UNITED STRIDERS A.C.
Following some great planning, the Juvenile Striders fielded seven teams at the Leinster track and field team event at Tullamore.
The excellent running ability of Caolan Costello and Myles Hewlett, combined with the throwing prowess of Eoin Shannon and Cosmo Hewlett, provided the base for the 'B' Under-11s' bronze medal-winning effort. All boys excelled in very tough conditions to land only the second-ever team medal for the club at this event.
Moments later, the team of Aaron Browne, Conor Murphy, Cian Flanagan, Alex Molloy and Patrick Doyle produced some slick baton changes to land second place in the relay, which secured another bronze medal. Alex and Conor were solid in their jump events, whilst Aaron and Cian were similarly consistent in their 600m and shot putt events.
With no Under-14 event, the boys were all competing a year out of their age group and were exceptional to win a medal at this level.
Our remaining five teams all put in strong performances and all were close to a podium finish against the best teams in Leinster. Last year's medal-winning team of Aidan Shannon, Darragh Flannelly and Owen Lennon were joined by Finn Kelly, and came within a whisker of a medal. Aidan was exceptional, winning both his 600m and high jump event.
The Under-11 girls' team of Leona Berry, Isobel Bawden, Aisling Ryan and Ruby Murphy were strong in all disciplines and a slightly stronger relay run would surely have landed them a medal. Ciara Murphy recorded two P.B's and Eabha Cullen had a high jump P.B.
Kelly Corbett continues to impress, particularly in her long jump, and Ciara Burke was strong in her events. The Under-12 girls must have been close to a medal.
Gráinne Flannelly, Joanne Kelly, Rebecca Bawden and Grace Costello all performed strongly for the Under-15 girls. An excellent last leg in the relay by super-sub Aisling Power wasn't quite enough to lift the girls into the medals, but this was a good day for them, with many fine individual performances.
The final quartet for a mention were the Under-13 girls, Shade Animashaun, Eve Byrne, Louise Doyle and Clodagh Foran. Again, all girls were fantastic and the team was unlucky to miss out on a medal.
The Senior Striders had an incredibly successful day at the track in Tullamore at the Leinster track and field. Eight athletes winning a total of 16 medals represents our best-ever performance at this event.
Sinéad McCarthy got five medals - 400m gold, javelin gold, shot putt gold, discus silver and high jump silver. Aine Cullen won high jump and 1,500m gold, as well as shot putt silver.
John McGrath won 800m and 1,500m gold. Mick O'Gorman continued his unbeaten run in the high jump, following up his Wexford Under-14 schoolboys title with a Leinster Masters high jump gold.
Ted Flannelly added yet another provincial medal, taking 1,500m bronze. Luke Butler's 1,500m bronze in his category was surely the first of many at Leinster level for him.
Gavin Kelly, who was a lone Strider trail-blazer in this event in recent years, added to his growing Leinster medal collection, taking silver in the 800m. Justin McCarthy put in a great performance in a strong shot putt field to collect silver and completed a throws double when winning another silver in the javelin.
Congratulations to all eight athletes who all came home with medals on another fantastic day for the Striders.
See www.unitedstriders.com or United Striders on Facebook for more details.
ST. MARY'S BOXING
What a great year it has been for St. Mary's Boxing Club (New Ross), in what is really only our second full year in existence. With the numbers of younger boxers up and staying with our motto of 'play first, titles later', the results are starting to happen.
We started the year with some great results in competition, including league and county titles, and great performances from our under-age members.
We were delighted to have Michael Connors reaching a Leinster final, only to be beaten by the narrowest of margins (split decision) by an O'Brien from Bray who has boxed for Ireland on numerous occasions.
Bryan Gannon really lifted the spirits of the club by being crowned All-Ireland College champion to give St. Mary's its first major title. This was only the beginning of a successful year for the club as Adam Kinsella was the next to show his talent.
Four hard fights and well-deserved wins later finished with Adam becoming Leinster champion. He gave another fantastic display at the All-Ireland semi-final but came up just short of the title.
But who could believe what was yet to come, with Samantha O'Grady, the Clongeen native, winning a Leinster title? Sam, who has only been boxing for a little over two years, made the club anxious with the idea of competing on the All-Ireland stage.
However, allowing her to proceed proved a great decision, as Sam out-boxed her opponent in the semi-final, leaving the girl from Limerick unable to continue and resulting in the referee stopping the fight.
Sam took on the final challenge in the way she approached her training all year, spirited and courageous, and with the assistance of her coaches, Pat Cashin and Johnny Peppard, Sam took her first Irish title, the first St. Mary's female with an All-Ireland crown.
All-Ireland and Leinster success would not have been possible without the dedication of the coaches, Pat Cashin and Johnny Peppard, as well as the St. Mary's Boxing Club committee under the direction of Billy O'Connor.
A special thank you to our boxers for their commitment to training, and to the parents, and the people of New Ross, for their support all year.
ST. JOSEPH'S A.C.
Pride of place this week goes to the St. Joseph's athletes who won individual and relay medals at the All-Ireland Schools track and field championships, the pinnacle of the schools athletic calendar.
Representing St. Mary's (New Ross), Shannen Dawkins, Sophie Becker, Clara Kennedy and Mia Griffin are now the All-Ireland 100m relay champions. Shannen and Sophie also achieved individual success with Shannen winning gold in the 110m hurdles as well as silver in the high jump, and Sophie was the silver medal winner in the 400m.
On Saturday, May 30, St. Joseph's athletes were running marathons in different countries. Paul Sheehan ran the Tullaroan marathon in three hours and 37 minutes, finishing in ninth position, while Chris McNamara ran the night marathon in Luxembourg. Not content with his race walking exploits, Michael Ryan has turned his hand to triathlons and finished fourth overall in a triathlon in Athy.
Tom McDonald and Anita Barry ran the Strawberry half-marathon in Enniscorthy before unbelievably travelling directly to Kilmacow to compete in the four-mile road race. Tom ran another great half-marathon, finishing in 1.29.30, with Anita doing even better, finishing in a new personal best time of 1.35.19.
St. Joseph's was well represented in the highly-competitive Leinster Under-9 to Under-13 individual and pairs championships in Tullamore. Competing were Eabha Mullally, Lily Doyle, Mairéad Mullally, Grace Glennon, Aine Purcell, Mia Doyle, Bronagh Doolan, Rachel Foley, Kaylan Doyle, Holly O'Toole, Aidan Kehoe, Aidan Lawlor, Declan Murphy, Aine Ryan, Sophie Mullally, Aine McDonald, Erin Foley, Evan O'Toole, Eoin Kennedy, Cathal Beirne and Tomás Mullally.
The Little South four-mile race in Kilmacow incorporating the County Kilkenny Novice championship was run on Sunday with a fantastic St. Joseph's representation. St. Joseph's ladies took two team prizes in the county Novice race with Elaine O'Donovan, Siobhán Mullally and Susan Lanigan finishing second and Eva Richardson, Mary McDonald, Helen McDonald and Tracey Malone finishing third.
The men's team of Paul Sheehan, David Lanigan, Stephen O'Connor and Duncan O'Shaughnessy took silver medals home in the Novice event.
Sally Forristal was fourth lady to cross the finish line with Siobhán Mullally finishing second in the Over-35 race and Susan Lanigan winning the Over-40 category. Tom McDonald, Rocky Mernagh, Darragh McDonald, Anita Barry, Áine McDonald, John Forristal, Ciarán Cullen, Joss O'Connor Maggie Helen O'Connor, Jamie O'Connor, Hanora O'Connor, Rachael Mernagh, Richie Forristal and Rebecca Mernagh also ran.
Well done to the club athletes who braved the elements on Bank Holiday Monday in running the women's mini-marathon. Anita Barry led the team home followed by Eva Richardson, Mary McDonald, Jackie O'Shaughnessy, Helen McDonald, Catherine Hennessy, Tracey Malone, Liz Halligan Michelle Vereker, Triona Foley, Pam Doyle, Martina Nathan, Anna O'Dwyer, Mary O'Donoghue, Frankie Kirwan, Bretta Kirwan and Ann Doyle.
At the Leinster Senior and Masters championships in Tullamore, all nine club athletes won medals in their events. Representing the club were Maggie Helen O'Connor, John Joe Lawlor, Bríd Lawlor, Pat Power, Shane Power, Mary Breen, Emma Fenlon, Austin Lee and Verena Fenlon.
At the county road walks held in Paulstown, St. Joseph's achieved a clean sweep in the Senior women's race with Maggie Helen O'Connor winning, Verena Fenlon second and Bríd Lawlor third. John Joe Lawlor finished second in the Senior men's race. In the Juvenile races, Aoife Dowling won the Under-14 with Erin Foley finishing second in the Under-12.
It's that time of year again when St. Joseph's Athletic Club are inviting all runners and walkers to the annual Pink Rock ten km. road race on Sunday, June 14, at 12 noon. Once again the race is centered around the picturesque Pink Rock on the old Waterford road just a five-minute drive outside New Ross, with the course surrounded by tranquil south Kilkenny countryside with beautiful views of the River Barrow.
Register online at www.totaltiming.ie for €15 to secure your gym bag (€20 on the day). Refreshments will be served in the Rosbercon parish centre following the race and a great atmosphere is promised.
For more information, go to www.stjosephsac.webs.com or follow us at St. Joseph's Athletic Club on Facebook.
ST. KILLIAN'S A.C.
The Leinster Senior and Masters track and field championships were held recently in Tullamore. The conditions were very challenging with strong winds, occasional sunshine and even hailstones.
Niall Sheil of St. Killian's travelled up to compete in the Senior 1,500m. Niall, who has been in great form on the roads lately, had to dig deep in a tactical and fast-finishing race, coming home to take the bronze medal in a very competitive field.
As always, Niall was joined by his coach, Pavel Kolesnikov. Pavel has been an integral part of Niall's success. Well done to both for the great result.
A special note has to be given to the officials who had to suffer and endure the terrible conditions from 9 a.m. in the morning until 5 p.m. in the evening. Without their support these events would not be possible. Nicky Cowman of St. Killian's was central to this and did an excellent job in managing the field events.
Anne-Marie Nolan joined the nearly 40,000 other ladies in Dublin on the Bank holiday Monday to compete in the women's mini-marathon, one of the biggest and greatest races in the world. Anne-Marie came into the race in good form, having been really busy racing numerous road races over the last couple of months.
She battled the elements and the crowds and finished in a superb position of 218th. This was great running so well done Anne- Marie.
Best of luck to all the children from the club who will compete in the county finals of the Community Games athletic events in Bree this Saturday, June 13. Best of luck also to Jack Forde and Cian Kinlough who will compete for the club in the Leinster combined events in Celbridge on Saturday.
KUNG FU, KICKBOXING
The Lau Gar fighters from the Wexford Kung Fu and Kickboxing Centre have been busy recently travelling the length and breadth of the country to compete. Recent tournaments that the dedicated squad attended included the best of the best in Dublin, the Munster open in Cork, the White tiger challenge in Offaly and the Tallaght open, as well as their own Lau Gar challenge in Wexford.
All grades and ages competed in sparring, sets competition and weapons demonstration. The club's success was exceptional with winners in sections ranging from complete beginners to advanced and from Under-6 years old to veterans.
The club's international fighters, Michelle Casserly, Rebecca Rowe, Anna Nolan, Mark Rowe and world champion Dale White, were all in excellent form, taking a sizeable haul of trophies and medals and of course most importantly assisting in their preparations for the world championships in Florida this November.
Club chief instructor Bobby O'Neill said that 'we expected our international competitors to do well in these events but it's the success of the kids and novice competitors that everyone loves to see, it ensures that the club will continue to grow and develop for many years to come'. Bobby paid tribute to his assistant coaches, Mark Rowe and Patrick Monahan, for all their hard work with the squad and their effort in travelling to so many events to help the members.
The high performance class in the club are also busy travelling to squad training sessions with the Irish team in preparation for the world championships in Florida, and current boys' world champion Dale White is heading over to Italy this weekend to compete in the W.A.K.O best fighter event, one of the toughest tournaments in the world.
The club trains in Image Health Studios, WestPoint and beginners are always welcome.
Wexford Wanderers firsts travelled to Wesley College on Sunday to take on Dundrum in the first round of the Leinster Middle Cup. The home side batted first and got off to a steady start.
They gradually increased the tempo of their innings and managed to keep plenty of wickets in hand. They punished the Wanderers bowling attack in the final ten overs and in the end they amassed an impressive total of 224 runs for the loss of only three wickets off their 40 overs.
In reply Wexford got off to a terrible start with Niall Honohan clean bowled off the very first ball. Although further wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, Sharjeel Shaikh was in tremendous form.
He struck the ball with authority to all areas of the ground and while he was still at the wicket, a Wanderers victory appeared on the cards. He was given great support from Eugene Brennan as they took the score to 135 runs before Sharjeel was dismissed for a magnificent 91.
Eugene continued to play well but when he was out for 48 the remaining Wexford wickets fell quickly as the side were all out for 179. Despite this defeat, skipper Tony Murray was upbeat about the performance and feels that the team is going in the right direction.
Next Sunday the firsts have an away league fixture at Portlaoise, while the seconds are home on Saturday to the same opposition in the first round of the Midland/South East Cup. Also on Saturday, Wanderers' Under-15 and Under-12 teams entertain Bagenalstown at 11 a.m.