Clonliffe juveniles diliver in Marlay mud

Nov 9, 2008 [Noel Guiden] Today`s Dublin Uneven Ages Cross Country Championships took place in far from ideal conditions in Marley Park, Rathfarnham. In complete contrast to last week`s Even Ages in the Autumnal sunshine of St. Annes today our athletes faced a bitterly cold wind in temperatures which bearly rose above 4 degrees and after the rain of the last few days the Marley grass quickly turned to mud. Despite this the young athletes from Clonliffe rose to the challenge and delivered superb performances bring home team Gold, silvers and bronze as well as individual gold, silver and bronze.

The club`s successes today came from the older age groups, the younger athletes generally not having enough runners to make up full teams. Despite this, however, there were excellent individual runs from Owen Burke, Luke Dalton and Peter Taylor in the boys U/11. Again in the U/13s great runs from Conor Dalton, Sean McLoughlin, Michael and Luke Moran.

The first Clonliffe medal of the day came from a wonderful effort by Rachael Murray in the U/13 girls race over 1k. Rachael got herself into second place on the first of 2 laps and on the long uphill section into the bitting wind she dug deep grimley holding onto the leader and opened a gap on third which was never closed. A great run for a well deserved silver medal. A great run in that race also from Alex Philbin 19th and from Ciara Lynott and Aoife McGrath.

In the U/15 girls race, as expected the girls all ran very strongly coming through the field, particularily Elaine Begley who picked up place after place for 8th place, and with Hannah Logue having her best cross country season to date, also running a stormer to finish 13th, this set the platform and with Leah Bergin 18th and Laura Brennan 19th running great team races backed up by Laura Preston and Lorna McDonnell the girls were rewarded with team bronze.

The U/15 boys went even better. From the off Stephen Boyle hit the front quickly opening a gap. Ian Guiden quickly worked his way from 8th to second and set off in pursuit of his club mate. Both ran superbly and pulled away from the field and although Ian closed the gap somewhat Stephen was a worthy winner by about 15 meters from Ian, gold and silver. These two were well backed up by great runs from the other guys, Conor King 16th, Niall Hanlon 23rd, David Hussey, John Buckley and Ryan Cashel to take team silver.

We only had two girls in the U/17 race Denise Callaghan and Emma Preston who both put in battling performances. At U/19 our sole girl was Kate Purcell who also ran very very well taking 7th place.

The boys U/17 squad also delivered and were lead home by Mark McKenzie who ran a storming race for an excellent 5th place. Close behind him was Fintan Doherty, a bronze medalist last week at U/16, and making a very welcome return in the black and amber was Andrew Jennings 10th. Graham Mahon after a Summer lost through injury continues to get back into form was 4th scorrer in 13th. These four where backed up well by Jonathan Bradley-Ward, Mark Everard and Jack Fay, suffering with illness today. The guys were rewarded with team silver.

Finally then the boys U/19 where a very good Clonliffe team took gold, lead home in 3rd place by the ever reliable Collie Murray. Jamie Rossiter ran like a man possessed over the second half of the race to finish strongly in 5th, Jordan Logue was 7th, Tony Kavanagh racing himself back towards fitness was 9th and Conor McGuinness 11th.

In all a great day`s work. Well done to all the athletes and of course to our Juvenile Captain Gladys and her team of coaches, Marion, Gerry, Shay, Mick, Ronan, Brian and Joe.