Archive for February, 2011

Senior title relinguished as DSD sweep the boards

Feb 27, 2011 [Noel Guiden] After a seven year stretch as National Cross Country Champions from 2004 to 2010 the streak came to an end at home in Santry Demesne yesterday as the Clonliffe men`s team were well beaten by both DSD and Raheny Shamrocks. With the ovenight news of Mark Kenneally`s withdrawl from the race with a reoccurance of a back injury the writing was on the wall and the cause wasn`t helped when Gary O`Hanlon`s ankle went half was around the first lap forcing his to take the early bath. There was, however, an excellent battle for supremacy between old rivals Raheny and DSD with the southsiders prevailing thanks to the form of pre race favourite Joe Sweeney who ran away with the title and an excellent run from U/23 European Cross hero Brendan O`Neill in 2nd place. A great return to form also today from Mick Clohissey of Raheny in 3rd. In the end DSD were worthy winners on 25 points, Raheny 2nd on 47 and Clonliffe a distant 3rd on 60.

From a Clonliffe prespective there were very good performances on the day by Sergiu Ciobanu, who always does the business in the Nationals, in 6th place, Dave Flynn in his first senior National in 12th and John Heneghan 13th. Good runs also from Lorcan Cronin 29th, Paolo Dogilo 30th and Cian McLoughlin who was another injury victim. The B team also ran well further down the field in what was one of the biggest enteries in a number of years, Niall Sherlock 70th, Conor Delaney 91st, Philip O`Doherty 93rd, Mark Birmingham 96th and The Real Thing Eoin Murray 104th. It was also great to see Chris Cariss, another on the injury list, home supporting the lads.

The senior women`s race was won in convincing style by Ava Hutchinson (DSD) from Eilish Kelly (Raheny). With DSD also taking team honours from Raheny 2nd and Sportsworld 3rd. The sole Clonliffe athlete in this race was Becky Woods who unfortunately was force out at around two thirds distance.

Earlier in the day, the first race in fact, the Clonliffe Junior women`s team did very well indeed winning National bronze with Ashling Aherne 10th, a really good run, 16th Laura Brennan, 17th Denise O`Callaghan and 18th Roisin Leahy. The race was, as expected, won by the exceptional Siofra Clerigh Buttner leading home DSD to their first of four team titles today.

The junior men`s race was won in fine style by another pre race favourite Shane Quinn (Ferrybank). There was a great battle for 2nd place which was taken by Raheny`s Kevin Dooney with Liam Brady (Tullamore) 3rd. DSD again taking the team title from Mullingar and Ennis Track club. A great run in this race by Clonliffe`s Ian Guiden getting himself into the lead pack from the off and then battling gamely over the final lap to take 7th place. Fintan Doherty was 23rd, Mark McKenzie battled through the pain barrier to run an excellent final lap in 37th with Ronan Doyle 38th. Liam Ashton was stepping up in distance considerably as was young John Buckley and both stepped up to the mark placing 40th and 44th. Eoin McCullogh was 46th, Mark 50th and Johnny Bradley Ward 51st. The team placed 6th.

In the end it must be said it was a disappointing day for the club in our 125 celebrations, however, there are was a steely resolve post event to roll up our sleeves and work to get back up where we belong.

As regards the championships the club did put on an excellent event with an army of club men and women out on Friday and Saturday putting the whole show together. The club would like to thank everyone involved, and also Fingal County Council for use of the Park, the Morton Stadium for the facitites use and the Gardai in Santry.

Gregan crowned Irish champion

Feb 20, 2011 [Jeremy Lyons] Brian Gregan totally dominated today Mens 400m Final winning the race by over two seconds. Gregan clocked 47.01 and looked seriously impressive in doing it. Gregan looked calm and focused beforehand with most of the nervous action in the front row seats down the back straight where Coach Shields was nervously twitching trying to get comfortable in his seat. Gregan, drawn in the outside lane 4, took the race by the scruff of the neck and went through 200m in 22.47. He powered down the backstraight the second time around and was strong to the line and won with a massive gap to second. Gregan now heads to Paris for the European Indoors. Ciaran Mackey made it a Clonliffe double of sorts by taking the B Final in 50.62.

Marcin Klinkosz cleared 2.00m for the first time in a Clonliffe vest and was an excellent third place. Afterwards Marcin said “more to come” and reckons he can go higher come the summer as the jumping conditions were not great today.

The Mens 60m had three Clonliffe men in the semi-finals. Danny Kavanagh was the man to watch going in but in the shape of his life he false started and the ‘one false start’ rule saw him thrown out. Conor Coleman and Patrick O’ Conner also failed to progress but with Keith Pike and Stuart Roche doing well in the Dublin Indoors this week the mens 4 x 100 squad is starting to show real depth.

The Men’s 60m Hurdles saw Conor McCrossan and Chris Minn in the same Semi-Final and while neither progressed to the final unoffical times suggest they both got PBs.

Conor Healy finished 8th in the 1500m in 3:57 and while disappointed afterwards said ‘its more about the outdoors’ and he can now focus on being ready for the early summer races.

Finally, our sole woman competing today, Snezana Bechtina, ran a huge PB in the Womens 200m to take the B Final and 5th overall in 26.27. She has shown grown improvements in the past few weeks so it was great to see her get further reward today.

All in all a decent championships with two Golds and two bronze.

Donegan wins National Indoor

Feb 20, 2011 [Jeremy Lyons] Dave Donegan retained his indoor pole vault title in Belfast last night. He cleared 4.80 to win with clubmate Ian Rogers in 3rd with 4.60.

Elsewhere, Brian Gregan will go to the line in today’s 400m final as hot favourite after dominating last nights heats. He ran 48.47 while Ciaran Mackey ran 50.35 and has made the B Final.

Danny Kavanagh was very impressive with a 6.98 to win his heat of the 60m. A big breakthrough the landmark 7 second barrier. Conor Coleman (7.17 PB) and Patrick O’ Conner (7.12) also progressed to today’s semi-final. Stephen Commiskey (7.28) and Chris Minn (7.56) failed to progress.

Conor Healy strolled into the final of the 1500 running 3:58 in the heats while John Fagan ran 1:55 in the 800 but failed to make the final.

Dublin juvenile success

Feb 19, 2011 [Noel Guiden] Friday the 18th was day 1 of a mammoth 6 day Dublin Juvenile Indoor championships which featured the indoor field events at the indoor arena in the Morton Stadium. There were gold medal winning performances from three Clonliffe athletes: Megan Comber in the girls U/16 long jump with a 5 m. plus PB, Andrew Heary boys U/17 high jump and Alex Aneaybume boys U/19 long jump. The championships continued (out doors) on Saturday at Tallaght Stadium with 200m sucess for Clonliffe as Keith Pike and Stuart Roche took U/18 and U/19 gold . Returning indoors to the Morton Stadium today Sunday for further field events where young Andrea Lidvoa once again excelled in the boys U/14 shot with a Gold medal winning performance of 9.17m.

Great day at Aviva Schools cross country

Feb 17, 2011 [Noel Guiden ] On Wednesday the 16th of February Clonliffe Harriers hosted for the Irish Schools Athletics Association the Aviva Leinster Schools Cross Country Championships. The young athletes in action produced some excellent performances over a demanding cross country course. After the rain all week Wednesday morning dawned bright, frosty and sunny, however, the damage had been done and Santry Demesne was pretty muddy indeed, particularly over the back section of the course. Star performers on the day were undoubtedly Kevin Dooney (CBS Monkstown) with a superb victory in the boys senior race, Siofra Clerigh-Buttner (Col. Iosagain) in the intermediate girls race and from a Clonliffe perspective Ian Guiden 5th in the senior boys race and Liam Ashton 8th in the intermediate boys race.

Proceedings got underway precisely at 12 noon with a huge field in the minor girls race, the girls running one 1500m lap and the race was won in fine style by Nadia Elton-Power.

Again there was a huge field in the minor boys race, the minor boys running over 2000 metres. Indeed the field in this race was probably the biggest of the day. Race winner was Glen Gaffney of St. Mary’s Mullingar. From a Clonliffe perspective there was an excellent performance from Clonliffe new recruit Patrick O’Hanlon who ran very well indeed to finish a most credible 28th place.

Clonliffe had two athletes in the junior girls race, West Leinster Champion Rachel Murray had a very good run to finish in the top 15 and qualify for the All Ireland finishing in 12th position. A good run also in this race from Kate Hession in what was her biggest cross country race to date. The junior girls champion was Ella Fennelly (Mount Anville).

Strangely enough from a club perspective we had no athletes at all in the junior boys race, in a race won by Jack Reid of St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge.

The intermediate girls race was, as expected, dominated by Siofra Clerigh-Buttner with a gun to finishing line winning performance coming some ten days after her superb bronze medal for her club DSD in the European Junior Clubs Cross Country in Milan.

A good run in this race from Clonliffe’s Elaine Begley who finished 29th, 3500 metres in the mud is a pretty different proposition from Elaine’s normal 400 metre hurdles event.

We had a number of athletes running in the intermediate boys race. Liam Ashton continues to develop as an athlete of considerable promise once again having a very strong race for St. Aidan’s finishing St. Aidan’s first scorer in 8th place. John Buckley also ran well to finish 30th with Craig McCourt 38th and Conor King 52nd. Despite a serious fall in the mud Ryan Cleary battled on gamely. The winner of the intermediate boys race was Aaron Hughes who overhauled pre-race favourite Shane Fitzsimons in the last 400/600.

On then to the senior girls race, the senior girls running 2500 metres. There were a number of the Clonliffe girls in this race with the club’s first finisher in 15th place being Ashling Aherne. A good run also from Laura Brennan in 20th with a strong sprint in the line gathering in a number of places. Denise Callaghan, having sat her mock English Leaving Cert paper earlier in the day, 23rd and Roisin Leahy 24th. Irene Falvey also ran well in this race. These girls make up the nucleus of the junior women’s team which will do battle in the Nationals on the same course on Saturday the 26th of February. The race was won by Marie Aine Ni Shuilleabhain.

The last race of the day was the senior boys race with an eagerly awaited dual between Kevin Dooney and Liam Brady. The in form Dooney took the race by the scruff of the neck during the course of the first lap to power away for a superb win from Brady with Jake Byrne a comfortable 3rd. From a Clonliffe perspective Ian Guiden had another excellent run to finish in 5th place having lost a spike on the final lap. Fintan Doherty showed a real return to form finishing very strongly in 10th place with Mark McKenzie battling with injury running strongly for St. Aidan’s to finish 26th, Eoin McCullough (Belvedere) was 32nd with Johnny Bradley-Ward looking strong in 36th place. Ronan Doyle was the victim of a spiking and was forced to pull out of the race.

The first three teams in each race and the first fifteen individuals have earned the right to take part in the All Ireland Schools Final which takes place on Saturday the 12th of March the venue yet to be confirmed. Alan O’Neill again did an excellent job with St. Aidan’s successfully guiding three of his four teams through to the All Ireland decider and the lads were rewarded by being named boys school of the day.

The event itself was very successful and the Irish Schools Athletics Association were fulsome in their praise of the Clonliffe members who turned out from early in the morning to mark out the course and marshall throughout the course of a long day. Thanks also to the Morton Stadium for use of their facilities and to the Gardaí in Santry for their help and assistance.

The next big cross country day is the National Inter-clubs on Saturday week and the Club President Paddy Marley who is the Event Director appeals to all members to make themselves available to assist on the day. If you can assist and have not already put your name forward would you email as soon as possible.

Aviva Leinster Schools Cross Country Results



1. Kevin Dooney – CBC Monkstown

2. Liam Brady – St Brendan’s Birr

3. Jake Byrne – St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge


1. Knockbeg College Carlow – 55 pts

2. St Aidan’s CBS – 118 pts

3. Belvedere College – 119pts


1. Aaron Hughes – St Mary’s Drogheda

2. Shane Fitzsimons – St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge

3. Cillian O’Maonigh – Colaiste Eoin

Teams: 1. St Fintan’s Sutton – 89 pts

2. Knockbeg Collge – 118 pts

3. St Mary’s Mullingar – 121 pts


1. Jack Reid – St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge

2. Liam McGiolla Phadraig – Colaiste Eoin

3. Harry Larkin – Castleknock CC


1. St Kieran’s Kilkenny – 56 pts

2. St Fintan’s Sutton – 121 pts

3. St Aidan’s CBS – 131 pts


1. Glen Gaffney – St Mary’s Mullingar

2. Oisin Fitzgibbon – Salesian Celbridge

3. Jack Kyle – King’s Hospital


1. St Mary’s Mullingar – 35 pts

2. Salesian Celbridge – 74 pts

3. St Aidan’s CBS – 97 pts



1. Maire Aine Ni Shuilleabhain – Gael Colaiste Ceatharlach

2. Mary Mulhare – Presentation Portlaoise

3. Niamh Kearney – Loreto Dalkey


1. Colaiste Iosagain – 21 pts

2. St Dominic’s Cabra – 44pts

3. Presentation Kilkenny – 57 pts


1. Siofra Cleirigh Buttner – Colaiste Iosagain

2. Linda Conroy – Mercy Kilbeggan

3. Sarah Hawkshaw – Mount Sackville


1. Colaiste Iosagain – 15 pts

2. Mount Sackville – 27 pts

3. Presentation Kilkenny – 60 pts


1. Ella Fennelly – Mount Anville

2. Deirdre Healy – Ratoath College

3. Nicole Cuskelly-Killina – SS Tullamore


1. Colaiste Iosagain – 32 pts

2. Skerries Community College – 56 pts

3. Mount Anville – 61 pts


1. Nadia EltonPower – St MacDara’s CC

2. Carla Sweeney – St MacDara’s CC

3. Aisling Moody – St Joseph’s Rochfortbridge Teams:

1. St Mary’s Naas – 45 pts

2. St Dominic’s Cabra – 50 pts

3. St MacDara’s CC – 58 pts

European Clubs Cross Country: The Cinque Mulini

Feb 8, 2011 [Noel Guiden] A magnificent race steeped in tradition and history :The Cinque Mulini (the 5 mills race) in Vittore Olona , Milan was the setting for Sunday’s February 6th European Champions Club Cross Country. Once again Clonliffe’s senior men were Ireland’s representatives and once again our athletes performed with distinction with the star performer on the day being Cian McLoughlin 37th place leading the team to a credible 10th position out of the 21 clubs taking part.

The Cinque Mulini is a unique cross country event. The course, in earlier times, featured five mills, in its current format it features two mills. The athletes literally run through the rear door of a mill, through the mill, turn left up four steps and out the back door, they then cross a small bridge into a farmyard which houses hens, ducks and cattle, back in through another mill, through the back door, through the mill building and out the front door and back out the courtyard onto the cross country course. It is simply extraordinary. Sunday was the 79th running of the race, over the years the race has featured the worlds best distance runners: Frank Shorter (USA), Dave Bedford (GB), Brendan Foster (GB), Kip Keino (KEN), Filibert Bayi (TANZ), Rob DeCastella (AUS), Grete Waitz (NOR) who famously described the race as the most beautiful cross country race in the world. The attached photographs will give some idea as to the sheer uniqueness of this race.

The main Clonliffe travelling party left for Milan on Friday morning, on Saturday morning two stragglers Gerry Carr and yours truly set out for Milan sharing a flight with Dick and Pat Hooper and the Raheny Junior Men’s squad of Kevin Dooney, Timmy Moriarty, Jake McDonnell, Andy McMorrow, Colum O’Leary and team leader (and non runner due to his advanced age he’s 20!) Donal Foley, a ceasefire was negotiated and by agreement hostilities suspended for the weekend’s duration!

San Vittore Olona is located some distance from Milan and is a small town of circa 7,000 inhabitants and was approximately an hour plus outside of Milan. On arrival we met up with the team who had just arrived back after an early visit to the course. Clearly the team found the venue to be inspiring, there was much debate as to who the short sharp bends and short straights might suit, Gary O’Hanlon reckoned that from a Clonliffe perspective Cian McLoughlin might be the man. Cian himself was keeping his own Counsel or possibly he was a little tired after a 700 km car journey from his home in Stuttgart to Milan. It was also nice to meet up with Paolo Dogilo who looks fitter than ever, Paolo presented three bottles of wine to club captain Joe Cooper, Paolo being Paolo of course gave a speech outlining the virtues of each of these finest Italian wines.

That Saturday night after the athletes were safely tucked away in bed the Clonliffe support contingent: Gerry and I, Paddy Marley, Noel and Conor Daly, Joe Cooper, Killian Lonergan, Martin Treacy, Eamon “Clonliffe in his blood” Tierney, Johnny O’Leary, Jimmy” Gary Senior” Bennett, Mick Fogarty and Mick Kearney assisted the local economy by indulging in some after dinner refreshments and then embarking on long rambling debates of best athletes, best races attended, past (and imaginary) glories and eventually the forthcoming general election ; no prizes for guessing who brought that one up.

Bright and early the next morning Martin Treacy created Clonliffe history by becoming the first Clonlife athlete to run in the Cinque Mulini as Martin took in the open race at 8.30 a.m. Due to technical reasons, however, there was only a small number of Clonliffe supporters in attendance at that ungodly hour of the morning. By all accounts Martin had an excellent run and thoroughly enjoyed the through the mills experience, coming to the final bend Martin was in a chasing back of six tightly bunched athletes behind the leader, however, unfortunately Martin and a couple of others were sent the wrong way and ended up running an extra 60 metres before the error was realised and they turned back resulting in Martin placing fifth. Eamon Tierney reckons that but for the officiating error Martin could have been second or third.

In the Champions Club events a word must be made at this stage concerning the superb run of young Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (DSD) who ran in the junior women�s race to win a superb bronze medal. The DSD team were just out of the medals in fourth place. A word also regarding the performance of Raheny Shamrock in the Junior Mens race where Kevin Dooney in particular had an unbelievable run to finish 6th, good solid performances also from the rest of the Raheny team who ended up placing 9th in a very competitive field.

In the mens senior race the two surprise packages from the Clonliffe point of view was the wonderful performance of Cian McLoughlin in 37th place (31.11) and also by Gary O’Hanlon, 53rd (32.03). Once again Gary pulled one out of the bag running superbly although he did suffer an ankle injury towards the latter end of the race which required post race treatment. Sandwiched between Cian and Gary was Sergiu Ciobanu in a battling 41st place, Sergiu has been suffering from a cold all week, Sergiu recorded a time of 31.26. Fourth scorer on the day was John Heneghan in 58th place (32.14), John was still feeling the effects of his effort seven days previously in the Southern Counties Cross Country in the U.K. The Fine Wine Merchant Paolo Doglio was 70th in 32.55 with Lorcan Cronin 76th in 33.13.

Overall the Clonliffe team placed 10th of 21 teams on a points total of 189.

Up front the race winner was Ayad Lamdassen of Spanish Club Bikila (28.58). The champion club was Grupa Desportivo Recr. Conforlimpa on 24 points.

The post race and evening discussion focused on the Nationals in three weeks time. The performances of all of the team was generally considered to be very positive with of course the bonus of Cian and Gary’s level of performance and with athletes of the calibre of Mark Kenneally, Chris Cariss, Alistair Cragg, David Flynn and Aidan Bailey not available for Milan Joe Cooper has some serious thinking to do between now and February 25th.

By the way in Dublin Airport on Monday afternoon as we left Departure the cease-fire officially ended! A great weekend for the three Dublin clubs in Milan had ended.

National Intermediate and Masters XC

Feb 7, 2011 [] The National Intermediate and Master Cross Country took place in trying conditions in the ALSAA complex at Dublin Airport yesterday.

In the Women’s Intermediate race over 4K first Clonliffe athlete home was Bronagh Ni Bhriain in 15th place (20.22), she was followed home by Tara Whyte in 20.42, Maura Matthews 21.04, Christine Hanley 21.11, Joyce O’Hare 21.41. The team came home in 3rd place.

In the Men’s Intermediate race over 10K first Clonliffe athlete home was Stephen Harkness in 71st place in 48.03 he was followed home by Eoin Murray in 48.18, Ernie Ramsey in 48.48, Colm Groome in 50.10, Conor Delaney in 50.45, James Kenan in 52.34 and Anthony Malone in 57.13.

In the Men’s Masters race over 7K first Clonliffe athlete home was Declan Power in 8th place in 29.17, he was followed home by Gerry Brady in 31.52 (2th V4), David Dunwoody in 32.37, Philip O’Doherty in 32.45, George Maybury in 35.41, Alan Worrall in 36.40, Pat Bonass (3rd V6), in 38.08 and Declan Murray in 39.50.

Super Gregan`s Vienna waltz

Feb 1, 2011 [Noel Guiden] Clonliffe track and field Athlete of the year Brian Gregan has gotten his 2011 indoor season off to an unbelieveable start. Last year Gregan was superb in the 400 setting a new club record on three occasions and qualifying for both the world Indoor and European Championships. Not being one to rest on his laurels he has being training like The Beast over the Winter and today has shown the fruits of that labour. Gregan won the 400 at today`s Vienna Indoor Classic in a time of 46.82, well inside the qualifying time (47.2) for the European Indoors in Paris. His time is a full second faster that last year`s season opener. An excellent run also from Ciaran Mackey running a new PB of 49.1


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