Moyne Athletic Club 75th Birthday Celebrations

Sunday 17th of September marked the club’s 75th birthday and what better way to celebrate only by hosting an Open Cross-Country event at the iconic ‘Castle Field’. Steeped in tradition all the way back to the 1950’s the Castle Field set the scene for many a County, Munster and All Ireland Championship. The unique layout of the course attracted interest from cross country purists who relished the mix of rolling countryside coupled with tight turns, banks and the famous ‘Beech Ditch’. Sunday was an opportunity for this generation to experience the course and be part of history.

Since 1948 the club has enjoyed much success, developed, and opened its door to 100’s of athletes throughout the years, all I’m sure have fond memories of days donning the green and gold. Our current crop of athletes enjoyed themselves on Sunday with several fine performances from athletes that set them up for the Cross-Country Season ahead.

Proceedings commenced at 12 noon with the girls and boys U9 many of whom had their first taste of cross country running. 500m was the distance where Aoibhinn Doyle was the first Moyne Athlete over the line on the day in an excellent 3rd place. Hot on her heels was Beibhinn Maher (4th), Grace Cantwell (6th), Caoimhe Quinlan (7th), Orla Campion (8th), Daisy Lyons (9th), Aoibhinn Phelan (15th), Harriet Ely (18th), Eilis Shanahan (22nd). The boys U9 were fantastic with Tom Esmonde leading the charge and came away a comfortable winner on the day, he was closely followed by teammates, Noah Ryan (2nd) and James Delaney (6th), Thomas Shanahan (16th), Rian Ely (18th), Aaron Hanrahan (20th), William Ely (23rd), Ben Delaney (25th), Padraig Cleary (27th) and Daniel Behan (28th).

Starter’s Martin Flynn and Dylan McLoughlin did not delay as the racing continued quick and fast, the Girls U11 raced the 1,000m course with Moyne Athletes Lily Murphy (7th), Annie Ely (9th), Doireann Quinlan (11th), Meadhbh Hall (13th) and Emily Bergin (25th) running very well in a nicely contested race. In the boys race, Matthew Esmonde crossed the line in an excellent 2nd place with Darragh Maher (4th) and Tom Renehan (5th) in the top 5. Fionn Phelan was 12th with Geoff Morrissey (14th), Senan Phelan (19th), Zach Ryan (29th), Daniel Delaney (30th) and Owen Meade (32nd) wrapping up the strong boys U11 team. Abbie Delaney was 7th in the girls U13 race with Caoimhe Slevin (7th), Sara McEvoy (10th), Muireann Casey (14th), Isabella Murphy (16th), Amber Doherty (21st) and Faye Murphy (23rd) over the testing 1500m distance. The club representatives of Michael Doyle (17th) and William Morrissey (18th) ran in the boys U13 race and performed well.

Aisling O’ Reilly looked impressive was she won the girls U15 title well clear from runner up Belle Kelly of Dundrum. Belle’s Grandad is Patsy Kiely who resides in the parish of Moyne Templetuohy. Jack Renehan was in the boys equivalent and he must be happy with his result with a podium finish in 3rd place.

The 3 amigos of Michael O’ Mahoney, Aaron Moore and Jake Bowe took the clean sweep in the boy’s U19 race. We look forward to their cross-country season as they do battle with rival clubs at County and provincial level. Emma and Kate Delaney were in the Girls U19 race and this race was combined with the Senior and Master’s ladies race over the 3k distance. It would be the first time the girls would have raced in older company but better still, it was the first occasion that both girls would have raced with their mum Edel over cross country in Moyne singlets. A sight to see and a special occasion for the Delaney family, their contribution to the club is amazing where all family members run for the club. I can report that both Emma and Kate did not let their mum beat them, but I’m sure Edel won’t let this slide and will be ready for the next bout in the near future. Emma and Kate were first and second in the U19 race. Well done to them!

In the Senior/Master’s race the ladies Louise Fogarty (4th), Orla Healy (5th) and Edel Delaney (9th) represented the club extremely well. The club were very well represented by our Senior/Master’s men’s team 4 athlete’s running the 6k event. This meant 4 laps of the circuit and 4 leaps over the beech ditch. A ding dong battle unfolded up the finishing straight, where long time leader Paddy Cummins of Moycarkey Coolcroo AC was reined in by the fast closing Tom Lupton of Ballyskenach AC  to take the final victory of the day! Brendan Delaney worked his way through the field and finished in 18th position. He was followed home by Harry Hogan in 19th place. It was great to see Harry out on the very course his father John had so much success on. John was an exceptional club athlete in the 80s/90s, winning a number of County and Munster titles and its brilliant to have Harry kit out and run very well, keep it up! Richie Daly was close behind in 20thwith John Renehan (21st) rounding off the team placings.

There were 2 perpetual trophies on offer today, them being the Tomas O’ Flynn Memorial Perpetual Cup for the winners of the 2×2 mixed senior/master’s club team and the Jim O’ Meara Perpetual Cup for the overall best juvenile club. Dundrum AC came away worthy winners of the Tomas O’ Flynn Cup and Moyne AC were awarded the best juvenile club on the day. The club are delighted to have the Jim O’ Meara Perpetual cup.

All in all, 12 various clubs from Tipp, Offaly, Laois, Kildare and Cork attended our celebration, we are very thankful for their support along with our local clubs and supporters who travelled. A heartfelt thank you must be given to our sponsors, club members, those who assisted in the lead up and on the day and of course our landowners of Jim O’ Meara and Cantwell family who fully supported the clubs dream of marking this milestone at the Castle Field. Without their willingness none of this would have been possible.

We now can officially kick off the Cross Country and look ahead to the season ahead. As always we encourage and welcome athletes old and new to come along to training and join in this season in what hopes to be an exciting one ahead!