Home Countries International XC: Scotland win men's event

By Keir MurrayBBC Scotland in Stirling
Scotland duo Jamie Crowe (l) and Andy Butchart (third from left) race against Welsh duo Kristian Jones and James Hunt (r)
Wales' Kristian Jones (14) won the individual race by finishing 10 seconds ahead of Scotland's Jamie Crowe (2), with team-mate Andy Butchart (1) finishing fourth

Scotland's men battled through the mud at Kings Park, Stirling to win the Home Countries International XC for the first time in eight years.

Wales' Kristian Jones crossed first in 25 minutes 33 seconds, but Jamie Crowe in second, Andy Butchart in fourth and eighth-placed Lachlan Oates secured a rare victory for the Scots over 8km.

Adam Hickey pipped Butchart on the line to win an individual bronze for England, who finished third overall.

England claimed the women's title.

Inverness Harriers athlete Mhairi MacLennan
Mhairi MacLennan of Inverness Harriers finished fourth despite only returning to training little over a month ago

Kate Avery (29 mins 20 secs) and Abbie Donnelly made it an England one-two, with Wales' Bronwen Owen third and Mhairi MacLennan of Scotland fourth to earn their nations silver and bronze respectively.

"That's my ideal kind of conditions," said Inverness Harriers' MacLennan, who had bronchitis last year for four months.

"I love the wind and the rain and the mud. I think that's what cross-country is, really.

"I haven't raced since October. I've only had four or five weeks' training. There's still work to do but I'm delighted."

Central Athletics Club's Crowe, who trains with Jones in Dundee, told BBC Scotland: "It was a good result for me. I used to train here on Saturday mornings with Central. It's the first time I've raced on it so it was good fun.

"Me and Andy used to train here so it was good to be running alongside him in racing conditions.

"I managed to get the scalp. I'm sure he'll get me back soon. Kris got away on the last lap. It's quite hard to close gaps.

"In the land of Stirling Castle and Bannockburn, to get the win over England is always good."

Scotland's women won the Under-20s title for the first time.

Scotland U20 trio Cera Gemmell, Megan Keith and Eloise Walker
Cera Gemmell (second), Megan Keith (first) and Eloise Walker (fourth) helped Scotland to their first ever women's U20 Home Countries International XC titles

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