Efrem leads Clonliffe men to five Dublins in a row

The going was soft in Santry today but the mud did not deter the Clonliffe senior men who made it 5 Dublin senior cross-country titles in a row and in the process retained the Padraig Keane Cup. For good measure the Clonliffe junior men won a 1st Dublin junior title in a number of years. The Dublin cross country championships, hosted by Clonliffe Harriers, returned to Santry Park for the 1st time since 2019.

Preceding the senior championships was the Dublin juvenile (uneven ages) cross country championships with very good Clonliffe representation and indeed excellent performances by all that delivered individual and team medals. Full report on the juvenile Championships to follow once official results become available.

With the ground nicely churned up it was time for the juniors, which incorporated the U/19 juvenile Championships, and then the seniors. It was always going to be tough day for all of the women athletes as their race distances have all increased substantially since last year, the juniors 5000 and seniors 9,000. Hazel Kenny had a very positive race finishing 9th overall and 6th U/19, next in was Sorcha O’Connor in 12th position, 9th U/19 and Chloe Heaslip 19th, unfortunately the team was incomplete.

Then it was the junior men, also over 5,000, where the Clonliffe team started as firm favourites and fully justified that tag with a great gathering of black and amber vest at the head of proceedings from the starting gun. After 5000 there was a brilliant sprint for the line with Sean Cronin winning both the junior and U/19 Dublin titles come in 2nd place was Mahad Egaal making his Clonliffe cross country competitive than you, next in was Leon Brady 7th and then Cillian Keegan in 10th completing the scoring 4 that took the win from DSD. There are excellent runs from the rest of the Clonliffe lads, Lorcan Benjacar 11th, Tom Breslin 12th, Devan Morrisey 20th, Oran McGowan 21st, Ronan Dunne who 32nd, Finbar Coughlan 34th.

The senior women’s team had been badly hit by a couple of withdrawals during the week, also several of the group were suffering head cold but all ‘rolled up their sleeves’ and stuck to the task, despite the daunting prospects of 6 x 1500 laps of energy sapping mud with all 6 of the team making it to the finish. The team was led home in 16th by Sarah Bateson, Julie Larkin was 18th, Hannah Browne 19th and Sarah Hawkshaw 21st, the scoring 4 unfortunately finishing out of the medals in 4th position. These 4 were very well backed up with gutsy runs from Aoife O’Reilly 23rd and Aisling Killilea in 24th. The winning team was DCH, 2nd DSD and Raheny 3rd.

Finally the senior men’s 9000 where defending champion Efrem Gidey took proceedings by the scruff of the neck, skipping over the mud, to retain the title with some style in a time of 28.50. Colm Rooney was an excellent 3rd position (30.10) with Jayme Rossiter breathing down his neck over the latter stages to take 4th place (30.12), and Eoin Pierce, not it could be said a man in love with mud, was 4th scorer in 8th position (31.14). The points total of 16 the team well clear of Rathfarnham 2nd on 34 points with DSD 3rd on 52 points. Very good runs also by the rest of the squad: 10th Stephen Cashin (31.53), 15th Cathal McHale (33.02), 16th Sean Doran (33.03), 19th Niall Carbery (33.13), 23rd Liam Roarty (33.34), 24th Sean Heaslip Owens (34.10), 29th Tom Sherlock 34.40, 40th and Anto Doran (36.39), 45th Niall Sherlock (37.55), 49th Garrett Loy (39.01).

A fine day’s cross country for the club and we now look forward to the Nationals on November 19. Finally a huge thank you to the army of Clonliffe members who were out in force from 8 AM this morning until the final cleanup at 5 PM. True club spirit and most appreciated.

Photos by Peter Bissett: https://photos.app.goo.gl/PTcs1DbzymnqVtDk9

Photos of U/20s below by Joe Duff: