Athletics: Jess Ennis leads the way as Flames hold off London

Flying Flame: Jessica Ennis on her way to second spot  in the long jump at the McCain Indoor Challenge at the EIS. Photo: Sarah washbourn
Flying Flame: Jessica Ennis on her way to second spot in the long jump at the McCain Indoor Challenge at the EIS. Photo: Sarah washbourn
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Jessica Ennis was in good form in the 60 metres hurdles at the McCain Indoor City Challenge at the EIS on Saturday. She recorded a world class time of 8.05 seconds.

Ennis got a good start and hurdled smoothly to head former UK record holder Sarah Claxton all the way. That victory, late in the competition, lifted Sheffield Flames to come through strongly and beat defending champions North London Lions, who had led for much of the afternoon.

Jess Ennis competing in the Long Jump event at the McCain City Challenge at EIS Sheffield

Jess Ennis competing in the Long Jump event at the McCain City Challenge at EIS Sheffield

Ennis was upstaged, however, in the long jump by Abigail Irozoru of Manchester Warriors. Ennis opened with 6.19 before Irozoru responded with a superb 6.30, a mark that added 10 cm to her previous best. Neither athlete was able to improve on their opening distance, Ennis going nearest with 6.15.

Northern champion Louise Bloor was in top form for the Flames with a win in the 200 metres in 24.27s. A poor start in the 60 metres cost her a possible double but she finished runner up to Annabelle Lewis (Newcastle) in 7.47s to score valuable points. In the field events Luke Cutts won the pole vault for Sheffield 5.25 metres who rounded off the day with victory in the medley relay.

Barnsley high jumper Adele Lassu was runner up in the Sheffield colours with 1.76m.

The title is decided over two meetings, the second is in London next month.

Match score: 1 Sheffield Flames 197.5; 2 London North Lions 178.5; 3 Manchester Warriors 162.5; 4 Glasgow Cobras 147.5; 5 London South Sharks 139; 6 Cardiff Dragons 133; 7 Birmingham Falcons 129.5; 8 Newcastle Angels 86.

n Following his runner up spot in the Northern Championships last week, Tom Bains (Sheffield) was an easy winner in the senior race at the South Yorkshire Schools Cross Country Championships at Campsall, near Doncaster, on Saturday.

Fiona Bell (Sheffield) also a Northern runner up, took the senior girls title by almost a minute.

Even more impressive was Natalia Hackett (Sheffield), winner of the intermediate girls race by the biggest margin of he day.

In the junior boys age group Jonathan Shields came out top whilst Mary McCarthy (Sheffield) turned the tables on her Hallamshire Harriers team mate Imani Wilson (Sheffield) to win the junior girls race.

Sheffield athletes dominated the meeting but Rotherham’s Luke Cotter bucked the trend by winning the intermediate boys race.

The meeting was used to select the South Yorkshire teams to run in the English Schools Championships next month.

Senior Boys: 1 T Bains (Sheffield) 32:22; 2 A Smith (Sheffield) 33:07; 3 T Saville (Rotherham) 33:28; 4 L Naylor (Sheffield) 34:23; 5 C Grayson (Sheffield) 35:31; 6 T Hutton (Sheffield) 36:55.

Intermediate Boys: 1 L Cotter (Rotherham) 25:48; 2 J Naisbitt (Sheffield) 26:27; 3 J Lancaster (Sheffield) 26:29; 4 J Dyball (Sheffield) 27:49; 5 A Davies (Doncaster) 28:19; 6 C Ryan (Rotherham) 28:26

Junior Boys: 1 J Shields (Sheffield) 17:59; 2 E Webb (Sheffield) 18:05; 3 D Stead (Rotherham) 18:17; 4 C Wilson (Doncaster) 18:28; 5 H Moore (Barnsley) 18:29; 6 J Hutchesson (Sheffield) 18:47.

Year 7 Boys: 1 A Manthorpe (Sheffield) 11:56; 2 J Coates (Sheffield) 2:33; 3 J Slater (Sheffield) 12:43; 4 J Morton (Rotherham) 12:44; 5 L Milner (Doncaster) 13:05.

Senior Girls: 1 F Bell (Sheffield) 18:49; 2 N Hatswell (Rotherham) 19:45; 3 B Ansell (Sheffield) 19:54; 4 C Thompson (Sheffield) 20:42; 5 H Fletcher (Sheffield) 21:01; 6 E Parkinson (Rotherham) 21:02.

Intermediate Girls: 1 N Hackett (Sheffield) 18:42; 2 C Slack (Sheffield) 20:19; 3 E Pound (Sheffield) 20:24; 4 E Curran (Sheffield) 20:27; 5 E Crownshaw (Sheffield) 20:46; 6 J Freeman (Rotherham) 20:53.

Junior Girls: 1M McCarthy (Sheffield) 15:47; 2 I Wilson (Sheffield) 15:56; 3 M Pearce (Sheffield) 16:18; 4 A Hull (Rotherham) 17:32; 5 H Brookes (Rotherham) 17:35; 6 C Tevendale (Sheffield) 17:38.

Year 7 Girls: 1 A Lancaster (Sheffield) 12:32; 2 E Simpson (Sheffield) 13:25; 3 S Ward (Doncaster) 13:39; 4 A Moore (Barnsley) 13:40; 5 K Wainer (Doncaster) 14:00; 6 M Storey (Sheffield) 14:05.