O50 men’s All Ireland Inter County Bronze medals: Dermot Hayes, Bernard Feery, Damien Holian, Willie O'Donoghue, Tom Blackburn, Tommy Byrnes, Tony Delaney and Michael Moore. Missing: Ray Power, Moyne
Clarinbridge was the venue last Sunday for the National Intermediate Men’s 8K Cross Country Championships. This race was the last event of a busy programme and so conditions were very wet and extremely tough for all the athletes who had to face four laps of a very testing muddy underfoot conditions where blades of grass were hard to find, a true test on a relative level course, true cross country running. The race started and after the initial early charge and midway through the first lap the lead was set by Eoin Taggart of Clonliffe Harries and the eventual winner, Michael Harty of East Cork with a chasing pack of six athletes in close attention that included the sole Tipperary representative, Kevin Moore of Dundrum. Going into this race Kevin had a fantastic series of performances in December where he captured his first County Senior Cross-Country title in Annacarty as well as winning the National Novice Cross Country Silver medal in Waterford and a PB for 4 miles in Clonmel on St Stephen’s Day. January saw him tackle some tough races in England as part of the Brighton and Howe Athletic Club so going into this race, form was unsure. But form went out the window in this race as he buckled down to competing and as the race unfolded Kevin found himself running very well, at the end of the 1st lap he was 5th and midway through the race, Michael Harty made his winning move going well clear of Eoin and the chasing pack to win the national Intermediate title impressively. On the 3rd lap the chasing pack were working hard together and gradually they reeled in Eoin with over a lap to go. At this stage the battle for the Silver and Bronze medals were down to five athletes and everyone had a go. Then with a km to go Kevin seized the opportunity and decided to go and in the space of a 100m he had opened a gap on the rest of the field and held on to record a fantastic performance when capturing the National Intermediate Silver medal in 31 mins 19 secs, some 12 seconds clear of the Bronze medallist, very convincingly. This was a brilliant performance by Kevin who has shown major improvement in the recent 12 months. Kevin has shown what can be achieved by training consistently and this performance is sure to give every athlete in the county the belief that they too can follow in his footsteps, Kevin won the County Novice Road title in 2011 and has consistently improved every year since.
County Master team win National Bronze medallists
The day got off to a brilliant start in Clarinbridge last Sunday when out County Master Men’s over 50 team combined very well in such demanding conditions to win the National Master Men over 50 Inter County Cross Country Bronze medals. Dermot Hayes of Dundrum ran a brilliant race when winning the National Master Men over 50 Silver medal by finishing 27th overall in 28 mins 42 secs. Dermot is another athlete who has shown fantastic improvement in the last few years and this performance last Sunday ranks among his finest achievements to date. Then we also had great performances form Tom Blackburn (Mooreabbey Milers) 72nd (30:59), Willie O Donoghue (Mooreabbey Milers) 96th (32:09), Tommy Byrnes (Dundrum) 142nd (32:01), Bernard Feery (Fethard) 143rd (34:03) and Damien Holian (Mooreabbey Milers) 173rd (35:23). These six athletes combined very well to capture the Inter County over 50 Bronze medals, brilliant performances. To crown off a great day, the Dundrum quartet of Dermot Hayes, Tommy Byrnes, Michael Moore 183rd (36:01) and Tony Delaney 201st (37:16) combined very well to win the National Master men over 50 Inter Club Silver medals, fantastic. We also had Ray Power (Moyne) running very well when finishing 242nd in 47:49.
These performances show that we have very talented athletes in the County achieving National success and hopefully these fantastic performances will spur other athletes in the County to put their names forward for County teams competing at Munster and National levels in the future.
County Novice titles down for decision
The County Novice Road Championships for both Women and Men takes place on Sunday next, 18th February at 12 noon. This year athletes please note that both races will finish on the track due to health and safety. The road season got off to a fantastic start last Sunday week with the County relays in Clonoulty Rossmore GAA Complex, we had 7 clubs represented at these Championships which was brilliant. So hopefully the trend will continue and when you add in Clubs like Nenagh Olympic, Coolquill, Ballynonty and Carrick on Suir, we have the basis for two brilliant races. Eligibility for the County Novice is that an athlete must be 19 years of age and over on the 31st of December 2018. All Athletes except previous individual winner of this or any higher championship IN ANY COUNTY and the first three individual medallists at senior road level are eligible. Also, any athlete from outside the Country of Ireland, who has not competed at senior level in Ireland, for at least one year is ineligible.
In the Women’s 3k race there are several athletes very well capable of success and a podium position. Athletes like Maire O Shea of Mooreabbey Milers, Louise Fogarty of Moyne, Laura Armstrong of Dundrum and Jacqueline Hughes of Thurles Crokes all had good performances in the Road Relays as part of their preparations for the County Novice race and if they compete they all should have a major say in the destination of the title. Jacqueline who was 2nd in last year’s race which attracted a record entry of 44, will be the warm favourite going on known form as she also ran well in the recent Newcastle 5k. Other athletes that could have a say if they compete are Ciara Cummins of Nenagh Olympic, Sarah Fitzpatrick of Mooreabbey Milers, Suzanne Shine of Clonmel and Eimear Loughman of Dundrum. In the team event, Moyne are the defending Champions and they will be hard to beat on Sunday as they can also call upon Angela Fogarty and Sarah Healy. They will face good competition from Dundrum who were 2nd last year as they can also call upon Mairead Julian and Brid Quirke while Thurles Crokes who were bronze medallists last year will also be a force as they can also call upon Louisa Condon. Mooreabbey Milers will also be aiming to do well as they can also call upon Mary Pyke and Trish Ryan. Clonmel could also have a major say in the destination of the Cup as they can also call upon Ailish Mansfield and Annemarie Boland, so it has the ingredients of a great event provided that all the Clubs can get all their eligible athletes out to compete.
The Men’s 6k race should also be a very competitive race, last year we had a top-quality race with 94 athletes competing, representing nine Clubs. Hopefully we will get a similar entry this year and the omens are good as we had a very good entry for the County Relay event in Clonoulty recently. Looking at contenders for the title you must include athletes like Gareth McGlinchey of Dundrum who is running very well at the moment, Derek Walsh of Carrick on Suir who ran very well in the John Treacy 10 mile as did Jimmy Boland of Clonmel. Other athletes that could have a say includes Kieran Lees of Mooreabbey Milers, Dermot Hayes of Dundrum and Paddy Cummins of Moycarkey Coolcroo. In the team event, the defending Champions are Clonmel and they will be determined to retain the title as they can also call upon Joey Feery, Nigel O Flaherty and Anthony Bowen. Thurles Crokes who were 2nd last year will be hoping to go one better and win back the Danny Butler Cup, last won in 2016 and they will be looking to athletes like Kevin Coleman, Liam Shanahan and Johnny Dooley. Dundrum will also provide a tough challenge as they can also call upon athletes like Dermot Hayes, Michael J Ryan and Michael Ryan while Mooreabbey Milers can also look to athlete like Bjorn Downes, Willie O Donoghue and Damien Holian. Moyne will be looking to athletes like Stephen Flanagan, Liam Kelly and Brian Carroll in their quest for a podium position. Moycarkey Coolcroo will also fancy their chances of a podium place as they can also call upon athletes like John Fogarty, Sean Healy and Paul Bowe. Clubs like Coolquill, Carrick on Suir, Templemore, Nenagh Olympic are also capable of teams strong enough to compete at this level.