D.M.P. A.C. - A reminder that the D.M.P. Athletics Club A.G.M. will take place Wednesday, January 21, at 8pm in Murrintown Community Centre. A large turn-out is expected and we would appreciate and encourage parents to attend.
The following evening, Thursday, January 22, there will be a registration night in Murrintown, again in the Community Centre, beginning at 8pm. There will also be another opportunity for athletes to be registered the following week in Piercestown on Monday, January 26, at 6.30 p.m.
Great performances were witnessed from Menapians at the first round of the National Indoor League in Athlone, with a raft of 60m PB's to kick off the season for a majority of the sprint squad.
Aran Meyler was quickest for the club with 7.11, knocking several one-hundredths off his previous best and gaining great points for the club in the process.
Jane Shovlin did likewise in the women's 60, taking nearly a tenth off her previous best with 8.21.
In the guest races there were some huge improvements for the rest of the squad with Conor Wilson just edging a cracking race with team-mate David McDonald to win with 7.15 from David's impressive 7.17, still a 15-year-old for another few weeks! Conor took .12 off his previous best as did David.
Michael Deady lowered his best from 7.37 to win his race in 7.27 just ahead of clubmate Shaun Donohue with 7.36, just off his best. Tony Stafford was one-hundredth off his best with a great 7.20 coming into some fine form.
Mikey Cullen was another in PB shape with a 7.28 after gaining some valuable points in the long jump. Keith Smith was impressive, jumping 6.70 twice.
Jane Shovlin also took third in the long jump with a leap just under 5m, and Amiele Zeghli was just behind her. Amiele also had a great run in the women's 60 guest race behind the impressive Phil Healy who cruised to a 7.44 win.
Ruth Bowe ran her first indoor 800m and acquitted herself fantastically with plenty left for the coming races. Conor Gaffney suffered from a scintillating open pace but hung on for a stong fifth place.
Enda Cloake was impressive in his first 800m, taking fifth in 2.05 in the guest race. Damian Walsh took a huge half-second off his 60m hurdles time with a fantastic 9.87, and Orla Furney made a welcome return to the track, taking second in her hurdles race with some valuable points in the bag.
Well done to all and next up is the national Junior and Under-23s in two weeks back in Athlone where the club will again be out in force.
Back in Wexford our hardy cross-country athletes competed in Lingstown, coping well with the cold and wind. For the first time ever we had a women's team in the Masters county championships, thanks to Lorraine McMahon, Avril Boland and Catherine O'Connor. Well done girls; I did not get any placings yet but the finishing order was Lorraine, Catherine and Avril. Well done also to Stephen Ainsworth, Tadhg Henderson and Ken Jones who battled the wind for eight km.
We then moved on to our Juvenile teams in the county cross-country relays. Our first Under-12 girls ran really well and were unlucky to end up outside of the medals in fourth place in what was a very competitive race. Well done to Eimear Halpin, Cara Corkery, Caoimhe Monahan and Sinéad O'Reilly.
Our Under-12 boys did exceptionally well to finish second with great running from Joe Mernagh, Ke Burke-Young, Sam Norval and Mark Hennessy. Our Under-14 girls were also delighted with their second place, a great result for Suzie Brennan, Sabia Doyle, Liadh Dwyer and Róisín O'Reilly.
The Under-14 boys followed up with a good third place with Tim Gilhooley, Shane O'Neill, Cillian Corkery and John Hennessy. Our second Under-14 team led out by Nathan Murphy, followed by Christopher Burke-Young, Ben Logue and Adam Leahy, ran very well also.
Well done to our other team members who ran really well, namely Anoushka Nolan, Sarah Leahy, Ava Kearney, Troy Sinnott, Michael McMahon, Jack Halpin, Cian Lacey, Jonah Whelan, James Whelan, Finn Cullen and Seán Logue.
Next Saturday commencing at 10 a.m. sharp on the track in Rosslare we have the club Under-8 to -16 multi events competition so we hope to see everyone there for some fun and competition at different events.
We are now getting into squeaky bum time in the league as last Wednesday we finished week ten and now there are only six more ranking events to go before we have the final standings decided. It's now time for the players to step up to the plate and be counted.
The ladies' final saw the league leader, Michelle Bradley, playing Anne Sinnott in a close match. This was Anne's first final appearance this year but you wouldn't notice as she showed no nerves to really give Michelle a run for her money in a tense encounter.
Although Michelle won out in the end to stretch her lead at the top, you get the feeling that Anne is hitting a bit of form at the right time of the season and she could yet cause some upsets. Michelle rolls on and is sitting pretty at the summit for now.
The first main event semi- final saw Tom Kent play Alan Bennett in a match that saw some outstanding darts and some nifty finishing. Alan has hit some good form lately and he was well up for this match against Tom who has been consistently getting in some good performances this season and is a shoe-in for a top 16 spot this year.
Alan won the first leg to take the lead but Tom hit back to level things up and take us to a deciding leg where Alan hit top from to make his way to the final, but who would he meet?
Colm Noblett and Paul Murphy squared up then to see who would play Alan in the final and this was a quality game from the two inter-county players. The scoreline of two legs to nil to Paul wasn't a fair reflection of the game as it easily could have been the other way around. Paul leads the league but Colm is another player who will make the vital top 16 with some ease and is a threat to all of the rest.
The final saw Paul and Alan play one of the best games witnessed this season and it was a great advert for the league. The standard of this match was outstanding in terms of scoring and finishing and it was a joy to watch.
Paul raced into a two legs to nil lead and this was despite Alan hitting a 180 in the second leg. It looked like Paul was going to run away with it but Alan is nothing if not determined and he threw in a twelve-dart third leg which included a 132 checkout to get within one leg of Paul.
Alan now was on a roll and the fourth leg was easily dispatched to level the match. It was a fitting finale that it should go all the way to a deciding leg and the watching players were engrossed in every minute of it.
Paul threw first in the fifth leg and he had a great start of 140 to pile the pressure on Alan who responded with a throw of 100. Paul though was in no mood to let up and a 100 followed by another 140 set him up nicely for the match and he made no mistake on the double and it was over.
It's a pity that we had to have a loser is a cliché that's been over-used in sport, but this was definitely one of those occasions on Wednesday in Foley's Bar, Newbawn. We look forward to week eleven with anticipation.
St Joseph's A.C.
The first county cross-country championships of 2015 saw Baltic weather conditions in Bramblestown, Gowran for the county Masters Over-35 men, Over-30 women and Juvenile events.
Sarah Foley got the 2015 cross-country year for St. Joseph's off to a great start when winning the Under-8 girls' race. In the girls' Under-12 race, Erin Foley finished sixth with Aoife Byrne close behind in ninth. Tracey Malone was the sole club representative in the Senior women's Over-30 race, finishing seventh.
The Senior men's Over-35 race over 6,000 metres saw six St. Joseph's athletes on the start line. Seamus Power continued where he left off in 2014, leading the team home in sixth position.
He was followed by Patrick Bookle in 12th, Paul Sheehan 17th, Larry Lacey 18th, Rocky Mernagh 19th and Michael Power 21st. Unfortunately, the team was pipped for bronze medals.
The Ferrycarrig five-mile road race saw a St. Joseph's representation on Sunday, January 5. First to finish for the club was Dean Rowe in 31.03, and hot on his heels was Sally Forristal in 31.12, also being the fourth lady to finish. Larry Lacey finished close behind Sally in 31.56 with Michael Power finishing in 33.20.
The St. Joseph's dinner dance and awards night will be on Saturday, February 7, in the Rhu Glenn. The meal will be served at 8 p.m. followed by awards, band and disco. Tickets for the dinner dance cost €25 per adult and €15 per child.
St Killian's A.C.
The supporters who made the journey to Lingstown on Sunday were rewarded with some excellent competition, especially the Masters men's county championships that saw our own Niall Sheil win the title in a thrilling race.
The conditions were truly demanding with a very strong wind adding to the bitter cold temperatures.
The women's race was over 4km and it saw Jackie Carthy of Kilmore continue her good form in winning the title in a comfortable fashion.
The men's race was over 6km with Niall going in as favourite after finishing second in the Senior championships at the same venue four weeks ago. He was going to have company though with Paul Lynch showing good form over the Christmas period with some good wins.
Also in contention were John McGrath and Martin Monaghan. It was Niall's first race of the year having taken a forced break for a number of weeks. It was a four-lap course and Paul made his intentions clear from the start, setting off at a blistering pace.
After the first lap Paul had a clear lead from Martin, Niall and John. This was to stay the same until the last lap when John made his move and went in pursuit of Paul, with Niall in tow.
It was looking ominous for Niall at this stage but he got his tactics spot on and made his move with 400m to go, passing Paul and John to take the win with John finishing strong and Paul taking bronze.
It was a great, true cross-country race that was thoroughly enjoyed by all present. Well done to all involved.
For anyone with their new year's resolutions, don't forget that there is Senior club training on Tuesday and Saturday.
Slaney Olympic A.C.
Marie Chapman kicked off the marathon season in Ireland for 2015 by hosting the first marathon of the year. Runners came from as far as Kerry and Donegal to run this race.
Slaney Olympic was well represented with Mag Sludds, Ger Dempsey, Mag Balfe, Jessie and Esther O'Connor, Dooley French, Tom Crofts, Seamus Jordan and Dee Boland all lining out for the club. A lot of new PB's were earned and special thanks to race director Marie Chapman.
The final race of the cross-country season, the County Masters, was held in what can only be described as cold and very windy conditions on a challenging course. The first race was for the ladies, which was 4km or two and a half laps of the course.
Slaney Olympic had three ladies' teams represented and a total of 29 Masters ladies ran. Slaney Olympic ladies put in a brilliant performance by not only scoring team gold but also individual silver for Catherine Murphy and individual bronze for Catherine Walsh. Emily O'Connor was fifth lady home to make up the winning team.
The men's Masters race was 6km or four laps of the course. Once again Slaney Olympic figured on the scoresheet, earning team gold with 'Farmer', Jim Stafford and Dave Barron on the team. United Striders had the same score, but Slaney won on countback.