Senior Men Cross Country Champions
The County Senior Cross Country Championships took place today in mild but wet conditions in Galbally. It was great to see Club members competing very well in both the Senior Women’s 6k and Men’s 10K races. In the women’s race over 3 laps we witness some great performances especially that of Angela McCann. Angela produced one of her hallmark performances when running a brilliant race on her return to cross country after an absence of four years. She went off at a good pace and soon found her rhythm especially on the 2nd lap as she moved through the field. At the end of the 1st lap, Angela was in 14th place and gradually she picked up the pace and made great progressed through the field that was now well spread out. Then as they went out on the final lap, she had moved into 8th place and she kept that pace going to come home in a brilliant 7th place in 28 mins 5 secs, brilliant to see Angela back running well again. Then we had Ann Marie Boland also running very well in such demanding conditions as she battled away to finish a very good 8th in 28 min 28 secs. Then we had Courtney McGuire also running very well, on her debut in this competition and in what was a strong entry when finishing 14th in 29 mins 35 secs. Donna Nagle was another athlete making a welcome return to Cross Country and she too should be pleased with her performance when finishing 22nd. In the very competitive team event our team of Angela, Ann Marie and Courtney were just three points away from Bronze and six away from the Silver medals, great performances all round.
The Men’s race over 5 laps was another very competitive race. Here David Mansfield went with the early pace that soon saw him vying for 2nd spot as Kevin Moore of Dundrum, the eventual winner, had moved well clear. As the race progressed David got into a good rhythm that soon him go into 2nd place and as the race progressed, he consolidated that position to win his first Senior Cross-Country medal when winning the Silver in 36 min 28 secs, brilliant running. Then we had Michael Carey, making his debut in these Championships, also running very well. He was part of the chasing pack of 7 at the end of the first lap, then as the group approached halfway, Michael made his move and moved into 4th place and as the race progressed, he consolidated that position to finish 4th in 37 mins 5 secs. With two athletes in the top four at halfway the rest of the team responded and one of these was Joey Feery. He was in a group of athletes as they approached halfway, and he responded very well over the final 5k. He paced himself very well and held off a very determined challenge over the closing stages to finish 12th in 39 mins 58 secs. All eyes were then on the fourth member as the inter Club team competition changed a few times over the final few laps as every point was hard fought as every place won was a precious point gained. As they came into view on the final hill, Conor Ryan was well positioned and urged on everyone, he responded very well when finishing 16th in 40 mins 33 secs, on his debut as these Championships, what a debut, brilliant running by all four athletes as they combined very well to win the Senior Inter Club title on 34 points, with Dundrum 2nd on 35 points and Thurles Crokes 3rd on 36 points, brilliant competition. To make the success even sweeter all four athletes, David Mansfield, Michael Carey, Joey Feery and Conor Ryan were winning their first County Senior Inter Club medals. The Club last won this title in 2016 in the LIT Grounds in Clonmel with the winning team of Niall McCormack, who also won the Individual title, William Maunsell, Jimmy Boland and Nigel O Flaherty.
We also had very good performances from athletes like Anthony Bowen who ran very well when finishing 16th in 40 mins 42 secs. Then we had Sean McCarthy making a very welcome return to Cross Country when running a brilliant race to finish 23rd in 43 mins 27 secs. This was Sean’s first Cross Country race for many a year but great to see him back competing well again. Then we had Conor Fleming also running in this event for the very first time and he too ran very well when finishing 27th in 44 mins 30 secs and along with Anthony and Sean they combined very well to win the Gold medals in the B Section. We also had good performances from Alan Carter who ran very well when finishing 29th in 44 mins 54 secs, Bernard Feery also ran well when finishing 39th in 47 mins 37 secs and Aidan Cremin 43rd in 50 mins 59 secs.
Indeed, it was great for Bernard to see Joey following in his footsteps and being part of a winning Clonmel AC team of the County Senior Cross Country Championships. Bernard was part of many of our successes in the 1990s, indeed in 1993 he and the above-mentioned Sean McCarthy, who was making his debut in these Championships then, were on our team that won in Moyglass along with Richard O Brien and Myles McHugh. What a great way to end the 2018 Cross Country season, been crowned County Senior Men Champions and National Senior Men Inter Club Bronze medalists, the future looks bright. We can now look forward to the upcoming 2019 Road season with the County Road relays down for decision in Clonoulty on January 27th.