County Novice “B” Road Champions on the Double

 

History was again made on Sunday by our athletes at the County Novice “B” Road Championships in Galbally with double victory in both the men’s and ladies races as Liam Kelly and Angela Fogarty gave two masterful displays to win gold while our men’s and ladies teams also struck gold with Liam, Stephen Flanagan, Jody Sweeney, Angela, Kate Harrison and Sarah Healy bringing back the cups to Moyne.  Indeed Kate also had the honour of bringing the individual silver medal back to the club having finished runner-up in the ladies event.

While our men have taken a back seat to our ladies in terms of success over the past while, the performance on Sunday from all six athletes, turned the form book upside down and resulted in the first ever individual victory and team victory for the men on the road at novice level.

Men’s running in the County is very strong no matter what the level but particularly so at novice level and to win anything is a major achievement.  Following on from their great showing at the “A” championship in Moyne the men have really put in the training and effort required.  38 athletes and 10 club teams took to the start of the 6k event so to medal was going to be a major achievement in itself.  From the whistle Stephen Flanagan set out his stall moving clear of the chasing group which included Liam Kelly and athletes from Dundrum, Thurles Crokes and Coolquill.  Misfortune was to beset Stephen midway through the race with the old enemy “the stitch” catching him full on forcing him to slow his pace which allowed the chasing group to draw up alongside.  It was then the turn of Liam Kelly to take up the reigns and he did so with great authority forcing the pace along and it was inevitable that his strong running would bring him clear by over 20mts.  Still full of running he crossed the line in first place to claim the gold medal and his first ever championship victory in a time of 20.06.  Great rejoicing from the strong Moyne and Templetuohy contingent in attendance.  Despite his upset Stephen battled through and kept pace with the leaders pulling out all the stops to finish 4th in 20.37 and it all now depended on our third athlete as to whether the team would medal or not.  That pressure was all on the shoulders of Jody Sweeney but he bore it extremely well and though surrounded by a number of athletes he battled hard over the final metres to cross the line in 9th place in a time of 21.29 to round off our score of 14pts.  All now depended on how the other clubs faired as most had their teams completed so it was with great anticipation that we awaited the final results but before this would happen we also had Brian Carroll, Patrick Bowe and Paddy Doyle to cross the line and again all three played a vital role in the destination of the title.  Brian finished 22nd in 22.28, Patrick 24th in 22.48 and Paddy 33rd in 24.23.  To the delight of all the members and supporters of the club the title of County Novice “B” Champions 2017 went to the trio of Liam, Stephen and Jody who had six points to spare in the end from second place club Dundrum with Thurles Crokes a further two points adrift.  What a great result for the men who have toiled so often over the years but without any success.  Tribute has to go to all six athletes and indeed those unable to be in Galbally for this tremendous success and hopefully the club can build on this and aim for more success at county level.  Congratulations to all involved in this great result.

Eight club athletes took to the start line of the 3k ladies race.  From the whistle Angela Fogarty pushed hard bringing Kate Harrison, Michelle Doherty of Clonmel, Ausra MacKeviciute, Dundrum and Louise Condon, Thurles Crokes with her.  She pushed again after approx. 1k and this time broke clear of the field.  Continuing to run strongly throughout she put herself in a great position and maintained her lead to cross the line a very deserving winner in 11.14.  Kate was having a terrific battle in second place with the above mentioned athletes but her dedication to training over the past month following her return from holidays certainly paid off as she put in a storming finish and despite the best efforts of the Clonmel athlete to catch her Kate came through to finish second in 11.38.  This 1, 2 for the club certainly put them in a strong position for the team title but with the other clubs also running strongly the pressure was on Sarah Healy our next placed athlete to produce the goods and what a way she did, crossing the line in 7th place in 12 mins even to give the club an unbeatable score of 10pts to retain the cup for another year.  Well done to the three athletes involved for a terrific performance.  While all this was going on at the head of the field our further five athletes were each battling away.  Susan Fogarty came through for 13th in 12.14 followed immediately by the ever improving Sinead Tynan in 14th in 12.39.  Sharon Kiely finished 16th just ahead of Bernadette Spillane in 17th timed at 12.40 and 12.47 respectively with Catherine Dunne in 20th in a Pb of 15.03.  These girls combined to finish 5th in the team competition. Again well done to each of the athletes on their excellent performances – all combined and played their part in this latest success story for the club.

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