Ger and Emily lead the field
County intermediate road races
The Mr Oil Intermediate road race county championship took place on Sunday on the outskirts of Wexford town. The event was hosted by Menapians A.C. and once again saw increased fields in both the ladies' and men's races.
The ladies' 4k race set off at 12 noon sharp from the start line close to the old hospital, heading towards Carriglawn and out towards Ferrycarrig, before rounding back towards Carriglawn to the finish. In strong contention from the starter's whistle was Emily O'Connor from Slaney Olympic.
Having already won the Novice county road race title last month, Emily's powerful form was evident throughout the race and she crossed the line in a time of 15.49, nine seconds clear of Sharon Kehoe of United Striders. Sharon, who was also second in the Novice, finished strong in a time of 15.58. In third position was S.B.R's Mary Doyle in 16.21.
In the team event the county title went to the ladies of S.B.R. on 27 points. Scoring for the champion team were Mary Doyle (third), Lillian Lawless (fifth), Louise Redmond (ninth) and Ciara Bowe (tenth).
In second place was the Slaney Olympic team of Emily O'Connor (first), Siobhán O'Shea (eighth), Martina O'Sullivan (eleventh) and Kelly Long (twelfth). The bronze team medals went to the host club, Menapians, with the scoring team made up of Alex Donohue (fourth), Lorraine McMahon (seventh), Miriam Hill (16th) and Catherine O'Connor (17th).
Next off were the men with 8k, with plenty of hills along the way. Taking an early lead was Ger Forde, who is currently unattached, having applied for an inter-county transfer from Dublin to Wexford which is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Leading the field of 45 athletes from early in the race, Ger pulled away from the pack, eventually taking the county Intermediate title in a time of 26.46.
Behind him the battle for the silver was being fought between United Striders clubmates Paul Doran and Seán Murphy, with Paul pulling away in the closing stages to take second position in a time of 28.36. Seán was close on his heels for the bronze in 28.48 to the delight of the large Striders supporting spectators.
With such a strong showing from the New Ross club it was evident that they would be the ones to beat in the team event, and indeed they did take first position when the final results tally was in.
The gold medal-winning team consisted of Paul Doran (second), Seán Murphy (third), Luke Butler (seventh) and Pat O'Callaghan (eighth). With huge numbers out and strong finishes all round, Slaney Olympic took both the silver and the bronze team prizes.
The second-placed team for Slaney was Brian Maher (fourth), John Foley (sixth), Jessie O'Connor (ninth) and Fergus Murphy (eleventh). Finishing in third place in the team event for Slaney were David Kehoe (13th), Conor Hyland (16th), Pat Hyland (18th) and Brian Murphy (23rd) with a total score of 60 points.
Post-race refreshments followed in the Sarsfields G.A.A. clubhouse, hosted by Menapians A.C. The next championship road race event will be the highlight event, the Mr Oil county Senior road race championship in Enniscorthy on Friday, May 15, at 7 p.m., hosted by Slaney Olympic.
With such outstanding standards evident from both Novice and Intermediate grades, the Senior will be eagerly anticipated and may be one of the hardest-fought titles to be won in many years. Full results are available on the Athletics Wexford website.
In other news, Marco Pons of D.M.P. was representing D.C.U. at the recent Irish Universities championship, and the discus thrower claimed his fourth consecutive inter-varsity title.
He threw a distance of 48.32m to take the gold medal, helping D.C.U. to claim the overall male and female colleges title, as they did in the indoors.