jamie Coombes in ninth – were seven points adrift in second.

Couriers’ Katie Synge-Curtis, also making her league debut, won the women’s race by four minutes from Builth RC's Jo Rees in second, with MonRoss Trailblazers' Laura Lelievre third.

Builth took the women's team honours with Croft Ambrey second.

The fourth race in the five-race series will be held at Rotherwas on Sunday, January 12.