Well, Watkins did not win the National Wembley Park on Saturday! But was very near it. And, the Lord Brooke, a muddied peal was heard down Walthamstow way. On the other hand, joy ruled in the camp of the Thames Valley, for S. Cottrell gained a splendid victory. Mad as a March hare the clerk of the elements. It was beastly weather. Bah! Why did J.P. carry on such a guerilla warfare throughout the afternoon? It may appear a story, but it is true nevertheless, the lake still remains coated with ice.
So far as the company present were concerned it can be described as limited. Nevertheless, many familiar faces connected with the athletic world were seen. Amongst them we noticed those owned by Messrs. S. K. Holman (hon. sec.), F. Parker. H. W. H. H., E. C. Brelin, A. Ovenden (L.A.C.), Maurice Wilson (Thames H. and H ), P. G. Mould (United Hospitals A.C.), Harold Wade (Lea H.,) Sid Thomas. Wilkins, senior, F. E. Bacon. A. J. Larkman (W.L.A.C), A. Tilley, E. H. Pelling, W. M. Barnard, A. E. Pack (Polytechnic H.), H. W. King, Joe Daffern, G. M'Arthur, T. M. Cairns (vice-president Salford H.), Miles, Frank Wynne, Billy Rowell Chipping Norton, Rata, the brothers Reay, Thomas, Dick Baldry, Ponsford, H. Dyer, H. Barton, Norman Jones, Flynn, Wiggs. C. Pratt, C. Davenport, Edmonds, Mattison, Allen, Stephens. Gent. A. Millett. the brothers Marshall, C. Paine, T. Gale, Kutner, G. H. Alexander, Murphy (Irish cyclist), Captain Grice Hutchinson (M.P. for Aston and President the Birchfield Harriers), F. W. Firminger. Gordon lnnes, F. Dorking, G. Morris. Lord John Manners, T. Barnes, brothers Wilmott, Sutherland, Tom Palmer, Melville, A. J. Carter, G. Usher, a brace of Unwins, Wilkins, Hardwick, Norman, and ever so many more. By no manner of means was the course considered to be red jam. Very sticky in places. Loud as was the cry against the Blackpool country, all the runners agreed that Wembley paired big bit of doing.
On taking a bird's-eye view of the runners, they appeared all round a likely lot. And well done Northerners for coming down South in such tall numbers! For the first time the black and light blue jacket of the Elysian Harriers was viewed on an English cross country course. All honour to the plucky eight who oil-coated. Better luck to them next time, and this was what said to President Carr. That broth of a boy, J. J. Mulien, ran very forward for some distance, and then we were told that he fell into a pot-hole or something which put out his light. Right good boys are the Birchfield Harriers. Gallantly the stag-bearers sustained their time-honoured reputation. Good old C. W. Davis stuck to his work like glue, and came third. Whew! How well Tommy Birch, the old 'Un, wears. As smart a fellow as ever carried the Birchfield badge is H. Dunkley, and A. H. Meachem, of that ilk, wants a deal of beating. Turkey reds are a discount. Famous Salford Harriers finished third. What a fall is this, my countrymen. And then Hardwick played the Dead Marching "Saul." A game bit of stuff, and no mistake about it, is R. J. Moran, and say, now, Ranelegh Harrier M. Davie justified the opinion we had formed of him. The Beagles were evidently suited to heavy going, and finished second. Give the drum a oner for the Boys in Yellow and Black. Well run, indeed. And we did hear that the funeral of their famous rivals. His Boys in Pink, is to take place tomorrow. Down amongst the dead men, indeed, Monte Neck's old club. A bit of a surprise that furnished by the Walthamstow Harriers. In securing fourth club position we mean.
Some of the Airedale of whom great things were noised abroad, got fairly spoiled out in the country. What a nice little crumb of comfort for the genial president the Birchfield Harriers. Fred, Reed, to pick up, no occasion to buy a wooden spoon. The "M'Ginty" nearly shouted himself hoarse when he found that "The Irrepressible" were front of the Heathens. A real good sportsman is Gordon Innes, and never, like Jack Jones of song renown, gets above himself. And where was the Northern flyer J. Harrington? This question remained unanswered until news came from the front that he, like many others, had come to grief. Sonnie Morton experienced a nasty tumble.
Too much credit cannot be accorded F. Entwistle of the Bolton H. The club should feel proud of their first man home. There were many veterans' left to journey home after the National was over, after Cottrell had gained his blue. Manager Duchene deserves every credit for the excellent way in which the ground arrangements were carried through, and a hearty vote of thanks should most certainly fall to the lot of Hon. sec. Arthur Cook and his coworkers for the able manner in which the championships of '95 have been piloted. Police Constable McGuiness proved of great service to the Press by keeping the enclosure clear, and "Anak," formerly of the Horse Guards, proved invaluable in the Stand.
It was getting a bit late ere the President Fowden took the runners in hand. To an excellent start Crook led out and he occupied premier position on passing the judges for the first time. At his heels sped R. J. Moran, Halton, C. W. Davies, Morton, E. Barlow, with H. Tozer, Warren, and Baillie all of a heap. At the finish of the second round. Davis acted as pioneer, with Watkins, Cottrell, and Mullen, the Irish crack, in the order written. There was already a long tail, it being a case of bellows to mend with many. Burgess of the Blackheath was the last runner. When out in the country, Harrington, of whom great things were expected, Sonnie Morton and Mullin got wiped out. On the return Watkins was seen to head the poll. Next sped Davis, Cottrell, Bartlett, Randall, Moran, Vickers, Meacham, Bullen, Martin, Entwistle, Dunkley, E. Barlow, J Barlow, Crook, and Ingham. On going into the club points it was read that the Birchfield led with 104 points, Essex Beagles totalled 120, and Salford (third) 143.