The County Junior and Master Road Championships were held at a cold but dry Ballingarry last Sunday. The Junior races attracted small entries with victory going to the two Fethard athletes, Jennifer Rice winning the Ladies race in 13 mins 42 secs and Stephen Tierney winning the Men’s title in 14 mins 16 secs.
In the Master race a combined entry of 74 Men and Women competed. Indeed in these Championships it was great to see Clubs like Fethard and Moore Abbey Milers getting teams out, it augurs well for the sport in these areas.
Right from the start David Ryan of Clonmel set a strong pace and soon went clear of the chasing pack. He maintained this tempo all the way to win the over 40 title impressively. Mark Gleeson of Nenagh Olympic ran very well to win the 0/45 title when finishing 2nd in 19:48. Denis Shanahan of Thurles Crokes won the 0/35 title in 20:17. Fintan Rice of Fethard won the 0/45 Silver medal when 4th in 20:28 with Donal Keane of Dundrum 2nd 0/35 in 20:30 when 5th overall.
Dermot Logue of Coolquill won the 0/35 Bronze medal when 6th overall in 20:31 with Declan Doherty of Thurles Crokes 2nd 0/40 in 20:33 in 7th place. Paudie O’Keeffe of Clonmel was 3rd 0/40 when 8th in 20:39 and Tom Blackburn of Moore Abbey Milers was 3rd 0/45 when 9th in 20:52. Michael Moore of Dundrum was 1st 0/50 in 22 mins, Joe Keaney (Coolquill) 2nd 0/50 in and Andrew Galloway (Coolquill) 3rd 0/50 in 24:09, Jim McCormack (Ballynonty) was 1st 0/55 title in 22:45, Jack Alexander (Coolquill) was 2nd in 22:57 and Leslie Smyth (Coolquill) 3rd in 24:55.
Matt Alexander (Coolquill) despite the midweek birthday celebrations made a winning debut in the over 60 category when finishing in a very good time of 23 mins 47 secs. Joe Grinsell of Clonmel won the Silver medal in 28:17. Paddy Shelly (Ballynonty) won the 0/65 title when running well to finish in 26:46 with Eddie Cahalane (Coolquill) 2nd in 27:17 and Myles McHugh (Clonmel) 3rd in 29:47.
In the over 35 team event the Thurles Crokes team of Denis Shanahan, Declan Doherty, John O’Shaughnessy 12th 21:24 and Billy Phillips 13th 21:39 won the Gold medals. The Clonmel team of David Ryan, Paudie O’Keeffe, Conor Fleming 15th 22:14 and Gary Grant 16th 22:23 won the Silver medals. The Bronze medals were won by the Dundrum team of Donal Keane, James Ryan 10th 21 mins, Brendan Kinnane 19th 22:34 and Michael Browne 31st 24:32. 4th Coolquill 77 points, 5th Clonmel B 117 points and Fethard 6th on 124 points. In the over 50 team event the Gold medals were won by the Coolquill team of Joe Keaney, Jack Alexander and Matt Alexander. The Silver medals were won by the Dundrum team of Michael Moore, P J Holmes 39th 25:16 and Gerry Ralph 46th 26:42. The Clonmel team of Billy Prout 34th 24:42, John Laste 37th 25:01 and Maurice Boland 40th 25:24 won the Bronze medals.
In the Women’s race Martina O’Dwyer (Carrick on Suir) led from the start and came home a very worthy winner of the over 35 title in 21 mins 50 secs. Trish Blackburn (Moore Abbey Milers) won the 0/45 title when 2nd in 26:28, Frances Long (Moyne) was 1st 0/40 when 3rd overall in 26:36, Aine Doocey (Fethard) was 2nd 0/35 when 4th in 26:50, Anne Coughlan (Moore Abbey Milers) was 3rd 0/35 when 5th in 27:16, Eimer O’Brien (Carrick on Suir) was 2nd 0/40 when 6th in 27:19, Catherine Hogan ( Moore Abbey Milers) was 2nd 0/45 when 7th in 27:24, Una Redfern (Clonmel) was 3rd 0/45 when 8th in 27:52, Carol Quish (Moore Abbey Milers) was 1st 0/50 when 9th in 28:29, Anne Cronin (Carrick on Suir) was 2nd 0/50 when 12th in 29:57 with Imelda Vaughan (Fethard) 3rd 0/50 when 16th in 33:21.
In the Ladies over 35 team event Moore Abbey Milers captured their first County Road title when winning the Gold medals on 14 points and the victorious team was Trish Blackburn, Ann Coughlan and Catherine Hogan. The Carrick on Suir team of Martina O’Dwyer, Eimear O’Brien and Anne Cronin won the Silver medals. The Moyne team of Frances Long, Trish Campion and Breda McNamara won the Bronze medals. Fethard were 4th on 37 points. In the over 45 team event the Gold medals were won by the Fethard team of Imelda Vaughan, Noreen Harrington Sheehy who was 17th 34:09 and Biddy O’Dwyer who was 18th 34:10 and these three women won Fethard’s 1st County Senior Ladies title for the first time in the Club’s history.
County Novice B Road Championships
These Championship races takes place this Sunday in Moyne with the Ladies 3k starting at 12 noon and followed immediately by the men’s 6k event. Eligibility for the Ladies race is that the first 5 finishers in this year’s Novice, as we had over 20 athletes competing in the County Novice Road Championship this year, as well as previous Novice B winners are ineligible. You must have competed and finish the Novice race this year to be eligible.
In the men’s race the eligibility rule is that the top eight in this year’s race as well as any previous winners are ineligible. You also must have competed and finished in the Novice this year to be eligible. It is three to count for teams in both the Men’s and Women races.
Back to the Ladies race and here there are a number of athletes quite capable of winning this title. Athletes like Bridget Gleeson, Frances Long and Sarah Healy of the host Club, Aine Doocey of Fethard who ran very well in the Masters 6k last Sunday as well as the Clonmel athletes Rebecca Doocey, Una Redfern and Sheila Perry. In the team event it will be very close as both Moyne and Clonmel have two strong teams competing, provided all their athletes compete while Fethard are also capable of getting on the podium
In the Men’s race, athletes like Ross Alexander, John Russell. Dermot Logue (All Coolquill) as well as the Dundrum trio of Michael Coen, Colm Bradshaw and Sean McGrath and Paddy Cummins of Moycarkey Coolcroo are all capable of a podium position. In the team competition provided they can get all their eligible athletes out to compete it should be a very close between Coolquill and Dundrum as they both have strong teams while Clonmel, Thurles Crokes, Templemore, Moyne, Moycarkey Coolcroo and Fethard will also be trying hard to get among the medals.