Close on 370 athletes representing clubs throughout Tipperary travelled to compete in Galbally on Sunday for the County Un-Even Age Juvenile Cross Country Championships.
While the course was flat, the muddy underfoot conditions, reminiscent of many cross country courses of old, tested the athletes and resulted in some very fine performances across the twelve races.
The opening race of the day – Girls U/9 - saw victory for Aoife Maher, Moycarkey-Coolcroo but not before a stern test from Sophie Moynihan and Bella Kelly of Dundrum who finished second and third. Fourth went to Leah Berry of Newport with Anna Butler, Dundrum in fifth and Reiltin Morrissey, Moyne sixth. With three athletes in the top five Dundrum were going to be hard to beat in the team competition and that transpired with Clodagh Kilmartin finishing 16th they won the gold medals with a score of 26pts. Moycarkey-Coolcroo finished second on 49pts with Moyne winning the bronze on 61pts. In all a total of 10 teams finished in this competition. Six different clubs made up the top six in the Boys event with Colm Ryan of Newport showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the field to come home the champion. Second place and the silver medal went to Eanna Tucker, Nenagh Olympic with bronze going to Darragh Kelly, Tipperary Town. Fourth went to Pat Ryan, Moyglass while Shay Carroll, Dundrum and Colm Compton, Moreabbey Milers finished fifth and sixth respectively. With 12 teams competing in this event the title went to Nenagh Olympic on 43pts from Newport on 47pts and Dundrum 64pts.
The Girls U/11 event was the biggest race of the day with 72 participants and it was Sophie Coughlan, Moycarkey-Coolcroo who led them all home with a great victory to claim the gold medal. Despite the best efforts of Muireann Riordan, Moreabbey Milers and Abigail O’Regan, Carrick-on-Suir they had to settle for silver and bronze. Fourth went to Clodagh Shanahan Rice, Carrick-on-Suir, fifth to Caoimhe Stakelum, Thurles Crokes with Saoirse Doran, Moyne filling the sixth spot. Carrick-on-Suir were the winners of the team title on 48pts with Thurles Crokes winning silver on 51pts and Moycarkey-Coolcroo third on 66pts. 57 finished the Boys race were Daire O’Donnell, Moycarkey-Coolcroo proved to be the strongest to win the gold medal. Second place went to Ronan O’Dwyer, Thurles Crokes with Shane Ryan, Moyglass third. Philip O’Dwyer, Thurles Crokes finished fourth just ahead of Killian Doran, Moycarkey-Coolcroo with Killian Minogue, Thurles Crokes sixth. With four athletes in the top seven Thurles Crokes were clear winners of the team event on 19pts with Moycarkey-Coolcroo second on 44pts and Clonmel third on 69pts.
Leah Quane, Moreabbey Milers added yet another County Championship title to her growing list when taking victory in the Girls U/13 race. The Dundrum duo of Kate Ferncombe and Orla Ryan battled hard for second and third with Jane O’Donnell and Ruby Carroll both of Clonmel finishing fourth and fifth respectively while sixth place went to Cloe Carroll, Templemore. Clonmel won the team competition on 39pts from Moycarkey-Coolcroo in second on 47pts and Newport third on 70pts. Nenagh Olympic had a clean sweep in the Boys U/13 event with Cian Hodgins, Tom Walsh and Ben Walsh the 1, 2, 3. Shane Buckley, Dundrum finished fourth followed by Joe Egan, Moycarkey Coolcroo in fifth and Michael Moylan, Nenagh Olympic sixth. Nenagh Olympic also dominated the team competition winning gold with a score of 12pts followed by Moycarkey-Coolcroo on 62pts with bronze going to Moyne on 64pts.
Aimee Hayde, Newport, a multiple County, Munster and National Champion, continued her dominance with another great victory in the Girls U/15 event. Emma Murray, Coolquill stayed on well for second with Emma Gleeson, Moyne a fine third. Gillian Hughes, Clonmel finished fourth with her club-mates Celine Durand and Muireann Duffy filling the fifth and sixth spots. Clonmel were the winners of the team competition on 15pts followed by Newport on 19pts with the Clonmel “B” team third on 30pts. In a very competitive Boys U/15 race Jack Ryan, Templemore eventually shrugged off the challenge of the Thurles Crokes duo of Emmet Fogarty and Jack O’Meara to claim the victory. Emmet finished second with Jack in the bronze medal position. Fourth place went to Gavin Ryan, Moyne while Darragh Minogue, Thurles Crokes and Sean Phillips, Thurles Crokes finished fifth and sixth to seal victory in the team competition with a score of 10pts. Nenagh Olympic finished second on 25pts with Thurles Crokes “B” team third on 27pts.
Victory in the Girls U/17 race went to Siobhan Whelan, Clonmel from Aifric Walsh, Newport with Elma Casey, Clonmel in third. Brid Moynihan and Molly Keane also of Clonmel finished fourth and fifth with Michelle Sage, Newport finishing sixth. Clonmel won the team competition on 8pts. Another great race ensued in the Boys U/17 event with Ted Collins, Nenagh Olympic proving the strongest to claim victory, silver went to Adam Ryan, Newport while Daniel Slattery, Clonmel finished third. Fourth went to Michael O’Brien, Newport with Stephen McDonald, Dundrum fifth and Dylan McLoughlin, Moyne sixth. Clonmel won the team event on 18pts with Moyne second on 25pts.
The fields were small in the U/19 races but the quality was there with Ciara O’Neill, Clonmel taking the ladies title from Emma Fagan, Newport with Nuala Fitzgibbon, Thurles Crokes third and Courtney Maguire, Clonmel fourth. Bjorn Downes, Moreabbey Milers completely dominated the Boys race securing victory from early on. Second place went to Colm McCarthy, Clonmel with Nathan Bowe, Moyne in third followed by Ben O’Dwyer, Moycarkey-Coolcroo in fourth and Jerry Hayes, Dundrum fifth.
Congratulations to each and every athlete who competed on Sunday and for giving it their all in the trying and testing conditions. You did yourselves proud.
Munster Even Age Juvenile Cross Country Championships
The first of the Munster Cross Country Championships - the Even Age Juvenile Championships take place in Clarecastle, Co. Clare on Sunday next, 22nd October commencing at 11.30am. All clubs should note the earlier start time. The first 12 individuals will receive medals while the first three club teams and first three county teams also receive medals. The top six athletes to finish from the County are deemed the County team. Distances are U/10-1,000mts, U/12-2,000mts, U/14-3,000mts, U/16-4,000mts, U/18 Girls-4,000mts, and U/18 Boys-6,000mts. Best of luck to all juveniles who will be competing for club and county on the day.