Race number four of the McGrady Financial Services junior cross country series took place on a cool and windy Sunday afternoon at Delamont Country Park. As the race officials marked and then remarked the course there was much debate as to what way the weather would treat the gutsy crew of young athletes. Luckily it stayed dry as the head wind and undulating course proved a stern test for all who took part, especially Jerome McCrickard, some 30somthing years too old to officially take part, lead the majority of the younger age group races around the course to ensure no one wandered astray! A big thank you to Jerome from all involved.
As the whistle sounded the P4 and under race got under way at a sharp pace and followed with a close fought battle throughout with Michael Murdock of Burren AC securing a win with a gap of 4 seconds over 2nd placed Jamie Williamson, Newcastle AC, and a strong finish from Louis Sheridan, Newcastle AC, got him a deserved 3rd place. Things were not as close in the girls section of the race as Amy McCrickard stormed to another victory with over 20 seconds to spare over 2nd placed Caitlin Valentine and 3rd placed Rose Carson, all three from Newcastle AC will have been pleased with great performances.
Next was the P5 race and the boys section was all about Burren AC at the front with Thomas McKeaveney and Calum McDonagh being separated by a few hundredths of a second with Thomas edging 1st place. The Burren trio on the podium was completed by a strong run from James McMahon to grab 3rd place. Izzy Farrell, Burren AC, lead from start to finish in the girls race to claim a great 1st place with East Down’s Dearbhla Curry 2nd and Newcastle’s Hannah Carson 3rd after a great battle between the pair throughout.
The P6 boys had another close race with Danny Williamson, Newcastle AC, getting clear at the end to grab 1st place. Aaron Murdock, Burren AC, got 2nd place as he edged clear of 3rd placed Andrew McGrattan of East Down AC. Libby Maloney from East Down had a great race and claimed 1st place with Newcastle’s Eve Kenneally in 2nd and East Down’s Grace Surginor 3rd in the P6 girls.
Caolin Quinn of East Down set a fast pace in the P7 boys race and kept this going to the line to ensure 1st place, followed by Josh Faulkner, Newcastle AC, in 2nd and team mate Ben McGuigan in 3rd. Niamh Scullion edged out Burren team mate Eve Dunford to claim 1st place in the P7 girls race with Newcastle’s Kiera Cairns in 3rd.
The years 8 boys race got under way and Burren’s Jack O’Farrell lead from start to finish to claim top spot but had a strong challenge from Newcastle’s Gabriel Corrigan who eventually got 2nd with Burren’s James McKeaveney grabbing 3rd. Sarah Dougherty, Newcastle AC, again showed great speed getting another victory to her name and she was well backed up by her team mates Lucy Kenneally, 2nd, and Laura Molloy, 3rd. Laura had a great battle in the last lap against East Down’s Mary-Jo Tumelty as both swapped 3rd place several times with Laura just nicking it on the line, well done to both after a superb race.
Burren’s Peter Fegan ran clear of the field in the year 9 boys race to claim 1st place with Mathew Carrick, East Down AC, 2nd and Ardan McAvoy, Burren AC, just behind in 3rd. It was 3 from East Down on the podium in the girls section as Olivia Mooney edged Aoife Cochrane for 1st and Laura Green taking 3rd. Paraic Delahunt, Burren AC, pushed clear of Newcastle’s Daniel Molloy on the final 400m of the year 10 boys to claim 1st with Newcastle’s Aidan Hawkins claiming 3rd place. Laura Gardiner, East Down AC, showed her class as she won the year 10 girls with Newcastle’s Eilish and Catriona Doyle 2nd and 3rd respectively. The final race left a battle of the Newcastle AC year 11+ girls with Dearbhla Magee beating team mate Anna Rogan to first place with Anna showing great progress especially on the hills.
Another great turn out from the athletes and supporters. A big thanks to East Down AC and their helpers for measuring and setting the courses for the various race categories. The 5th and final race takes place on Saturday 16th February in Tollymore Forest Park. You must complete at least 4 out of the 5 races to complete the Series. Series prize giving will take place in March.
The 4th race of the McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series takes place this Sunday, 6th January, in Delamont Country Park.
The 5th and final race takes place on Saturday 16th February in Tollymore Forest Park. You must complete at least 4 out of the 5 races to complete the Series. Series prize giving will take place in March.
More details about Series HERE.