Junior teams from Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland travelled last weekend to the Mourne Mountains in County Down for the annual Ward Junior Home International competition. The individual race was held on Saturday at Cassy Water and the Relay the following day at Donard Forest near Newcastle.
The individual races started in lovely sunny weather on open moorland, with rough tussocks and heavy going. Some tricky controls in the forest then required athletes to switch technique, with many runners losing time in the lower visibility terrain. The final downhill section came out onto the moor again, providing a long, fast run for home.
Results after day one showed Scotland just one point ahead of England, and Ireland three points ahead of Wales for third place. Everyone had a fine time during an evening ceilidh in Newcastle.
The Relay was another wet October day! Donard Forest was steep with felling and windblown areas, so tricky for head-to-head racing. After some tense early legs and following a very close sprint finish, the girl's points were all square, so we all waited for the M18s on the last leg to emerge from the forest.
The first three teams from Scotland all came in together, therefore winning the relays and the competition overall by 9 points. This was a repeat of their win in 2018.
Unfortunately, Wales were only able to field one team in the Girls Relay, and Ireland finished in a comfortable third place overall.
Many congratulations to all the teams and many thanks to Northern Ireland Orienteering for hosting an excellent event.
Detailed results can be found here.
Photos by: Will Heap Photography.
British Orienteering would like to thank all junior teams and their supporters for travelling to take part in this event. A big thank you to Northern Ireland Orienteering for organising and hosting this event. Congratulations to Scotland on their win again this year.
Next years event will take place in Southern England on the 10 and 11 October 2020.