Barrett and Boland take County Novice Titles

The Mr Oil Wexford Novice Cross country Championships were held in Ferns on Sunday, October 31st. Conditions were as bad as they could be with relentless driving rain and strong winds. In other words, classic cross country conditions! 

Clare Barret of DMP, recent winner of the Wexford Intermediate race, was the clear pre-race favourite in the women’s 4km event. She took it out from the gun, being tracked for the first kilometre by Sandra Young of United Striders and Croghan’s Suzanne Keane. Clare made a decisive move at the start of the one long climb on the lap, going on to open a good margin on her pursuers. On the second lap Sandra Young, alone in second place, was joined by team mate Katie Murphy, with the Croghan girls, Suzanne Keane and Sharon Weafer, behind her. There was then a gap to the main chasing group with athletes from Croghan, Striders and SBR all working hard to hold or gain positions in the battle for team honours. Back at the other end of the race, Barrett looked strong and composed as she galloped up the long drag to the finish. She had a hefty 54 seconds to spare over second placed Katie Murphy, the latter having pulled clear from Sandra Young at the start of the long climb for home. Sandra stayed on to take the bronze. Suzanne Keane finished a little off the pace in fourth. 

The team gold went to Croghan with 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th places (26 points). United Striders took second place (31 points) with SBR third (46 points).

The men had to navigate 6km, or three and a half laps, in persistent heavy rain. The ground at this stage was cutting up quite a bit with sitting water leading to a few mucky patches. 

A group of four set the early pace with Scott James, United Striders, setting the pace, clubmate James Boland on his shoulder and Seán Crotty of Slaney Olympic and Kevin Morris, Croghan, well in contact. A little behind them was a chasing duo, a gap, a chasing quartet, a gap and then the main pack.

On the second lap Kevin Morris had dropped off the pace slightly and Seán Crotty had taken up the lead. James Boland was happy to sit on his shoulder. Early leader Scott James looked like he was at risk of losing contact. Going into the downhill section for the last time the race was between Crotty and Boland. But a lot can happen in a mile, especially when one is running into a strong headwind and facing an energy-sapping climb to the finish. Boland got the bit between his teeth, got out in front and set his sights on the finish line, while Scott James found some hidden reserves and overhauled Crotty. Boland, however, was too strong for him, and he went on to take the title with five seconds to spare on his fast-finishing clubmate in the silver medal position. Bronze went to Seán Crotty.  

There was an exciting sprint for fourth place with another Striders athlete Pat Cullen finishing a mere stride ahead of Alan Carton of Slaney Olympic. Kevin Morris, having exhausted the bulk of his energies in the early part of the race, finished in sixth place, a single second ahead of the Striders veteran Pat Callaghan. There were a number other exciting sprint finishes down the field, notably one involving SBR duo Séan Byrne and Tomás Breen during which they almost knocked each other over in the rush for the line!

United Striders were convincing winners of the team gold with 1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th places (14 points). The importance of fighting for every single place saw  could be seeing in the tussle for team silver with Slaney Olympic taking the runner-up spot on 39 points, a single point ahead of United Striders second team in the bronze medal position.

Results Novice Women, 4000m
1 Clare Barrett DMP A.C. 16.52
2 Katie Murphy United Striders A.C. 17.46
3 Sandra Young United Striders A.C. 18.07
4 Suzanne Keane Croghan A.C. 18.22
5 Sharon Wafer Croghan A.C. 18.31
6 Mairead Furlong Bree A.C. 18.48
7 Ciara Kelly SBR A.C. 18.56
8 Davina Walker Croghan A.C. 18.57
9 Elaine Ahern Croghan A.C. 19.00
10 Sian Law SBR A.C. 19.05
11 Sinead Cullen United Striders A.C. 19.06
12 Louise Cosgrave SBR A.C. 19.12
13 Marie Kinsella Slaney Olympic A.C. 20.04
14 Mary Gaynor Menapians A.C. 20.19
15 Liz Conway United Striders A.C. 20.33
16 Tracey Kavanagh Slaney Olympic A.C. 20.58
17 Mairead O’Neill SBR A.C. 20.40
18 Mag Cahill Slaney Olympic A.C. 21.16
19 Yvonne Murphy SBR A.C. 21.17
20 Claire Gibbons SBR A.C. 21.21
21 Orla Keogh Slaney Olympic A.C. 21.34

Women’s Inter Club Competition
1 Croghan A.C. 26 pts (4,5,8,9)
2 United Striders A.C. 31 pts (2,3,11,15)
3 SBR A.C. 46 pts (7,10,12,17)
4 Slaney Olympic A.C. 68 pts (13,16,18,21)

Results Novice Men, 6000m
1 James Boland United Striders A.C. 22.10
2 Scott James United Striders A.C. 22.15
3 Seán Crotty Slaney Olympic A.C. 22.28
4 Pat Culleton United Striders A.C. 22.41
5 Alan Carton Slaney Olympic A.C. 22.43
6 Kevin Morris Croghan A.C. 22.48
7 Pat Callaghan United Striders A.C. 22.49
8 Colin Carney United Striders A.C. 23.06
9 Tomas Harrington United Striders A.C. 23.08
10 James Porter Croghan A.C. 23.09
11 Pat Murray United Striders A.C. 23.27
12 Tomas Moran United Striders A.C. 23.39
13 Padraig Cooney Slaney Olympic A.C. 23.51
14 Brian Besanson SBR A.C. 24.00
15 Nicky Foley Kilmore A.C. 24.05
16 Tony Harper Menapians A.C. 24.27
17 John Hickey United Striders A.C. 24.35
18 Mick Quigley Slaney Olympic A.C. 24.48
19 Kenny Rothwell SBR A.C. 24.53
20 Adrian Doyle SBR A.C. 24.56
21 Jamie Cullen United Striders A.C. 25.07
22 Padraig Barron United Striders A.C. 25.21
23 Kevin Doyle DMP A.C. 25.27
24 Billy Reck Slaney Olympic A.C. 25.34
25 Michael King Croghan A.C. 25.49
26 Dirk Adrichem United Striders A.C. 25.52
27 Liam Bowe Racing 795 A.C. 25.57
28 Seán Doyle Kilmore A.C. 26.05
29 Dermot Foley Menapians A.C. 26.11
30 Liam Traynor United Striders A.C. 26.25
31 Seán Byrne SBR A.C. 26.33
32 Tomás Breen SBR A.C. 26.33
33 Gavin Hayes Menapians A.C. 26.54
34 Eugene Doherty SBR A.C. 27.09
35 Brian Kelly Croghan A.C. 27.55
36 Jimmy Grannell Slaney Olympic A.C. 28.07
37 Chris Bent Menapians A.C. 28.22
38 Rory Cassidy Kilmore A.C. 28.27
39 Alan Ronan Slaney Olympic A.C. 28.51
40 John Dier Menapians A.C. 31.00
41 Darren O’Grady Menapians A.C. 31.53
42 Johnny Glynn Croghan A.C. 32.57

Men’s Inter Club Competition
1 United Striders A.C. 14 pts (1,2,4,7)
2 Slaney Olympic A.C. 39 pts (3,5,13,18)
3 United Striders A.C. 40 pts (8,9,11,12)
4 Croghan A.C. 76 pts (6,10,25,35)
5 United Striders A.C. 83 pts (17,21,22,26)
6 SBR A.C. 84pts (14,19,20,31)
7 Menapians A.C. 115 pts (16,29,33,37)

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