Paul Brannigan of Todmorden Harriers after winning the Blackpool Promenade 10k race
Paul Brannigan of Todmorden Harriers after winning the Blackpool Promenade 10k race

Todmorden Harrier Paul Brannigan took top honours with first place in the Blackpool Promenade 10 Mile Road Race on Saturday.

Brannigan and Billy McCarthy of Salford Harriers led the race out to the three mile stage by which point a lead group of four runners had formed. Shaun O’Dwyer of Bolton Harriers then lifted the pace, but the group let him go.

At the five mile point Brannigan and road running legend Paul Muller were surprised to see O’Dwyer step off the course leaving the two of them to race for first place.

Brannigan maintained a swift pace and by seven miles Muller was around 100m back leaving Brannigan with a steady run for home and conserving energy for upcoming Yorkshire and British Championships attempts.

Twenty seconds separated them at the finish with Brannigan’s winning time 58 minutes and 34 seconds.

Todmorden Harriers welcome and look after runners of all ability. Check out for details.

Last weekend’s race from the changed race point of Falaise finally got under way at 8 30am on Sunday after a holdover from the Saturday due to poor visability throughout northern France.

The 182 birds entered by nine Todmorden members had an estimated seven hour plus journey ahead of them, flying into a light north west wind.

They were competing against the whole of Lancashire as part of the Lancs combine.

Todmorden again showed that the town has some of the best pigeon racers in the country.

Ray Winterbottom’s bird dropped into his loft at Scaitcliffe after 7hrs 15 mins, flying 344 miles to take first for the club, federation, border amalgamation and probably the Lancashire combine.

Next week’s race is from Cheltenham.

Todmorden result: 1, Winterbottom And Pomfret 1391Ypm; 2, Fleming And Son 1351; 3, Fleming And Son 1310; 4. P Emmett 1306; 5 & 6, Mr And Mrs Fisher 1306 & 1298; 7, K Thorp 1289; 8, P Emmett 1285; 9, K Thorp 1275; 10, Mr And Mrs Fisher 1271; 11, Fleming And Son 1265; 12 & 13, S Cunningham/Sheard 1230 & 1201; 14, Winterbottom And Pomfret 1190; 15, B Sheard 1105.

Adrian and Rowan Leach had the first two Luddenden Foot HS birds home in last Sunday’s race from Falaise in Normandy with their nearest competitors, the Marleys, 17 minutes back in third.

However Gerry and Sam’s pigeon was their “pooler” and together with winning the latest knock-out competition it netted them £47.

Foe the second week running the liberation was delayed for 24 hours.

At 7.45am on Sunday 114 birds entered by 12 members began their 346 mile journey back to Calderdale and it was 3.22pm when the Leaches’ winner was timed at Shackleton Hill.

Five minutes later second place was secured and another 17 minutes elapsed before fourth place was tied up.

Boland and Brown had a good race with the next four pigeons inside three minutes.

The winner gave the Leaches their third Pennine Valleys Federation win of the season and a championship race triumph to boot.

This Saturday’s race is from Cheltenham.

Result: 1 & 2, Leach Brothers 1329 & 1314; 3, W G & S Marley 1282; 4, Leach Brothers 1267; 5 - 8, Boland & Brown 1255, 1252, 1247.8, 1247.4; 9, Leach Brothers 1213; 10, G Wilson & Son 1209; 11, W G & S Marley 1208; 12, G Wilson & Son 1205; 13, Leach Brothers 1194; 14, T Divers 1187.9; 15, G Radley 1187.6.

Harvey and Jack Riley took the honours in Todmorden AS’s junior match on Croft last Friday.

Result - Under 12s: 1, Harvey Riley 5lb 1oz (peg 10, carp, pellet/tip); 2, Billy Eastwood 2lb 8oz (peg 13, pole, carp).

Under 16s: 1, Jack Riley 5lb 6oz (peg 1, pole/pellet, mixed bag); 2, Ryan Dirkin 5lb 5oz (peg 20, pole/maggot, mixed bag); 3, Scott Wilkinson 4lb 14oz (peg 11, pole/pellet, mixed bag); 4, Jake Nightingale 4lb 10oz (peg 18, pole/meat, silvers).

The next junior match is this Friday on Ramsden Wood Fishery, juniors are encouraged to have a go and ring Paul Wilkinson to book. Entry is only £1 with the draw up to 5.45pm and fishing from 6.15 until 8.15.

The next away trip for seniors is in on June 15 to Woodland Lakes, Thirsk (Skylark Lake). Ring Chris Lett to book.

There is a trophy match this Sunday on Townhouse and the second Tuesday evening match of the year takes place next week on Townhouse, ring Steve Hall on 07813 028293 to book.

It was a golden weekend for the Todmorden and Walsden, who each registered two league successes with their overseas professionals to the fore.

Todmorden almost doubled their points tally in the Lancashire League after wins away to top five sides Enfield and East Lancs.

Their Big Bash star Michael Neser had two fine matches and received good support from the likes of back-to-form opener Simon Newbitt and bowler Zeshan Shoukhat.

Central Lancashire League champions Walsden shook off a home Twenty/20 defeat by Milnrow on Friday to win at Clifton on Saturday.

Chris Dewhirst’s side then gained some revenge for their only two defeats so far this season, to Littleborough, by comfortably beating their derby foes at Scott Street on Sunday.

Sri Lankan Umesh Karunaratne hit top form with 16 wickets in the two league games, plus an unbeaten 72 at Clifton, while young Josh Gale made important contributions with the bat after the top order’s mixed form had continued.

Sutcliffe and Dewhirst quotes in here

Walsden play their second Twenty/20 group match away to Crompton on Friday and must win to have a chance of progressing from their group.

Dewhirst’s men are at home to Rochdale in the league on Saturday and will be looking to make it a sixth win in seven completed games against oppponents they have already beaten once.

That was away in the first Premier match of the season when Kristian Halstead was the match-winner with an unbeaten 62.

Rochdale have not made as good a start as last term and will be looking to South African Wes Lansdale and fellow batsman Shane Wornes, from Australia, to lead some improvement.

Team news in here

Saturday reports - page???

An upset looked unlikely when Liam Bedford (33) and Lewis Wright (34) put on 68 for Enfield’s first wicket on Saturday.

However, Tod pro Michael Neser took four for 36 and skipper Andrew Sutcliffe three catches to limit them to 164 for nine.

Opener Simon Newbitt hit form in Tod’s reply, anchoring the visitors to success with an unbeaten 64 from 122 balls, hitting seven fours and a six.

He and Ben Sutcliffe (24) put on 74 before Elliot Gilford (1) and Ben Pearson (3) also departed. But Neser crashed an unbeaten 54 from 41 balls to clinch a seven-wicket success.

Todmorden followed up with a five wicket success at East Lancs on Sunday.

Neser took four for 29 and Zeshan Shoukhat three for 30 to dismiss the home side for 123, both taking two wickets in two balls.

Tod were held up by an eight-wicket stand of 40 between Chris Riley (23) and stand-in skipper Paul Kelly (14) but ultimately it didn’t affect the outcome.

Spinner Paul Senior took two for 25 from 15.2 overs and there was a fine catch from Elliott Gilford.

Tod slumped to 25 for four in reply but Neser proved their match-winner with 75 not out, scored at almost a run a ball.

Kristian Garland (11) gave valuable support in a stand of 52 and Andrew Sutcliffe (11 no) did likewise in a partnership of the same size to seal victory, Neser finishing it with his fourth six.

Umesh Karunartne made a bold bid to pick up all 10 Clifton wickets last Saturday - only to be foiled at the last by young teammate Josh Gale.

The Sri Lankan has had a fairly low-key start at Scott Street, not helped by a quick trip home for a family wedding and limited opportunities due to the strength of Walsden’s squad.

But all that chamnged last weekend when Walsden ramped up their Central Lancashire League title defence bid with wins on successive days, beating Littleborough on Sunday.

Off-spinner Karunaratne took the first nine home wickets to fall at Clifton, only for Gale to clean up the last man.

Karunaratne followed up with 72 not out and Gale and Stevie Barker helped him finish the job after Walsden had lost four early wickets.

Littleborough arrived at Scott Street on Sunday looking to inflict more damage on Walsden after early-season league and cup wins.

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Karunaratne then picked up where he had left off with the ball the previous day by taking seven wickets to dismiss Littleborough for ??????

Hebden Bridge and Todmorden teams finished down the field in last Sunday’s Halifax Huddersfield Union Team Championship at Bradley Park.

The event was won by Willow Valley, who were retaining the title, from long-time leaders Hanging Heaton.

Twenty one teams of four took part and the best gross score took the trophy.

Individual positions: 22. Lee Amos (14) Hebden Bridge nett 76; 23, Darren M Clithero (9) Hebden Bridge 76; 28, D L Setterfield (11) Todmorden 78; 31, M Saxon (8) Todmorden 79; 46, Andy R Hutchinson (16) Hebden Bridge 82; 75, M Bonny (15) Todmorden 89; 76, Eddie Orlinskie (20) Todmorden 89; 77, Clive Richards (10) Hebden Bridge 90.

The Todmorden Quiz League handicapping system for the team knockout competition proved its worth with just two points in it at the end of 10 rounds in the final.

Hare and Hounds B emerged champions, beating Polished Knob 63-61, having edged ahead with a fine second half.

Polished Knob were well ahead at half way but Hounds finished very strongly.

The final individual competition, Brain of Todmorden, was being played last night and the season will end next Wednesday with the Charity Quiz and Presentation Night at Todmorden Cricket Club, Burnley Road (8.30pm).