Courtown Golf: Saturday and Sunday, September 23 and 24, brought the beginning of the winter hamper competitions. The realisation that we are now coming into winter golf has come with a bang. Where has the summer and the year gone?
Given the conditions and the weather we have had to endure over the past few days, the scoring was really good. The winner was Frances Sinnott (26) with 34 points.
On Tuesday, September 26, conditions were not really at their best. What with the drainage works and the ongoing wet weather, one could be forgiven for thinking that January was already upon us.
Even though the ground was heavy underfoot the sun was shining and our ladies set off to play. The winners were: 1, Mairéad Sunderland (20), 32 points; 2, Eileen Moriarty (24), 31 points. Congratulations to all the winners.
Thursday, September 28, was a momentous day for our Challenge Cup team. They faced Malahide in the play-offs in Malone G.C., Belfast, for a place in the semi-finals of the AIG All-Ireland competition.
The journey up on Wednesday was far from pleasant with nothing but rain all the way. Thursday morning dawned with relief - no rain and nothing forecast for the day.
The team arrived in Malone with great enthusiasm and set off from the first tee with gusto. The aim was to win and attain that semi-final place. Alas, it was not to be.
Malahide had the upper hand and claimed that much-coveted spot. They went on to win the title of All-Ireland champions 2017.
Well done to all our ladies and congratulations to Malahide on achieving the title for 2017. It was a hugely enjoyable experience for all involved. Roll on 2018.
All eyes were on New Ross and the Wexford county Novice cross-country last weekend.
S.B.R. had two good teams and came away with a medal which was well deserved on the women's side.
In the men's race, Tomás Kavanagh led the way with his seventh place finish. Adrian Doyle, Ian McQuillan and Paul Deegan all ran strong races and the men finished just out of the medals.
Special thanks to Paul Deegan who ran at the last minute in borrowed gear to make up the team.
On the women's side, Christine Hill continued a great year, finishing sixth overall to lead the S.B.R. women to a bronze medal.
Christine was followed home by Orla Furlong, Louise Kehoe and Clodagh Dunbar to make up the four scoring on the team. Louise Prendergast-Murphy ran a very strong race as well for the S.B.R. side.
Well done to the women as they have continued to rack up medals in county competitions over the last two-plus years.
They will be looking to add to that in the upcoming Novice and Senior championships.
Also on Saturday, Belinda Kehoe ran a strong third in the Coole Hill 10.5k trail race.
Cross-country training continues Tuesday and Thursday nights at the field just outside Ferns.
Groups will be meeting in the Square in Ferns from 6.45 p.m. both nights for road running and cross-country. All are welcome.
See full club results, fixtures and information at www.sbrclub.com.
SLANEY OLYMPIC A.C.
Slaney Olympic's Martina O'Sullivan and Darren Shiggins hosted a 5k run in Curracloe on Saturday, September 30.
First home for Slaney and second overall was Bobby Redmond in 17.54, and first Slaney lady and ladies' race winner was Esther O'Leary in 24.09.
Full club results: Bobby Redmond 17.54, Jessie O'Connor 19.22, Noel Kelly 22.52, Esther O'Leary 24.09, Trish Hyland 24.37, Ann Carroll 25.34, Elaine Cullen 25.39, Ann Sharkey 25.56, Edel Kenny 31.09, Winnie O'Connor 31.09, Angela McDonald 32.56.
The sun was shining brightly on Sunday for the Novice cross-country races which were held in picturesque JFK Park outside New Ross, hosted by United Striders. Kennedy Park is luxury cross-country running with conditions underfoot near to perfect, with mowed lawns and excellent facilities for runners.
Slaney Olympic had a strong turn-out with eleven ladies making up the two teams. Helen English was first to score for Slaney, finishing in a strong fourth position and leading the way for the ladies to win team gold. She was closely followed home by Annemarie Doyle, Sarah Byrne and Marie Kinsella.
Also taking part and running strong for Slaney were Esther O'Leary, Gosia Szymura, Ann Sharkey, Ann Carroll, Elane Cullen, Stephanie McKenna and Gretta Roberts-Tyrell. Well done ladies.
Next up was the men's 6k Novice race, and once again Slaney Olympic had a strong turn-out with eight runners at the start line. First home for Slaney was David Kehoe, followed by Bryan Crouch, Billy Reck and Will Doyle who all made up the silver team.
Also running for Slaney and putting in great racing were Jessie O'Connor, Tom Crofts, Joe Whelan, Peter Ryan and Fintan Kinsella. Well done lads.
Many thanks to all the supporters, photographers, tea ladies and bakers who all make this just a little bit easier.
The next race is the county Senior in Ferns hosted by S.B.R. on October 15, with the ladies' race 5k and the men's race 10k.
Enniscorthy Hockey Club had three teams in action last weekend, and pride of place this time around goes to the ladies' 3rd XI who followed the previous week's creditable home draw against Kilkenny with a derby win over Wexford in the Sunday League.
The rain held off for the ladies as they faced off against their neighbours. The 'Scorthy women were eager for a win against their Slaneyside rivals, and from the first whistle, the Enniscorthy team attacked the Wexford goal in numbers.
Melanie Ní Dhuinn and Laura O'Leary moved the ball up the field with speed and accuracy, while forward Elaine Higgins provided the main attacking threat with several shots on goal.
The back line was made up of Enniscorthy's trusted trio - Aoife Foran, Ilsa Flynn and Róisín Bridges - who were letting nothing through on Sunday. Flynn, in particular, proved particularly adept in making pinpoint passes down to her midfield team-mates.
One such pass - midway through the first-half- created the only goal of the game. Flynn's ball was quickly picked up by Ní Dhuinn and moved on to O'Leary who sent it to Enniscorthy newcomer Mairéad Brophy.
Brophy reacted skilfully to dodge the Wexford defence, passing the ball to Megan Dempsey who delivered a powerful shot into the back of the net.
The forward position is new to the fifth year student from Castlebridge, and joint managers Irene Doyle and Roy Chapman must surely be resigned to losing Dempsey to the first or second XI if her career continues on this upward trajectory.
Enniscorthy continued to dominate throughout the remainder of the first-half and the whole of the second-half.
Linda Durnan proved a difficult opponent for the women in green when Wexford tried to break through, while Suzanne Redmond dealt confidently with Wexford's best chance, making a strong save and sending the ball back towards the halfway line much to the delight of the vocal Enniscorthy support.
Squad: Aoife Foran, Mairéad Neville, Joy Byrne, Ilsa Flynn, Linda Durnan, Suzanne Redmond, Elaine Hickey, Melanie Ní Dhuinn, Róisín Bridges, Laura O'Leary, Megan Dempsey, Mairéad Brophy.
The ladies' first XI took on UCD at the Astro Active Centre on Saturday and were unable to capitalise on the previous week's superb result against Clontarf, going down 3-1 with Sonja Rynhart scoring.
The poor result was further marred by the injury sustained by Olive Lett which resulted in the match being ended prematurely. Table-toppers Newbridge await in an away fixture next weekend.
Meanwhile, the men's first XI improved on their opening round result with a solid 2-1 win at home to Three Rock Rovers in the late Saturday afternoon tip-off at the Astro Active Centre.
James O'Sullivan claimed both goals, the second following some skilful play from Daithí Medcalf with just over ten minutes remaining.
Like the ladies' first XI, county Kildare opposition awaits next weekend as second from bottom Naas host last year's Division 5 champions. Also next Saturday, the men's second XI play their Naas counterparts.
UNITED STRIDERS A.C.
The Striders fared very well at the last of the open cross-country events, before the upcoming Wexford county championships.
Staged at Kilmacow, St. Senan's hosted the 40th edition of their well-established open event, in glorious sunshine.
For the third week in a row Isabella O'Connor ran really well to earn another medal in the Under-8 event, over 300m.
With four to score in the team events, Seán Lennon led home our Under-12 boys' team which also included great runs from Tomasso Hickey, Luca O'Connor and Jim Malone to win bronze in a well-contested event.
Over a tough and undulating 1.5k course, Isabel Bawden and Hazel Hickey did really well to both finish high up a field that included quality athletes from Leinster and Munster.
More medals arrived in the Under-14 boys' event, where Myles Hewlett led from start to finish, despite being a year out of his age group. In a dramatic finish, Myles shared victory in a dead-heat.
With Owen Lennon, Cosmo Hewlett and Oisín Mac Eochaidh all running well, it was no surprise that the boys took another team medal following their team win the previous week in Taghmon.
Adam O'Connor, out of his age group, finished a fine fourth in a well-contested Under-16 boys' race.
Rebecca Bawden also followed up a good run last week with another strong effort in the Under-18 event over 3k.
The final Strider in action, over a very tough 7k course, was Emmett Malone in the men's Senior race. Taking a break from road and parkrun events, Emmett put in a fine effort on the grass to set him up nicely for the upcoming county championship cross-country events. Well done to all who competed.
ST. JOSEPH'S A.C.
The first Sunday in October means the first day of the Kilkenny cross-country championships, hosted as always by St. Joseph's on the Grennan farm at Ballycurran Cross.
A fantastic club turn-out of 38 Juvenile and eleven Masters athletes ensured club involvement in almost all the races.
The action started at Under-8 over 200m with Saorlaith Mullally seventh, Derbhla Ryan eighth, Isobel Griffin tenth, Molly Ryan twelfth, and Olivia Mullally 16th, all competing in the girls' race.
The boys were represented by Kai Chan (seventh), Sam McDonald (tenth) and Dylan Murphy in 13th position. Dylan, in his debut cross-country race, had an eventful finish when he ran into a post in the finishing chute as he battled for places with another athlete.
The Under-10 girls over 600m saw the unusual situation of the McDonald and Garvey sisters battling against each other in a great turn-out of twelve club athletes.
This great group of girls won first team prize led home in fourth position by Lily Ryan, followed by Keelin Byrne (eighth), Sarah Foley (ninth), Megan Doyle (tenth), Aisleann Mullally (14th), Cíle Garvey (23rd), Isabella Murphy (29th), Aoife Purcell (31st), Eimear McDonald (37th), Mia Barry (38th), Mairéad McDonald (40th), and Méabh Garvey (42nd).
The star club performance of the day came from a familiar source when Joss O'Connor romped to victory in the boys' Under-10 race. He was followed by Ciarán Cummins (seventh), Kyle Bolger (17th), and Jack Barron (26th), with the boys winning third team prize.
The girls' Under-12 race saw the distance increase considerably to 1,500m. The club athletes made light of the distance and wet underfoot conditions, with a fantastic finish from Grace Glennon seeing her finish in an unusual joint second position.
Not far behind was Maeve Bookle in seventh place, followed by Eabha Mullally (eleventh), Mairéad Mullally (16th), Breanna Beirne (20th), Aoife Lanigan (24th), Lily Doyle (31st), and Caoimhe Barry (36th).
The girls' great performances were rewarded by winning the second team prize. Conor Lanigan was the sole club athlete in the Under-12 boys' race, and a great sprint finish saw him finish in 15th position.
The girls' Under-14 race over a really challenging 2,500m distance saw Danielle Griffin having a fine run to finish fifth, with Ciara Mullally and Rachel Foley both running very well to finish ninth and twelfth respectively.
Jamie O'Connor kept the club colours flying in the boys' Under-14 race, and he had an eventful run as he ran through a wet patch and left one of his spikes in the mud on the first lap. It didn't stop him from completing the bulk of the race wearing just one shoe and he finished in 16th place.
Katie Bookle was the sole club runner in the Under-16 girls' race, and she had a strong run over the energy-sapping distance of 3,500m in finishing eighth overall.
A great turn-out of club athletes in the Over-40 women's race over 3,000m saw Maria Griffin lead the team home in third position, followed by Mary Doolan (eighth), Maggie Helen O'Connor (tenth), Hanora O'Connor (twelfth), Susan Lanigan (13th), Siobhán O'Leary (14th), Siobhán Mullally (15th) and Tracy Malone (18th).
A great day's action concluded with the men's 0ver-40 championship over 6,000m, with a third team prize the reward for a great effort from Patrick Bookle (seventh), David Lanigan (ninth) and Stephen O'Connor (tenth).
Well done to all St. Joseph's athletes, and a big thanks to all the club personnel who spent many hours assisting in the running of the championships.
A particular thanks to the Grennan family for the use of their land.
Many club athletes are preparing for the Dublin City marathon, and congratulations to Mary McDonald and Jackie O'Shaughnessy who ran the Dublin City half-marathon in 2:00:39 and 2:21:44 respectively - two athletes well on track for the Dublin marathon at the end of October.
Janette Mulvany and Peter Mulvany ran the challenging Dublin half-marathon recently.
Dermot Foley, Marcus Linehan, Micheál Kinsella, Cillian Corkery, Darren O'Grady, Ger Mulhall, Louise Henderson, Sharron Dier, Jack McCormack and Shane McCormack ran the Ben 5k on Sunday week. It was great to see the event, in memory of a very special boy, so well supported.
The Juvenile even age and Novice cross-country championship races took place in JFK Memorial Park, New Ross, on Sunday.
First in action were the Under-10 girls who all went out and did themselves and the club proud. Well done Millie Stone, Abigail Quinn, Grace Goggins and Lucy McCormack. For Millie and Grace, this was their first cross-country race.
Cian Donovan, in his first race in a Menapians singlet, had a fantastic day. Taking the lead early on, he worked hard going up the hill to hold onto that position and crossed the line to win a gold in the Under-10 boys' race.
Lucia Goggins ran in the Under-12 cross-country, moving up from Under-11 to compete. She ran at a sensible pace in the first lap and during the second lap she upped the pace and finished tenth and is in line now to represent Wexford at the Leinster cross-country championships.
Aisling Goggins and Eimear Halpin represented the club in the Under-14 girls' race. It was a tough race and both girls had to work hard.
Eimear was in eleventh place with one lap to go. She dug deep in the last lap and despite battling a stitch improved her position to eighth and will be a member of the Wexford Under-14 girls' team at the Leinster cross-country championships at the end of the month.
Aisling Goggins suffered a stitch in the second lap but stayed strong and her top 20 final placing was richly deserved.
Róisín O'Reilly, who was fifth recently at the St. Senan's A.C. open cross-country, was in action in the Under-16 girls' race.
She sprinted into the lead early on and kept the pace steady for the remainder of the first lap.
An injection of pace at the start of the second lap saw her open up a comfortable lead which she extended over the remainder of the race in a very impressive performance.
In the Novice cross-country races the club was represented by Sharon Dier, John Dier, Ger Mulhall and Darren O'Grady. Well done everyone.