United Striders AC - The under-age Striders had their best day at a county cross-country event in many years when a big squad scooped a total of 13 medals in the championship races at the Wexford even-age championships.
In the non-championship Under-10 races, the Striders had good representation and some very promising performances. First home for the girls was Chloe Berry, closely followed by Lucy Power and Juno Clarke. The boys had Seán Lennon, Luca O'Connor and Sam Myers all finish in the top ten, just ahead of Donnacha and Ciarán McCarthy.
With almost 40 Under-12 girls facing the starter, Leona Berry and Ciara Murphy did well to finish in the top ten and were helped by Kelly Corbett to win a team bronze. Our second team of Aisling Ryan, Elaine Aspel and Isabel Bawden all ran really well and were unlucky not to win a team medal.
We had a bumper result in the boys' Under-12 event, with Striders winning both the individual and team events. Aidan Shannon was very impressive, leading from the start and winning ahead of a top-quality field. Darragh Flannelly and Myles Hewlett were just outside the individual medals, but combined with Aidan to gain a comfortable win in the team event.
With nine Striders in the event, our second team of Eoin Shannon, Finn Kelly and Owen Lennon won team bronze and our third team of Caolan Costello, Oisín Mac Eochaidh and Ben Myers weren't far away in fourth.
The Under-14 girls were also in the medals, with Eve Byrne leading home team-mates Clodagh Foran and Aisling Power to a silver. Also running very well for Striders were Erinn Shannon, Louise Doyle, Catríona Ryan and Leah Myers.
The Under-14 boys managed to win four medals, led home by a magnificent winning performance from Aaron Browne. Despite being a year out of age, Adam O'Connor won an individual bronze. Aaron and Adam were joined by Conor Murphy for gold in the team event. Our second team home, Ryan Kielthy, Travis Phillips and Mikie Murphy, all did exceptionally to take the team bronze.
The Under-16 girls, Katie Murphy and Grace Costello, finished first and second. With the help of Rebecca Bawden and Ciara Kelly, the Striders took another team gold.
The final action for the Striders were third and fourth place finishes for Elaina Browne and Hayleigh Bawden in the Under-18 event.
Well done to all athletes, coaches and parents on a great club day. Congratulations to all athletes who have qualified for Wexford teams, in particular Finn Kelly, who is going to look so good in purple and gold.
Also at Adamstown were the Senior Novice county championships and first up we had the ladies with one team of four in the 3k. Our newcomers, Aine Boland and Sonya Byrne, ran a blistering pace, finishing very highly placed in sixth and seventh respectively.
Sinéad Donovan and Aine Cullen completed the ladies' team and the women's team was unlucky to finish in fourth place.
Then we had the men with a tough run of 6k. Four laps of this hilly course was a good test for everyone. Pat O'Callaghan was the hero of the day but unfortunately was pipped on the line for a fourth place finish.
In a very competitive field of 48 this was a super effort from Pat. Proud to say that we had ten men compete, with fantastic runs from all, including Luke Butler, David Byrne, Patrick 'Lala' Murphy, Colm Stafford, Emmett Malone, newcomer John O'Neill, Michael O'Gorman, Gavin Kelly (our Leinster sprinting champion!) and Martin Kehoe.
Special congratulations to John O'Neill in his first Striders club race. Unfortunately, the men lost out on a team bronze by two points.
Sparks New Ross 54, St. Patrick's 24: The first game of the new season for the Sparks took place on Wednesday in front of a great crowd of supporters in St. Mary's, New Ross (big thanks to all the Under-12/13 team and their parents who stayed around after their game to watch the ladies' team!).
This year has seen a new edition to the squad with Elaine Kennington transferring from the Waterford Wildcats. Sparks have also a new coach this season and will be under the guidance of Jim Dudley for the season ahead. Anxious to get the season under way, Sparks were looking to get off to a good start against long-standing rivals, St. Pat's.
Sparks started the game at a blistering pace; with St. Pat's playing zone defence it allowed Sparks to shoot from around the perimeter.
N. Gannon was in flying shooting form in the first quarter, scoring seven points unanswered to allow Sparks to run into a ten-point lead early on. Pat's got on the scoreboard through an A. Prendergast drive in the key.
Pat's gradually got themselves more into the game with N. Walsh and K. Moran baskets. E. Kennington got Sparks back on track with some good play inside and from the free throw line to give Sparks the lead (15-7).
Sparks picked up the defence some more and restricted Pat's to just five points in the second quarter. E. Kennington was getting more and more into the game and reaped the rewards. Sparks continued where they left off in the first with some good shooting from C. Wallace and D. Kennington and went in at half-time 31-12 up.
Pat's switched things up and upped the intensity in the third quarter, and it took Sparks a few moments to adjust to this change. Both teams struggled to score and it was a battle of the defences.
C. Wallace broke the deadlock with two great shots and with points from the free throw line from N. Gannon and M. Kairtye. A. Furlong was really working well on defence and forced many turnovers in the quarter which allowed Sparks extend their lead to 40-15.
St. Pat's didn't give up and kept battling to the end with L. Whitely and N. Walsh converting in the quarter. They were tiring however and Sparks took full advantage with E. Tighe converting on the fast break.
Further baskets from E. Kennington and C. Wallace allowed Sparks to eventually run out 54-24 winners. It was a great start to the season but there's a lot to work on also.
Next up for the Sparks is Wildcats 'B' in New Ross on October 21 at 8.15 p.m. The Under-13s also take on Wildcats that day in the game before at 7 p.m.
Sparks: N. Gannon (9), S. Mullett, E. Kennington (21), K. Whelan, C. Wallace (8), D. Kennington (9), M. Kairtye (1), K. Costigan, E. Tighe (6), A. Furlong, C. Walsh, L. Kehoe.
ST. JOSEPH'S A.C.
A beautiful calm day for day two of the Co. Kilkenny cross-country championships saw St. Joseph's athletics descend on Castlecomer on Sunday.
The day started perfectly for the club with Kyle Bolger winning the Under-7 race and Hugh Beirne finishing a fine fourth. Aisleann Mullally and Isobel Griffin finished fourth and eighth respectively in the Under-7 girls' race.
The largest fields were in the Under-9 and Under-11 races. In the Under-9 girls' race, Eabha Mullally led the team home in sixth position with Lily Doyle 13th, Sarah Foley 14th, and Megan Doyle 24th.
Joss O'Connor followed his win a week earlier in the Under-8 race with an excellent fourth position in the Under-9 race. In the same race, Conor Lanigan finished 21st, and Oisín Mullally 31st.
The Under-11 girls over 1,000 metres saw a huge field of 50 athletes and it saw the performance of the day by a St. Joseph's athlete when Aine Purcell put in a storming finish to overhaul two runners ahead of her to record a fantastic win.
She led home a great turn-out of nine St. Joseph's athletes, with Grace Glennon a splendid fourth after winning the Under-10 race a week earlier followed by Mairéad Mullally 17th, Maeve Bookle 21st, Bronagh Doolan 25th, Holly Hughes 28th, Rachel Foley 33rd, Aoife Lanigan 34th, Caitlin Mullally 40th , and Kaylan Doyle 48th.
Aine, Grace, Mairéad and Maeve won the second team prize. The Under-11 boys' team saw Declan Murphy finish 17th and Aidan Lawlor 24th.
The girls' Under-13 race over 1,500 metres saw Áine McDonald lead the team home in ninth place, followed closely by Danielle Griffin 11th, Erin Foley 14th, Katie Bookle 15th, Aoife Byrne 17th and Naoimh O'Connor 33rd. Aine, Danielle, Erin and Katie also won the second team prize.
Tomás Mullally in fifth position, Evan O'Toole in sixth and Jamie O'Connor in 27th represented the club in the boys' Under-13 race.
Grace Mullally (13th) and Linda Lawlor (14th) kept the club colours flying in the girls' Under-15 race, with Darragh McDonald (13th), Alex Hughes (16th) and Paul Murphy (17th) running the boys' Under-15 race.
Seamus Power was first home in the men's Over-45 race, followed by Paul Sheehan (seventh) and Michael Power (eleventh). The men won third team prize.
Congratulations to all the club participants in the Solas ten-mile race in Waterford. Sally Forristal finished in 1.05.10 and was second lady overall. Sally was followed closely by David Lanigan 1.05.57, Elaine O'Donovan 1.09.41, Mary McDonald 1.33.00, Steph Connolly 1.33.40, Tracey Malone 1.37.59, Jackie O'Shaughnessy 1.47.46 and Catherine Hennessy 1.47.46.
Wexford Wanderers first XV hosted the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (R.C.S.I.) on Sunday at Park Lane in an early kick-off to facilitate the viewing of a somewhat important game in Cardiff.
This Division 2B Leinster League encounter must have been unique at Park Lane by the volume of medical professionals on the pitch at any one time. The home side opened the scoring with scrum-half Ryan sauntering over for a converted try.
R.C.S.I. however responded to level to score before Wexford full-back, the returning Derek Butler, cut the defence open to restore the lead, and all this in the opening five minutes. Ten minutes later the legendary Aidan 'Chicken' Stewart drove over for the third try before R.C.S.I. scored their second and last try of the contest.
On the half-hour mark in his first Senior appearance for Wanderers, the lightning-quick Liam Barry benefited from some excellent handling to race away for a try in the corner.
Just on the whistle of half-time, captain Seán O Corcora managed to evade the visitors and score under the posts to allow for the easiest of conversions. The half-time score was 27-12.
In the second period it was a case of 'cometh the hour, cometh the man', with winger Paudge Cousins owning the contest with his speed and kicking. The opening try of the second period was scored by second row Mossie Earle and converted by Cousins before Cousins scored his hat-trick of tries which were interspersed by tries from Tom Brennan, Willie Morris and John Rowe along with a second for Ryan.
To this Cousins added six conversions to take his personal tally to 27 for the half. R.C.S.I. were relieved when the end finally arrived and the scoreline was limited to 81-12.
The win moves Wanderers into the top half of the table and next up is a must-win encounter with Athy who lie just above them. Park Lane will certainly be the place to be for this encounter next Sunday.
The time for this fixture is listed as 3 p.m., but the slight matter of a World Cup quarter-final game against 'Los Pumas' may have a bearing on this fixture. Supporters are asked to keep a watching brief on the club Twitter and Facebook accounts for any changes.
Team: Dave Martin, Richie Morris, James Byrne, John Turner, Mossie Earle, Tom Brennan, Aidan Stewart, Dara Keogh, Stuart Ryan, Paul Gannon, Liam Barry, Tom Barry, Seán O Corcora (capt.), Paudge Cousins, Derek Butler. Subs. - Alan Kinsella, Luke Roche, John Rowe, Mick Donoghue, Willie Morris, Colm O Corcora, Nick Jones.
Congratulations to Billy Harpur on his award for athlete of the month for August which was presented to him at the Novice cross-country in Adamstown by Wexford Athletics.
Well done to all who competed in the county Novice cross-country in Adamstown in perfect running conditions. It was a great day for S.B.R. with the ladies taking gold in the team and the men taking the bronze, with Martin Askins taking gold in the men's race. Well done to all.
Last Sunday saw the county Intermediate cross-country take place in JFK, New Ross again in perfect running conditions, and what a day it was for S.B.R. with both the ladies and men taking gold in the team events.
Competing for the ladies in the 4k race were Lillian Lawless who finished in third place overall to take the bronze medal in a time of 17.28, Ciara Bowe in fourth place in 17.44, Louise Gregan in fifth place in 17.50, followed by Belinda Kehoe in 18.52 and Leanne Kearney in 19.12.
The men were next up for their 8k race and competing were Martin Askins who crossed the line in 30.15 to take the bronze medal. Trevor Conroy followed three seconds later in 30.18 to finish fourth overall.
Next home for the club was Bernard Fortune in 30.34, Jim O'Malley 30.37, David Leonard 30.59, Patrick Curley 30.02, Adrian Doyle 37.47 and Mark Kearney in 40.16. Well done to all, fantastic running by everyone.
Well done to all to competed in the Bunscoil Loreto 5k in Gorey on Sunday. There was a great turn-out on a perfect afternoon for the run.
Well done to Mag O'Leary who travelled to Waterford to take part in the ten-mile Solas Run for Life on Sunday.
Cross-country training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the stubble field past the G.A.A. pitch; turn left for Ballycarney and it's the second gate on the right. There is also training on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the G.A.A. field for all levels.
If anybody is interested in joining S.B.R. and would like more information, please contact our Secretary, Louise Kehoe, on 086-8276661 or P.R.O. Marie Cullen on 087-2776785.
SLANEY OLYMPIC A.C.
Brian Maher was first across the finish line on Saturday in the Johnstown Castle Parkrun in a great time of 17.15. Second man home was Pat Hyland in 17.45 and coming home in fifth place was Tom O'Shea in 18.48.
Also taking part from the club were Michael Thorpe in 24.29 and Kay O'Regan in 27.58.
David Kehoe was the sole Slaney Olympian taking part in the Parkrun in JFK on Saturday and was first home in a great time of 17.49.
'Farmer' Monaghan headed to Waterford on Sunday to take part in the Solas Centre Run for Life ten-mile road race and was second home in a great time of 57.52. Well done 'Farmer'.
The Senior cross-country will be hosted by Croghan A.C. on Sunday, December 13.
The venue for the Intermediate cross-country was the picturesque JFK Park just outside New Ross. The Park is always maintained to a high standard and this was evident in the super conditions underfoot, with mowed fairways throughout. The weather again was unseasonably warm which all made for a great day of racing.
The ladies' race was first off at 12 noon and consisted of 4k or three laps of the course. Emily O'Connor led from gun to finish, cruising around the first two laps before putting down the foot and finishing the clear winner in a great time of 16.51 and claiming individual gold.
Slaney Olympic ladies also went on to score team silver for the club. Go Slaney go!
Full ladies' results: Emily O'Connor 16.51, Anne Marie Nolan 19.06, Sarah Byrne 19.11, Alison Storey 19.26, Ciara Kearney 19.32, Sabina Sweeney 19.48.
Immediately after the ladies' race, the Intermediate men's 8k race began. Slaney Olympic's Ger Forde led from the outset and was the clear winner.
Ger came home in 27.18 to win individual gold, almost three minutes ahead of the second man home.
Full men's results: Ger Forde 27.18, Paul Browne 30.12, Ben Hill 31.47, Will Doyle 33.28, Paul Murphy 36.36.
Many thanks to Kevin Murphy for all his help in preparing us all for the races, to Matt Murphy for the photos, to Slaney Catering for the fabulous teas and cakes, and to the supporters for turning out in such numbers. Go Slaney go!
There will be an A.G.M. in Ferns Hall on Saturday at 4 p.m. sharp. All clubs should attend.