Emily, Trevor lead the way
Novice road races in Ferns
The Mr Oil Novice road race county championship took place in Ferns on Sunday, with exceptionally large fields in both the ladies' and men's events. Weather conditions were excellent for the event, which brought the village to a standstill due to the large crowd of competitors and supporters.
The ladies' race was run over 3k starting at the top of the Stump Lane, coming out at the main road at Lodgewood and back into Ferns, finishing on the square outside Ferns Castle.
In a field of 71 athletes, Emily O'Connor from Slaney Olympic had to pull out a very strong finish to take the county title in a time of eleven minutes and 46 seconds, just ahead of a challenge from Sharon Kehoe of United Striders who took the silver a mere five seconds behind Emily. Louise Redmond of S.B.R. was third in 12.01.
In the team event, Slaney Olympic were jubilant to take the top prize with superb finishes by the top four ladies on 35 points. The team was Emily O'Connor, Tara O'Connor, Karen Murphy and Aoife Kavanagh.
In second place was the home team of S.B.R. - Louise Redmond, Ciara Bowe, Cathy Maher and Belinda Kehoe - close behind on 37 points. United Striders took bronze with Sharon Kehoe, Catherine Power, Ann Ryan and Sonia Tierney scoring 43 points for the New Ross club.
The men's 6k circuit brought the field of runners out past Ferns G.A.A. grounds, turning for Ballycarney, and then onto the ladies' circuit for the second half of the race.
The Novice county title went to Trevor Conroy from S.B.R. who finished strongly in 20.45 to the delight of the home crowd. Brian Maher of Slaney Olympic was second in 21.02, leading his clubmate, Bobby Redmond, who earned bronze in 21.12.
Gold in the men's team event was undoubtedly going to Slaney Olympic, who did not need to wait on the results to be calculated. Indeed, such was the strength of the club amongst the 60 athletes that they also took silver.
The first team was made up of Brian Maher, Bobby Redmond, Fergus Murphy (fourth) and David Kehoe (fifth), scoring just 14 points.
The Slaney 'B' team in second place was Jessie O'Connor (eighth), Pat Hyland (ninth), Conor Hyland (14th) and Declan Ivers (17th).
Bronze team medals went to S.B.R. led by Trevor Conroy with Patrick Curley, John Murphy and Jarlath Duffy, scoring 57 points.
The host club, Sliabh Bhuidhe Rovers, organised a welcome opportunity for post-race analysis directly after the championships, accompanied by refreshments, in Ferns Community Centre.
The next race in the county championship series is the Mr Oil Intermediate road race which will take place on Sunday, April 19, in Wexford town, hosted by Menapians with full details of the route to follow closer to the date.