Third Race in the Road Running League

Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 8:27

by Anthony Fava.

At the finish gantry at Bugibba Square last Sunday morning there was never a doubt that Zurrieq Wolves would be the eventual winners.  As a tide of orange swept in triumphant, they placed five members within the first ten finishers, with four to count.  Incurring just 21points to bring their total over three outings to 94, the Wolves thus managed to leapfrog to the front with two encounters to go.  Pembroke Athleta, relinquishing the lead, managed 38 points to bring their tally to 106, with Mellieha AC a bit further behind on 117 points.  Although the concertina expanded, the leaders cannot afford to be complacent, and strong showings must also be demonstrated on the Ta’ Qali and Marsaskala routes if they are to claim the Challenge Cup.  Besides, in between these last legs of the League there is the Half Marathon and the classic Malta Marathon to contend, where most of the local elite would want to do well irrespective.  Premier among these protagonists will certainly be Charles Cilia, gloriously triumphant by six seconds over the in-form Jonathan Balzan.  In fact, the St Patrick’s front man was fast gaining an unbeatable aura, but the diminutive Mellieha runner apparently had other ideas to finish in a good time of just five seconds adrift of 34 minutes on the 10-kilometre route.  In the provisional individual classification, it is now Cilia in the lead over Gerald Grech, of Libertas.  Brian Magri of Pembroke Athleta at present is lying third.  However, there is still plenty water to flow under the bridge.  In the team event for women, the girls in green are sweeping the board.  Finishing second, third and fourth, St Patrick’s AC brought their tally to date to an unreachable height and the team has practically made the Championship theirs, having only to be present in sufficient numbers in the remaining two encounters to clinch it.  Pembroke Athleta and Mellieha are contesting the lesser awards, Pembroke leading the northern club by just seven points. The tussle for the individual honour is a different story altogether.  Lisa Marie Bezzina, for Pembroke Athleta, is going from strength to strength, laying a rightful claim to the throne of Malta’s best long distance runner and teammate Carol Walsh, should the athletics queen decide she has had enough.  Unbeaten this season, Camilleri was 50 seconds ahead of second-placed Angela Sammut, of St Patrick’s, who is currently second behind her in the provisional classification.  Rita Galea, another St Patrick’s member, occupies third place.

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