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League winners

QOFL 2017-18

The QOFL trophies

The QOFL trophies

Published: Sun 23 Sep 2018

What a cliffhanger...the race to win most of the seven QOFL divisions went right down to the wire. The margin of victory over the whole season in those leagues was only two or three minutes, making this season one of the most closely contested in the series' 20 year history.

The scorers

League scorers Brian Pearson and Tony Milroy have pulled out all the stops to produce the final elite league tables just seven days after the final QOFL of the season at Blackborough. Given that we usually allow a week's grace for any protests or adjustments to results, this is impressive going! Thanks both.

Elite league tables

Handicap scores to follow in a week or so.


In Blue, Green, Light Green and Orange the title race was incredibly close and all contenders were at Blackborough to battle it out. Three league winners from last season demonstrated that annoying knack champions often have of holding off stiff challenges from their nearest rivals!

Congratulations to the series winners, then: Ben Chesters, Graham Hartley, Chris Hasler, Jenny Wood, Andrew Page, Hamish Braine-Clarke and Jacob Shirvington

All but one from QO, as indeed were many of those in the top few places on most courses, in contrast to some recent seasons.

Overall QOFL winner Ben C

Overall QOFL winner Ben C
Credit: Mark Lockett

Photo finish! Flurry at JK'18

Photo finish! Flurry at JK'18
Credit: Wendy Carlyle


The South West's dominant force Ben Chesters and its rising star Flurry Grierson (both Devon OC) were closely matched going into QOFL5. Ben held a lead equivalent to about three minutes. This advantage was temporarily wiped out after a rare mistake by Ben on the tricky area of depressions south of the road halfway round at Blackborough. Ben's advantage was fully restored on the very next control, where Flurry himself lost three minutes. Mere seconds separated them for most of the rest of the race, Ben finishing 7s ahead of Flurry.

Richard Sansbury was QO's top runner in 5th and Robin Carter (Devon OC) was top female (in 8th).

Position - NameClass, clubPointsMins behind*
1- B. ChestersM40, DEV3499
2- F. GriersonM16, DEV3485+3
3- M. OwenM50, BOK3371+30
4- G. CleggM60, BOK3231+60
5- R. SansburyM45, QO3218+60

* over each runners' best three runs, rough figure!

Graham H, BOC, Forest of Dean 2015

Graham H, BOC, Forest of Dean 2015
Credit: Wendy Carlyle


I did bomb it for the last few controls, just in case I was still in with a chance

Shortly before QOFL5, reigning champion Graham Hartley didn't even realise he had a chance of winning. He had only ran twice albeit well; in the meantime veteran Jim Mallinson had built up an impressive points total. There was the small matter of holding off superfast Devon youngster Tom Perry first though but Graham was defending what amounted to a five or six minute lead over Tom going into the race.

Like Ben Chesters, Graham was leading halfway round at Blackborough but then made a mistake which cost him three minutes, an error compounded by hesitations on the next two controls. But Graham dug in like champions do and ensured Tom didn't extend his four minute lead on the final few controls.

Graham said: "I did bomb it for the last few controls, just in case I was still in with a chance. I though there were some tricky controls, and you don't know how others will do, so I had to keep myself in the race. There were some very close series and it was very good to keep everyone guessing until the end."

Overall, Graham was about two minutes ahead over Tom over the entire season and four minutes ahead of Jim.

Graham emphasised the role fitness can play. "I do think I was running faster than usual," he continued. "I think running long Blues at the BOK urban series recently has helped my fitness."

Runner-up Tom (left) in training!

Runner-up Tom (left) in training!
Credit: Vikki Page

Matt Carter did consistently well in his first season after an absence of two decades from the sport, so he might be one to watch next season. As might the top female, Ruby Owen of Bristol OK, who finished 8th in her first full season on Green.

Position - NameClass, clubPointsMins behind*
1- G. HartleyM50, QO3383
2- T. PerryM14, DEV3369+ 2
3- J. MallinsonM65, QO3357+ 4
4- M. CarterM40, QO3270+ 15
5- C. VirgoM65, DEV3229+ 20
6- R. ToomerM60, QO3221+ 20

* approx, over whole season

Chris H at JK relays 2016

Chris H at JK relays 2016
Credit: ActiveNorth

Short Green

Our newest course appears to be gradually increasing in popularity, aimed as it is at those who want the highest technical challenge, but without the distance or climb of Green.

As well as consistency and a certain amount of speed, you often need a smattering of luck to win a league title. In retrospect, the winner Chris Hasler's came way back at QOFL 1 when his nearest challenger Chris Denton ran Light Green when the Short Green maps ran out! Few would begrudge our club captain a slice of luck though and he certainly toughed it out.

Position - NameClass, clubPoints
1- C. HaslerM50, QO2946
2- C. DentonM45, QO2020
3- S. WilliamsM60, QO1871
4- S. ColbertW70, SWOC1850
5- D. HarrisonM50, QO1639

Heather- missed QOFL 5

Heather- missed QOFL 5

Light Green

The theme of luck allied to skill and determination continues!

The Start window had theoretically closed and none of the top five had ran. Enter Jenny Wood, who had to deliver her best run of the season to retain her title. Not an easy ask at a tough technical area like Blackborough.

Where the others, though? With a healthy lead, Heather Green was the favourite going into QOFL5 but was too poorly to run. Of Jenny's nearest challengers, Martin Lewis had climbed the ranks up to Green and the league's best runner Guy Owen was occupied with another sport.

Jenny saved her best till last. Although she didn't win on the day, the score she earned was higher than any she or her immediate challengers had achieved over the season.

New member Deb Hazell could be one to watch next season.

Position - NameClass, clubPointsMins behind*
1- Je. WoodW50, QO3105
2- H. GreenW14, QO3087+2
3- M. LewisM50, QO2938+20
4- M. CrockettM80, QO2870+30
5- G. OwenM14, BOK2358(2 runs only)
6- D. HazellW50, QO2085(2 runs only)

* rough, over entire season

Sam- blistering run wasn't enough

Sam- blistering run wasn't enough


Sam Shirvington delivered the fastest run of the whole season at Blackborough but it was not enough for him to finish ahead of the consistent Andrew Page. Despite having strong competition on the day, Sam was six minutes clear of the field.

Andrew led the league going into the race despite a so-so run last time out at Young Wood. Even though he was only runner-up at Blackborough, his run was significantly better than his Young Wood one and he nudged his score up by more than 200 points.

Andrew was originally registered to run in the urban race at Warminster on the same day but with a highly winnable trophy on offer, who can blame him for changing his mind?

The steady Adam Wood and the fast but less consistent Tate Modica battled it out for third place.

Position - NameClass, clubPointsMins behind*
1- A. PageM12, QO3395
2- S. ShirvingtonM14, QO3348+5
3- A. WoodM14, QO3211+20
4- T. ModicaM14, QO3175+25
5- K. LewisW50, QO2734+75

* roughly, over the season

Annabel- the top girl on Yellow

Annabel- the top girl on Yellow


Not the most competitive of leagues this season!

Hamish Braine-Clarke won with something to spare though, despite like everyone else, not achieving three scoring runs. Annabel Carter, in her debut season, was a nose in front of Matilda Andersen, who stepped up from White this year.

Position - NameClass, clubPointsMins behind*
1- H. Braine-ClarkeM12, QO2118
2- A. CarterW12, QO2037+8
3- Ma. AndersenW10, QO2029+9

* very roughly, over the two runs

Jacob- title secured before arm break

Jacob- title secured before arm break


It may have looked like bad timing, but Jacob Shirvington's broken arm the day before the Blackborough event didn't jeopardise his league win. Such was his points haul at Ham Hill, where he established a QOFL record by winning in less than a quarter of the time of the runner-up, his win was a formality.

Like her big sister, Chloe Carter finished runner-up in her debut season with fellow newcomer Jemima Ryles taking third. Before Ham Hill (when he stepped up to Yellow), Jemima's brother Ethan was giving Jacob a good run for his money.

Position - NameClass, clubPointsComments
1- J. ShirvingtonM10, QO3577
2- C. CarterW10, QO2979
3- J. RylesW14, QO2683
4- E. RylesM12, QO2243(2 runs only)
5- F. MacPhersonM7, QO2146(2 runs only)