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Loughrea on top in Connacht Cross-Country PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Tobin   
Tuesday, 07 November 2006

The final day of the Connacht Cross-County was held in Dangan at the weekend where the juvenile even age groups and master/intermediate men and women battled hard for Connacht honours. Dry underfoot conditions prevailed except for one or two places on the Dangan turf where runners had to tread carefully. The Galway clubs did well across all the age groups with the top performance coming from the Loughrea AC team in the Master Men 7000m where Martin Corcoran put in an exceptional performance at the front to take the gold medal ahead of Mayo stalwart Paddy Murray.

Corcoran has recently returned from injury and showed top form to win this race. Corcoran’s team-mate John Mannion raced into the bronze medal position and with his team-mates Pat Hannon finishing 6th and Gerry Broderick 11th, Loughrea took the team title from Mayo AC with a score of 21 points against Mayo’s 24. GCH took the bronze medal in the team event with a score of 39 points (4 John O'Brien, 8 Martin McEvilly, 12 John Devlin, 15 Thomas Porter) while Ballinasloe took 4th place with 79 points (17 John Costello, 19 Michael Burke, 21 Brendan Payne, 22 Noel Gavin, 23 Peter McCormack).

In the Intermediate Men’s 10000m, Galway again dominated taking the first 4 places and the team gold. GCH’s Ruaidhri Geraghty took the individual gold with Brian O’Connor 2nd (Athenry), Ronan O'Flynn 3rd (Castlegar) and Dara O'Brien 4th (Loughrea). Athenry were led to team gold by O’Connor followed by Mick Rice (5th), Alan Burke (7th) and Gary Doherty (8th). In the Intermediate Women 4000m, GCH took gold and silver with Michelle Lynch and Jean O’Connor, while in the Master Women 4000m Ballinasloe’s Anne Burke narrowly missed out on the medals in 4th place.

Earlier in the day, the racing kicked off with the U12 Girls 1000m at noon. This is a particularly strong age group in Connacht and there were some splendid performances from Athenry and Craughwell runners to feature in the silverware. Craughwell’s Orla McDaid put in her best race to date to lead the race with about 200m to go but could not hold onto the leaders at that point. Fantastic running from Athenry’s Maria Touhy and Orlaith McGrath over the final stages took them into 2nd and 4th place, sealing a bronze team medal for their team with 53 pts which was completed by Maria Cooney (22nd), Lorna Hannon (25th), Louise Brennan, Tara Murphy and Emma Grady. Craughwell took the silver medal with 48 pts and a superb team performance led home by McDaid in 8th place and followed by Laura Porter (9th), Muireann Moloney (17th), Sinead Gaffney (17th), Sarah Molloy and Caoimhe Quill. Ballinasloe narrowly missed out on the medals by 3 points, finishing 4th with 56 points (5 Kate Burke, 12 Annie May Bourne, 15 Michelle Burke, 24 Veronica Burke, Mary Walsh, Rebecca Goode).

The U12 Boys 1000m did not prove as fruitful for Galway clubs.  A strong team performance saw Craughwell take the bronze medal with 65 points (14 Brendan Gallagher, 16 Jack Raftery, 17 Paul Joyce, 18 PJ Kelly, Cathal Coppinger, Pádraic Hannon). Strong running also saw Ballinasloe’s Eoin McCormack take the individual bronze medal, followed closely by GCH’s Colm Hughes in 4th place – a fantastic performance considering he is a year younger than the other athletes in the race.

In the U14 girls 1200m, Ballinasloe put in an exceptional team performance with 4 runners in the top 12 to easily take the gold medal with a score of 28 points. The Ballinasloe team were led home Claire Burke in individual silver position, followed by U13 athlete Sive Brassil in 4th, Lorna Payne 10th, Chantal Muldoon 12th and Orlath Fahy. Craughwell team took 4th place with a score of 74 points (8 Linda Porter, 13 Ashley McDonnell, 18 Aoife Callanan, 35 Noreen Murphy). Craughwell again featured near the top in the U14 Boys 1500m – the first juvenile race of the day to hit the difficult hilly part of the course that the senior races included. Craughwell were led to team bronze with a fine run by David Concannon to take 5th position followed by Niall Rooney (16th), Tomas Keehan (20th), Michael Hannon (21st), David Farrell and Paul McGill.

The U16 Girls 2000m saw Galway athletes again take the top four positions with Irene Gorman 1st (GCH), Rachel Finnegan 2nd (Craughwell), Rachel Shaw 3rd (GCH) and Eimear Hanahoe 4th (GCH). The GCH team won the gold medal with a low score of 16 points, with the team completed by Anna Shelton in 8th followed by Niamh Walsh and Lynsey Trainor. GCH again were on top in the U16 boys 3000m taking the gold with a score of 48 points (9 Seamus O'Conghaile, 10 David Gow, 14 Alan Campbell, 15 Stephen Connolly, Sean Diskin). The final juvenile race of the day in which Galway athletes featured saw GCH’s Nicola O'Ceallaigh take the gold medal with Loughrea’s Laura Shaughnessy taking bronze.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 November 2006 )
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