Oct 14, 2007 [Jeremy Walsh] Another unseasonably sunny day greeted us for the Dublin Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Tymon Park today. First off were the Ladies, but with two of the scorers from last week’s winning Dublin Novice team not running, the depth of the Clonliffe squad was going to be tested. Ailish Mcdermott (pictured), growing in experience with every race, and Fionnuala Doherty hit the front from the off amongst a strong leading pack. Not far behind were Tara Whyte, Jackie Dunphy and Bronagh Ni Bhriain, ably supported by Clare Sullivan and Sinead Hartnett. Ailish and Fionnuala kept the pressure on at the front while the other girls gradually picked up places. With about 1k to go in this 4k race, Azmera Gebrezgi from Dublin City Harriers made a break from the leading group coming home 1st in 17.36. Of the chasing pack, Ailish had the best response, finishing a comfortable 2nd in 17.58 to take a well deserved silver medal. Fionnuala battled hard to finish 5th in 18.09 just ahead of the fast finishing Tara (6th 18.13) who was making a welcome return to form after a spell of injury. With the scoring 4 home with 22 points, Clonliffe were comfortable winners of the gold medal in the team event. The strength in depth of the squad is demonstrated by the great positions of other team members, Jackie (9th, 18.30) and Karen (10th, 18.55) both making the Dublin team for the provincial championships having finished in the top 10, Bronagh (12th, 19.01) Clare (22nd, 20.14) and Sinead (25th, 20.26). For the record, individual bronze was won by Stephanie Bergin of Sportsworld in 18.05 while team silver went to Liffey Valley (60 points) and bronze went to Sportsworld (64 points). So,not a bad return for Clonliffe – team gold and individual silver to add to the team and individual golds from the Dublin Novices. Well done and congratulations to all – and roll on the provincial championships!
Next up in the 10k event were the Men. A leading group of 10 or so runners broke away early on. In the chasing pack, Dave Brennan set off at a sensible pace, closely followed by Chris McLoughlin. A little further back the other Clonliffe team members, Philip O’ Doherty, Aidan Creanor, Maurice McCrohan, Terry McLoughlin and Alan Worrall packed well. Keeping at his steady pace Dave was slowly making his way through a stretched field, picking up places as those in front started to tire. He got up to 10th place but was overtaken on the run in by a few much younger runners to finish a very respectable 13th in 39.31. Chris battled hard in a competitive group to finish 21st (40.45) while Philip, running a little further than usual, was rewarded for his good early pacing when he picked up some places in the middle section of the race, finishing 24th (41.14). Aidan running his third strong race in 10 days was not far behind in 29th (41.52), while Maurice, putting the finishing touches to his New York marathon training, was 31st (42.38) after a very strong finish. Terry (36th, 43.52) and Alan (42nd, 45.13) should also be happy with their day’s work on a course that apparently measured closer to 11k than 10! Congratulations to individual winner Cillian O’Leary (36.12) from Raheny Shamrocks, adding the Intermediate title to his collection, having won the Novice last week. Second was Eanna Cunnane, Sportsworld (36.30) with Simon Ryan, Raheny, 3rd (37.03). With 4 runners in the top 14, Raheny were team winners on 25 points followed by Liffey Valley (38 points) and Rathfarnham A (57 points). Considering 5 of the team are Masters, Clonliffe did very well to finish 6th with 87 points. Well done to all.