What a day our novice athletes had at the County Novice “B” Cross Country Championships in Galbally on Sunday. Individual and team winners in both races which were run on a tough, hilly and soggy course shows the determination of both the ladies and men to succeed against all the odds.
The ladies 3k started with six athletes from the club in the field and each one ran their hearts out for the club. Angela and Louise Fogarty dominated at the head of the race, Susan Fogarty made great headway in the chasing group while Ber Spillane, Catherine Dunne and Aisling Maher were playing their part in the heart of the field. Angela and Louise continued to push the pace and only Yvonne O’Connor from Clonmel was able to keep with them. The race turned out to be between these three but Angela made her move on the second of the two laps and never looked back from there to the line to win the title in convincing fashion. Louise pushed hard throughout to finish third with Susan coming through the field to take fourth and with a score of 8pts the girls were convincing winners of the team title – the club’s fourth in a row at this level. Ber Spillane finished 12th with Catherine Dunne 14th and Aisling Maher 15th to seal the 5th spot in the team competition. A huge congratulations to each of the six girls for their efforts on Sunday and indeed over the whole of the cross country season.
The club also had six representatives in the Men’s 6k and again despite all the odds being stacked against them they produced the goods on the day. Stephen Flanagan took up the running from the start and forced the pace along, stretching the field out. He maintained his form throughout the race, fought hard on the last lap and came home 3rd overall to win his first individual county medal at this level. Behind him both Richard Daly and Jody Sweeney were running two great races as they moved through the field to eventually finish in an excellent 7th and 8th respectively. On a score of 18pts the team were very much in the hunt for the county title but agonisingly were just one point short of the target to finish in the silver medal position. Paddy Doyle, Brian Carroll, and Patrick Bowe were also doing their utmost for the club and finishing 10th, 18th and 20th respectively they combined to finish 5th in the team competition.
The huge effort put in by both the ladies and men on Sunday is to be commended. Each member of the two squads had their own important part to play in these successes and surely further success in the top tier cannot be too far away.