Thursday 12th July 2018 will live long in the memories of many people as a celebration of 70 years of athletics in Moyne Athletic Club took place. On a beautiful evening with a great atmosphere the club celebrated in style with an athletics meet that thrilled and invigorated the large crowd in attendance. People travelled from far and wide to be in attendance and compete in what was the first track and field meet held by the club since the redevelopment of its facilities. What a fitting tribute to showcase the facilities which drew great praise from the many athletic fraternity in situ on the night.
Our main feature races on the programme, the Senior Ladies 800mts and Senior Men’s Mile, certainly lived up to all expectations and though the two targeted times of 2.05 and a sub 4 minute mile didn’t materialise, it certainly was not for want of trying as both Amy O’Donoghue, Emerald and Sean Tobin, Clonmel went above and beyond huge efforts to succeed. Based on their superb performances on Thursday night much greater things are ahead for both athletes.
Eight athletes contested the Senior Ladies 800mts representing clubs from Limerick, Cork, Laois, Tipperary and Clare and they certainly gave the crowd something to cheer about. From the gun Amy O’Donoghue, Emerald and Stephanie Cotter, West Muskerry with Avril Deegan, Ballyroan and Annette Quaid, Leevale in close proximity set a blistering pace with the entire field strung out in a line heading down the back straight. The pace was maintained through the first 400mts and it now all depended on how the second 400 would be run. Amy pushed hard again and with Stephanie hot on her heels they both drew clear. Over the final 200mts both athletes gave it everything, digging deep inside themselves and roared on by the crowd, but the clock had other ideas and with Amy crossing the line first, it stopped at 2.06.67 – an agonising 1.7 secs from the target and within 600’s of a second of a new PB. Stephanie stopped the clock at 2.07.24 which resulted in a new PB for her by over 3 secs. To add to the talent on show Annette Quaid crossed the line in third place in 2.14.16. Her target when entering the event was to beat her previous best of which at the time was 2.15.52 and she duly did having just the week previously set a new Pb of 2.12.8. Avril Deegan finished 4th in 2.17.25 with the first of the local athletes Ciara Cummins, Nenagh Olympic coming through for 5th in 2.20.51. 6th place went to Jacqueline Hughes, Thurles Crokes in 2.26.11 followed by club athlete Lorraine Healy in 2.28.44 with the evergreen Rita Kierce, St. Mary’s coming through for 8th in 2.47.24. The crowd and the club certainly appreciated the huge efforts of all involved.
With everyone still buzzing from such an exciting 800mts the Senior Men lined up for their attempt to break the 4 minute mile. Despite the best efforts of the club to attract more mile specialists’ just two athletes Sean Tobin, Clonmel and Damien Landers, Ennis Track along with pacemaker William Hughes, Thurles Crokes were committed. This certainly did not take anything from these three superb athletes and what unfolded over the four laps was something special. William had perhaps one of the toughest tasks on the night as to have any hope of breaking the 4 minute mile barrier he had to be spot on at each of the targeted times. He duly brought the athletes through 400mts in 60secs and 800mts in 2.01 before leaving the track to Sean and Damien. Now front running on his own Sean went through the 1,200mts mark in 3.03 and with the crowd now lining all sides of the track and giving great vocals, Sean responded again but as with the ladies, the clock beat him as he crossed the line in 4.04.48. From the time communication was opened with Sean he committed to the event and having known beforehand the extent of the field he never wavered in that commitment and those present on the night will know to what extent he pushed himself hard to try and achieve that magical mark.
Damien also pushed hard and again as a lone athlete running against the clock he did exceptional to cross the line in 4.14.99. In any race it’s hard to race against yourself but in a race of this type it is even more difficult and great credit must go to Damien for his supreme effort.
The evening also had a number of other races and field events involving juvenile, junior, senior and master athletes and as with the above events all athletes provided the spectators with some trilling running, throwing and jumping. The evening began with the U/13 Boys & Girls 600mts where Sophie Coughlan, Moycarkey-Coolcroo and TJ Nolan, Unattached were the victors in time of 1.58.60 and 1.52.12 respectively. Local athletes Saoirse Doran, Alanna Spillane, Adam Spillane-Leane and John Delaney filled the second and third spots. The Junior Men’s Long Jump event went to local athlete Jack Hickey with the 56lb Weight for Distance title going to John Dwyer of Templemore with a throw of 7.02mts. Sean Maher, Brow Rangers was second with 6.00mts while Sean Mockler, Moycarkey-Coolcroo came third with 5.48mts.
The Senior Men’s 400mts served up another cracking race when Robert Bennett, Nenagh Olympic set a new PB of 49.25 to win the event. Second place went to Patrick Lynch, Newport in 52.16, third place to Ger Cremin, An Riocht in 52.73 and Barry Upton, Menapians fourth in 53.47. The Senior Ladies 400mts saw Eimear Lynch, Newport collecting her second win on the night with a time of 60.60 followed by Margaret Mary Grace, Nenagh Olympic in 62.51 and Ruth Allen, Newport in 65.75. Indeed these three athletes along with Niamh Field, St. Cocas competed in the Senior Ladies 200mts and as mentioned above Eimear won the event in a time of 26.24. Ruth finished second in 27.01, Niamh third in 27.03 and Margaret Mary fourth in 27.86. Again a very close run race.
The Junior Men’s 400mts event went to Daniel Ryan, Moycarkey-Coolcroo in 52.09 followed by the Moyne trio of Jack Hickey, Nathan Bowe and Sean Burke in times of 55.56, 56.09 and 61.25. The Senior Ladies 400mts “B” event was won by Nuala Fitzgibbon, Thurles Crokes in 65.69 with Aisling Dwyer, Moyne 2nd in 72.47, Aisling Maher, Moyne 3rd in 74.04 and Lisa Quinlan, Moyne 4th in 81.33. A malfunction in the timing system saw no times recorded for the Master Ladies 400mts where the trio of Moyne athletes competed with Kate Harrison, Ber Spillane and Edel Delaney finished 1, 2, 3.
The Senior Men’s Mile “B” saw seven athletes from across Tipperary competing with Kevin Coleman, Thurles Crokes winning the event in 4.35.38 followed by his club-mate John Fitzgibbon, Thurles Crokes in 4.42.50 with local athlete Dylan McLoughlin finishing third in 4.54.04 to take a massive 19 seconds off his previous best of 5.12.15. What a run by young Dylan. Patrick Roche, Carrick-on-Suir finished 4th in 4.58.70 followed by Eamonn Morrissey, Dundrum 5th in 5.01.55, Shane Mullaney, Moycarkey-Coolcroo 6th in 5.03.06 and Patrick Bowe, Moyne 7th in 5.32.42.
All athletes who competed were presented with a specially engraved medallion celebrating the club’s 70th year in existence. The podium used was generously sponsored by local business man Tom Maher Quarries and it received widespread acclaim on the night. Other local businesses to contribute handsomely to the night were Ely’s Centra and Quinlan’s Bar. The night ended with refreshments and what a spread was produced by Naomi. Such was the reaction that it very nearly stole the show. Many thanks Naomi and indeed all the food suppliers who donated food and beverages. To Eamonn and the Travers family who have allowed us the unconditional use of their fields for parking and they served us well again on Thursday night. To all the stewards, officials and helpers thank you for making the night a success. To all of you who supported the event, from young to not so young. You certainly made the night for the athletes with the special atmosphere you produced, something that was commented on through the public address by Sean Tobin.
Special thanks also to Jim Ryan on timing and John Moore on public address for your attention to detail and your support. To Star Systems who are producing a video of the night – if their taster is anything to go by, the full product should be exceptional. A must for athletic fans and supporters. To Billy Loughnane our photographer, we would be lost without you. Your pictures are worth a thousand words. To Ester, Aoife and the school band, a massive thank you for adding so much to the occasion. Thanks also to all of the local businesses who sponsored advertisements in the supplement in the Tipperary Star which turned out to be a fabulous effort from all involved - TFM, Moyne NS, Butler & Young Tyres, Doran Oil, Citizens Information, Cleary Motors, Mary Quinlan Hair, Cooleeney Farm, Billy O’Dwyer Farm Machinery, Quinlan’s Pub, Naomi’s Café, Templetuohy NS, Maher Quarries, Copymoore, Auto Body Craft, Ely’s Centra and Everards Pub. Thanks must also go to Brigid Gleeson who designed and printed our posters and flyers for the event. A final sincere thanks to our three sponsors who have never sought the limelight but without whom the event would probably never have taken on such a big profile. We are sincerely grateful for your support. Hopefully we have included everyone who made this so special but if not please accept this as our thanks for your support.