County Titles for Fiona and Freddy

The final event of the year on the Wexford Athletics calendar took place on Sunday last when Kilmore Athletics Club hosted the Mr Oil Wexford Senior Cross Country Championships in Lingstown. By mid-morning the sun had burned through the last of the fog to reveal the full splendour of one of the best cross country courses in Ireland. Kilmore’s John Moore and his team designed a lap that took in the vast extent of the sprawling well-drained terrain while, at the same time, ensuring that there were a few testing inclines and mucky gaps to negotiate. In other words, a tough but fair course. Former champion amateur rider and point-to-point specialist Jamie Codd hit the nail on the head in describing Lingstown as “a huge big galloping track”, one made for fast running. 

Pre-race favourite in the women’s 5km Fiona Kehoe had obviously read the script as she made her intentions clear from the gun. Only clubmate Elaine Cardiff and Croghan’s Clodagh Kelly chose to go with her fast early pace. It didn’t take Elaine too long to curb her enthusiasm and to moderate her pace while the other two pulled away from her. Midway through the two and a half lap course it was clear that his was Fiona’s day as her relentless pace saw Clodagh losing ground. The Kilmore girl looked majestic as she powered her way around the last lap, going on to take another county title, while Clodagh maintained a solid pace all the way to the line to take the silver well clear of Elaine in the bronze medal position. Kate Reidy of United Striders finished strongly in fourth place.

A dominant Kilmore packed really well to take the team title with Fiona and Elaine backed up by Sharon Cloney 5th and Sinéad O’Brien 6th (15 points). United Striders were second team with Reidy 4th, Beth O’Connor 11th, Mary Sinnott 12th and Theresa McDonald 13th (40 points). Team bronze went to SBR with Belinda Kehoe first home in 8th place, Lillian Lawless 10th, Ciara Kelly 15th and Danielle Hennessy 16th(49 points).

A big field lined out in the men’s 5-lap 10km race. With Ger Forde absent, nobody was calling a pre-race favourite. As in the women’s race, there was an early break-away trio with Slaney Olympic duo Enda Cloake and Dave Mahon leading out, closely tracked by Freddy Keron Stituk of SBR.  50 metres or so behind them were Mark Poole (Croghan) and Denis Whelan (Slaney Olympic) with a larger group led by SBR’s Myles Gibbons 20 metres further back. Into the second full lap and Cloake decided to try his luck with a rapid surge which took him 10 metres clear of Mahon and Keron Stituk. The gap back to Poole and Whelan was now closer to 100m with Myles Gibbons on his own another 10 metres back. Father and son duo, Alan and Adam O’Connor were 5 metres behind him, accompanied by clubmate James Boland and Slaney Olympic’s Seán ‘Bosco’ Crotty. Even at this early stage the majority of the field was well strung out around the course. 

The outcome of the race was decided on the next lap as Freddy Keron Stituk first of all reeled in Cloake and then moved ahead to open a 20-30 metre gap, while the latter opened a similar gap on Mahon. Poole and Gibbons were still matching each other stride for stride while behind them there was a good stretch back to a tiring Denis Whelan. The chasing Striders trio of O’Connor, O’Connor and Boland could smell blood as they worked their way free of Bosco Crotty. The race followed a fairly predictable course from here. Right up to the last lap the gap between the leading duo stayed pretty constant but once Freddy got a whiff of the finish line he was up and away, knowing that this was his day. The SBR man cruised home to take his first county title. Enda stayed strong all the way to the line to take silver and a delighted David Mahon looked positively perky as he stormed down the home straight to take the bronze. There was an epic battle for 4th spot with Myles Gibbons having to lay it all on the line to keep the fast-finishing Mark Poole at bay. Myles took 4th place but both were accredited with the same time.  

Not surprisingly Slaney Olympic won the team event with Enda Cloake 2nd, Dave Mahon 3rd, Denis Whelan 8th and Seán ‘Bosco’ Crotty 12th.  United Striders took silver with strong runs from James Boland 6th, Alan O’Connor 7th, Adam O’Connor 9th and Joe Lillis 10th.  Freddy Keron Stituk led SBR to team bronze backed up by Myles Gibbons 4th, Denis Moynihan 17th and Niall O’Connor 18th

Hero of the day? SBR’s evergreen Billy Harpur may have been last across the line but he received the biggest cheer. People have lost count at this stage as to how many County Senior races Billy has run but we are definitely talking in terms of “time immemorial”. He is one of the privileged few who gets an annual invitation to the Dublin City Marathon as he has never missed the event since it started in 1980.

Senior Women 5000m  

1 Fiona Kehoe Kilmore A.C. 19.13

2 Clodagh Kelly Croghan  A.C. 19.47

3 Elaine Cardiff Kilmore A.C. 20.32

4 Kate Reidy United Striders A.C. 20.51

5 Sharon Cloney  Kilmore A.C. 21.00

6 Sinéad O’Brien  Kilmore A.C. 21.34

7 Clare Barrett Kilmore A.C. 22.09

8 Belinda Kehoe Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 22.21

9 Helen Doyle  Kilmore A.C. 22.24

10 Lillian Lawless Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 22.43

11 Beth O’Connor United Striders A.C. 22.54

12 Mary Sinnott United Striders A.C. 23.11

13 Theresa McDonald United Striders A.C. 23.35

14 Sinéad Cullen United Striders A.C. 24.20

15 Ciara Kelly Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 24.49

16 Danielle Hennessy Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 24.52

17 Esther O’Leary Slaney Olympic A.C. 24.53

18 Mary Gaynor Menapians A.C. 24.57

19 Catherine O’Connor Menapians A.C. 25.50

20 Tracey Kavanagh Slaney Olympic A.C. 25.56

21 Orla Keogh Slaney Olympic A.C. 27.21

22 Greta Roberts Tyrrell Slaney Olympic A.C. 30.46

23 Bernie Millar Slaney Olympic A.C. 31.18

Inter Club Competition  

1 Kilmore A.C. 15 pts (1,3,5,6) 

2 United Striders A.C. 40 pts (4,11,12,13) 

3 Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 49 pts (8,10,15,16) 

4 Slaney Olympic A.C. 80 pts (17,20,21,22) 

Senior Men 10,000m  

1 Freddy Keron Stituk Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 33.59

2 Enda Cloake Slaney Olympic A.C. 34.10

3 David Mahon Slaney Olympic A.C. 34.34

4 Myles Gibbons Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 36.14

5 Mark Poole Croghan  A.C. 36.14

6 James Boland United Striders A.C. 36.38

7 Alan O’Connor United Striders A.C. 36.39

8 Denis Whelan Slaney Olympic A.C. 36.46

9 Adam O’Connor United Striders A.C. 37.15

10 Joe Lillis United Striders A.C. 37.40

11 Pat Foley Croghan  A.C. 37.40

12 Seán Crotty Slaney Olympic A.C. 37.49

13 Kevin Morris Croghan  A.C. 37.57

14 Colin Carney United Striders A.C. 38.04

15 Pat Callaghan United Striders A.C. 38.35

16 MJ Furlong Slaney Olympic A.C. 38.50

17 Denis Moynihan Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 38.57

18 Niall O’Connor Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 39.06

19 John Byrne United Striders A.C. 39.07

20 John Mc Grath United Striders A.C. 39.12

21 James Porter Croghan  A.C. 39.18

22 John Foley Slaney Olympic A.C. 39.19

23 Ger Maloney Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 39.34

24 Pat Murray United Striders A.C. 39.37

25 Brian Besansen Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 40.02

26 Tom Moran  United Striders A.C. 40.11

27 Padraig Coone Slaney Olympic A.C. 40.21

28 Martin Monaghan Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 40.35

29 Tommy Mc Elwain Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 40.43

30 Brian O’Shaughnessy St Killians A.C. 40.47

31 Paul Gibbons Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 40.49

32 Brian Kearney Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 40.49

33 Connell Cooper Slaney Olympic A.C. 40.49

34 Conor Hyland  Slaney Olympic A.C. 41.06

35 Brian Maher Croghan  A.C. 41.10

36 Seán Murphy United Striders A.C. 41.15

37 Jim O’Malley Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 41.22

38 Fabian Flood United Striders A.C. 41.26

39 John Hickey United Striders A.C. 41.31

40 Adrian Doyle Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 41.33

41 Ted Flannelly United Striders A.C. 41.50

42 Colin Garry Slaney Olympic A.C. 42.00

43 Kenny Rothwell Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 42.18

44 Gordon Quinn Kilmore A.C. 43.04

45 Bobby Redmond Slaney Olympic A.C. 43.09

46 Andrew Dowse Croghan  A.C. 43.18

47 Seán Doyle Kilmore A.C. 43.23

48 Mick Quigley Slaney Olympic A.C. 43.34

49 Emmett Malone United Striders A.C. 44.01

50 Seán Meaney United Striders A.C. 44.18

51 Brian Kelly Croghan  A.C. 44.20

52 Lachen Aouissar Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 44.21

53 Dirk Adricham United Striders A.C. 44.32

54 Gavin Hayes Menapians A.C. 44.33

55 Eugene Doherty Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 44.42

56 Dermot Foley Menapians A.C. 46.15

57 Fergus Murphy Slaney Olympic A.C. 47.41

58 Allan Ronan Slaney Olympic A.C. 48.09

59 Ger Murphy Slaney Olympic A.C. 52.22

60 Billy Harper Sliabh Buidhe Rovers A.C. 68.32

Inter Club Competition  

1 Slaney Olympic A.C. 25 pts (2,3,8,12)

2 United Striders A.C. 32 pts (6,7,9,10) 

3 SBR A.C. 40 pts (1,4,17,18) 

4 Croghan A.C. 50 pts (5,11,12,31)