Not since the 1980’s has a club team tasted success at the County Novice Road Championships but on home ground on Sunday that all changed with our ladies pulling out all the stops to claim the title of County Novice Road Champions 2016. Such was their powerful performances throughout the race that third team prize was also secured by the ladies.
36 athletes faced the starter in the 3k race and this included an incredible 12 athletes from the club. Considering a couple of years ago the club was struggling at this level it is a huge testament to John Flynn who has encouraged and nurtured each and every one of them. While the ladies are spread around the Country there is a great team spirit emanating from them and this certainly showed on Sunday. Angela Fogarty proved to be a team leader with a great performance over the Burma route. She ran a terrific race, putting pressure on the leader throughout, and at the finish was just three seconds adrift finishing second in 11.28. Two further club athletes Louise Fogarty and Lorraine Healy were equally impressive and were vying for the third spot with an athlete from Clonmel. Following a frantic finish where just 1 second separated all three, Louise got the nod to finish third in 11.38 with Lorraine fifth in 11.39. With a score of 10 points the three girls were clear winners of the team event bringing the cup back to Moyne for the first time since the 1980’s. While all this was happening up front and bearing in mind the competitive nature of the race where the top 10 ladies all finished in under 12 minutes young Orla Healy in her first outing as a novice athlete was running very strongly and mixing it with the best to finish in 11th place in a time of 12.01. Coming through to take 15th and 16th place in what proved to be two vital positions were Susan Fogarty and Brigid Gleeson timed at 12.27 and 12.30 respectively and on a score of 42pts this trio also visited the winners’ rostrum when finishing an excellent third in the team event. Just two places behind in 18th place was Kate Harrison in a time of 12.38 with Sarah Healy hot on her heels in 19th in 12.42 and Edel Leahy 23rd in 13.17 with these three girls sixth in the team competition. Ber Spillane came through to take 27th place timed at 13.39, Sharon Cantwell 29th in 14.03 and Sinead Tynan 30th in 14.16 to finish 9th in the team competition.
While the six ladies who collected team medals deserve that accolade the winning of the cup was a real team effort with all twelve athletes playing an equally important role mixing it up with the other five clubs from Clonmel, Dundrum, Thurles Crokes and Moreabbey Milers. Well done to each of them on their performances and it was also great to see two returning athletes running on Sunday one of whom has been dogged by injury over the past couple of years. Hard work and dedication certainly pays off.