ELYSIA Ridley strengthed her ladies’ title hopes with victory in round four at Cirencester Park.

The 25-year-old Witney Roadrunner tops the senior and overall ladies rankings with one round to go after excelling in the freezing, boggy conditions.

Ridley clocked 24mins 43secs for the 6.5km course to beat second-placed Jessica Frank-lin (Newbury) by 11 seconds.

With her title rival Sophie Crumly (Newbury) not racing, Ridley’s determination to compete, despite the previous day’s snowfall, paid dividends.

“It was freezing,” said Ridley, who lives in Ascott-under-Wychwood. “My feet felt like ice all the way round.

“It was very tough to run in the soggy conditions.

“I like the course and really wanted to run it.

“Luckily my dad had snow tyres so we could get out of the village and make the race.

“I have won twice and come second once and third once this season, so it all goes own to the final race.”

Ridley, who is an army officer based at South Cerney, near Cirencester, felt her hard work had been rewarded.

“I didn’t really really get to train that much over the Christmas period because I was away ski-ing,” she said.

“But after the previous round at Middleton Cheney, I have trained hard, so I was delighted to get the win.”

Ridley will compete in the Welsh Cross Country Championships on February 18, but will miss the Inter-County Championships with Oxfordshire on March 10 due to army training commitments.

As for fitting her training in, she said: “I just try to get out in the morning before I start work.”

Oxford City’s Jade Walker took advantage of the absence of clubmate Melissa Hawtin, who was competing in the BUCS Championships in Cardiff, to finish fourth.

Walker clocked 25.24 and went top of the under 20 ladies’ standings, while Woodstock Harrier Jessica Webb was fifth in 26.24.

City’s Sarah Davies continued her dominance of the vet 35 category with seventh place overall in 26.40.

Oxford lead Division 2 by 173 points from Witney and are just seven points behind Division 1 leaders Newbury.

Abingdon Amblers’ Fiona Bunn won the under 13 girls’ race in 9.13, ahead of Flora Insley (Radley) and Jess Upjohn (Oxford City), which secured her the title with one round to go.

Upjohn, fourth-placed Isa-bela Rodriguez and Ciara Huxley in fifth took City to the top of the team standings.

Storm Sunderland (Oxford City) was edged out by one second in the under 15 girls’ race, clocking 12.42 to winner Yasmin Ryder’s (Team Kennet) 12.41).

But Sunderland leads the standings by six points.

White Horse Harrier Sophie Lloyd’s third place gave her top spot in the under 17 girls’ section.

Bicester’s Sophie Wheeler, who did not run at Cirencester, tops the under 11 girls’ standings.