Nov 7, 2011 [Noel Guiden] Raheny Shamrock A.C. dominated proceedings at the Dublin Junior and Senior Cross Country Championships in Santry Demesne yesterday well and truly putting down the gauntlet for February’s Nationals to be held at, apparently, the same venue. From a Clonliffe perspective although the teams medalled it has to be said that yesterday was a bit of a disappointment.
The first race on the senior programme after the earlier juvenile programme was the junior women’s Dublin Championship held over 3000 metres. It was pleasing from a Clonliffe perspective to see the junior women mount a challenge with good runs from the four girls, particularly from Louise Hill-Sterling on her debut in the black and amber who settled into the race after a fast opening which was not to her liking and worked her way well back into contention to finish around ninth place. A good solid run also from Lorna Begley a couple of places behind in 12th and these two were well backed up by Roisin Leahy (15th) and Laura Brennan (18th). The junior race was dominated by Siofra Clerigh-Buttner of DSD who led DSD to a one two three and undoubtedly DSD secured a comfortable victory in the team race. The Clonliffe team placing 4th, 4 points off 3rd.
In the junior men’s race Raheny’s Kevin Dooney took proceedings by the scruff of the neck with a stunning display of front running to power away from the field and win, looking very comfortable it must be said, by a massive margin of probably the best part of 300 metres and in the process lead Raheny to a comfortable win. Fintan Doherty ran a very solid race with a mature performance to finish strongly in fifth place. Andrew Jenkinson who is more noted as an 800 metre runner also ran very well putting himself into a good position in the early stages of the race and then hanging on grimly towards the end (9th), third scorer was Liam Ashton in 13th and running one of his best races to date was Johnny Bradley-Ward, the forth scorer on the Clonliffe team in 14th. The Clonliffe lads placed third. Other Clonliffe Eoin McCullough 16th, Mark McKenzie 17th, Mark Ring 19th and Conor King 20th.
In the senior women’s race Clonliffe’s Becky Woods was back on home turf after her exploits in Vancouver and actually looked a little tired having only arrived home a couple of days prior to the race. Becky was the club’s top finisher (11th) followed home by Ailish Malone (15th), Louise Reilly 924th) and Tara White 934th) as the women’s team also took bronze. Again Raheny dominated this race filling the top positions and taking a comfortable team victory.
On then to the men’s event where a small enough field of some fifty/sixty athletes took on the 10,000 metres around Santry Demesne. Clonliffe’s David Flynn ran a very positive race and was always in the top three with Sean Heir of Rathfarnham and John Coghlan of MSB. Halfway through the last lap Coghlan hit the front for the first time to take a lead which he did not relinquish over the final 800 to take the Dublin title. Flynner ran on strongly to finish third, a place ahead of Clonliffe’s next finisher Brian McMahon with Eoin Pearse also running strongly to finish Clonliffe’s third scorer in 16th with Dave Fitzmaurice the fourth scorer (17th), fifth scorer was Lorcan Cronin (33rd) making a welcome return to action after a long lay off with Brian Tobin (35th), in a very risqué red one-piece, the sixth scorer. Good runs also in this race from Ernie Ramsey (41st), Darren Reilly (45th) and Ronan Merrick (46th). Once again Raheny were the dominant force to take the Dublin men’s title with the Clonliffe lads second.
A number of the club’s athletes have earned selection for the Dublin team for the National Inter-counties which takes place in Sligo on the 27th of November, that event of course also doubles as a Trial for selection for the European Cross Country which takes place on December 11th.