National Novice & Uneven Age Juveniles, Kilkenny

The Clonliffe women’s cross country squad put in another sterling effort in today’s national novice cross country in Gowran, Co Kilkenny just missing out on bronze by the tiniest of margins. This group have progressed enormously over the course of this cross country season and once again were right in the mix. The novice women’s race is held over 4000 M, a 2 x 2000 loop with some 150 plus athletes toeing the line including some 15 Harriers. Once again Laura Power led the team home running a fine race to finish 12th, Laura picked up intercounty silver with Dublin, next in was Laura Tuite in 29th a mere seconds and one place ahead of Kate Hawkshaw, who has scored in every cross country race this season. The fourth scorer was Captain Jenny Johnston in 44th. The team finished fourth a single point behind bronze medal team DCH, with the gold going to Letterkenny AC, who had also won the seniors in Santry a few weeks back, and silver going to Dunboyne AC. There was a very impressive run for fifth Clonliffe lady Hannah Browne in 52nd, next in was Sarah Hawkshaw 70th, Julie Larkin 71st, Megan O’Keeffe 72nd, Ciara Peelo 74th, Alannah Cooley 91st, Siobhan Devaney 97th, Vanessa Fenton 114th, Aisling Killilea 129th, Mel Curran 139th and Yvonne McDonagh 141st. The Clonliffe B team placed a commendable 11th.

The novice men race over 8000m with almost 250 starters. Ben Guiden continued his good form of the season running a fine race to finish in seventh place (and claimed inter county bronze). Likewise Stephen Cashin continues to improve finishing 22nd, Paul Keenan was 89th, the scoring four was completed by Niall Sherlock in 106th, the team placing 7th overall. The rest of the squad was: Ger Kirwan 109th, Thomas Balthazar 117th, Ian McAlweeney 131st, Anthony Doran 160th, Stephen Harkness 173rd, Peter Bissett 190th, Steve Barnes 204th. Again it was pleasing to have 12 starters from the club.

Prior to the novice competition the national juvenile uneven age championships took place. The Clonliffe U/15 boys team were weakened somewhat and finished 10th with a scoring four of Matie Ursachi in an excellent 18th ( Matie led Dublin to intercounty gold), William Walsh 80th, Cathal Hickey 88th and Jack Kane 89th. The squad was completed by Issac Moses 99th and Jayden Carroll 132nd.

Likewise the U/17 boys team suffered some withdrawals during the week and the team ended up placing seventh overall. U/16 national champion Sean Cronin led the team home in 20th (Sean also claimed intercounty gold for Dublin) followed by Lorcan Benjacar 42nd, Devon Morrisey 62nd and Johnny Fitzsimons 94th.

The U/17 girls were 12th, Clodagh Nic Dhomhnaill was a fine 36th (and scored on the Dublin team that took intercounty bronze), next in was Hazel Kenny 80th, Sorcha O’Connor 95th and Kate Faherty 108th.

The U/19 girls due to withdrawals were down to the bare minimum of three and put in a great effort to place fifth team with Naoise Cullen 41st, Lara Gallagher 43rd and in her final outing in the juvenile ranks Katie Halpin 44th.

Unfortunately the boys U/19 were also heavily impacted by withdrawals and ended up with the bare minimum of four but place a commendable fifth team. First in was Niall Carberry a fine 11th, next was Ronan Donohue 23rd, both scored on the Dublin intercounty gold winning team, Cian Murray 59th and Jack Woods 70th.

That then folks brings the curtain down on the 2021 cross country season. Don’t worry however as cross country will start once again in January with the Dublin Masters cross country on January 9, the club cross country on January 15, and then the national intermediates and National Masters on February 13.