The Nationals: Clonliffe ready to Rumble!

The National Interclub Cross Country (incorporating the intercounty) takes place at the National Cross Country course in Abbottstown on Sunday. The Clonliffe Senior Men have been the dominant sport in Irish Cross Country over the past 15 years save for last year when the Clonliffe men were well and truly hammered by a rampant Raheny Shamrocks team who took their club’s first ever National Senior Cross Country title. So disappointing were the Clonlifffe men last year that the team failed to finish in the top three.  Having been stung by the criticism the Senior men will be out in force this Sunday ready for the battle to try and bring the title back to Santry.

It is very much a case of marathon men to the four (pun intended) with the top four in this year’s marathon: Gary O’Hanlon, Sergiu Ciobanu, Stephen Scullion and David Mansfield along with London 26 marathon man Mark Kenneally.

The teams for Sunday’s Senior Men’s Race are:

A: S. Scullion, J. Rossiter, S. Ciobanu, D. Flynn, M. Kenneally, E. Pearce, C. Rooney, G. O’Hanlon, J. Kevans, C. Doyle.

B: D. Mansfield, K. Nolan, T. Sherlock, S. Doran, E. Taggart, K. Lonergan, L. Roarty, B. Flanagan.

The Junior Men will be well in the hunt for the retaining of the Lar Byrne Cup for the winners of the Men’s Junior title with a strong looking team. The Junior Men’s race also incorporates the National U/18 where again there is a strong Clonliffe presence in that particular category.

The Junior Men’s team is: S.O’Leary, E. Gidey, A. O’Brien, D. Lacey, C. Giles, S. Flanagan, A. Cullen, G. Hosseney, J. Hession, S. Cashin.

Boys U/18: E. Gidey, D. Lacey, C. Giles, A. Cullen, B. Guiden, S. Cashin.

There is also a full team in the Junior Women’s race. For the first time in a number of years there are six junior athletes competing, again the Junior Women’s race incorporates the U/18 championship.

The Junior Women’s team is: A. Cooley, A. Fernandez, H. Browne, C. Cooley, A. Warren, T. Loftus.

Also on Sunday there are two strong under 16 teams running in the Nationals. The girls team go into the race as Dublin champions and will challenge for medal positions.  The team is: S. Bateson, G. Cide, A. Hession, A. Sheehy, K. Halpin, V. McDonnell.

The U/16 boys are also looking good on paper, they won Dublin silver at the same venue a few weeks back and will again look to challenge for honours. The boys U/16 team is: D. Carter, D. Buckley, M. Kelly, C. Simpson, E. Foster, A. Neuroth.

The Championships get underway at 11.30 with the girl’s U/12 race.

The Clonliffe interest is as follows:

12.25 p.m. Girl’s U/16 – 4000m (1 x 1000 + 2 x 1500)

12.43 p.m. Boy’s U/16 – 4000m (1 x 1000 + 2 x 1500)

1.00 p.m. Junior Women – 4000m (1 x 1000 + 2 x 1500)

1.20 p.m. Junior Men and U/18s – 6000m (4 x 1500)

1.45 p.m. Senior Women – 8000m (4 x 2000)

2.25 p.m. Senior Men – 10,000m (5 x 2000)

The very best of luck to all of the Clonliffe athletes taking part on Sunday. It will be a great days cross country so please come along to Abbottstown to support the black and amber.