Newcastle AC Oh So Close To Retaining Cup At Comber
Report by David McNeilly
After a superb end to the cross country season at start of year by winning NI Junior, Comber Cup and Stormont cross country team events, the start of this years season was always going to be hard to live up to!!!
On Saturday 11th October the first round of the Athletics NI cross country league took place at the Billy Neill just outside Comber. The host club Ballydrain Harriers, done a super job running this event not once but twice in the one year! Thanks for all the food after the race.
Newcastle were well represent, the ladies race was first and Newcastle AC Rita Devlin performed well. This was Rita’s first experience of a cross country race and finished a very credible 62nd place out of field of over 100 runners.
Next up was the turn of the senior men. Three hours before the race we had 12 runners running, but as race got closer to the start time a few drop outs meant we were down to 9 runners as we walked course. As we went around the course we seen a Newcastle AC man walking towards us in his running gear, with no intention of running might I add! After some discussions we got him on board (but who was he) this meant we had 10 starters and 5 league points before the off.
From the off the pace was fast and Allan Bogle lead first two laps with Brendan Tear on his shoulder. Seamus and David were looking strong and changing places throughout the race and David Steele was showing his summer form and is looking good for the winter having a battle with Neil Carty.
David McNeilly was running steady and working his way up the field, Patrick Sheridan was having a super race and was going to be a big counter in the team race which was always going to be close between North Belfast, City Of Derry and Newcastle AC every place was going to count at the end! Could we do it!!!
Bredan Quail was running strong and after a well judge pace was working up the field, Martin Melville was finding his first cross Country race tough but battled all the way.
Paul Byrne, Richard Rodgers and Declan Magee all running well for the club and doing their bit for league points – super work lads.
Brendan made his break at front on lap 3 and never looked back to win.
David O’Flaherty finishing a superb 9th place and closely followed by Seamus Lynch 10th David Steele having a super last lap to pick off a few places to finish 12th,David McNeilly 18th Patrick Sheridan 24th excellent performance,Brendan Quail 26th, Martin Melville 58th, Paul Byrne 114th, Richard Rodgers 119th (so that was our 10th man) and Declan Magee finishing in 122nd
After the calculators were out word was starting to filter through that it wasn’t going to be our day – North Belfast just pipped us to the team title by 1 point their 98 points to our 99 points.
Brilliant performances by everyone at the start cross country season.
We didn’t win the cup but after round 1 in the Athletics NI League it makes good viewing as Newcastle AC are sitting Top with 15points.
Next round is on the 25th October Bobby Rea CC Jordanstown
1st November Springwell CC. Coleraine
8th November McConnell Sheild Ballyclare
We need to keep this up and numbers got us these points, it would be great to get 12 runners out at Jordanstown and so on, we already have more points in the league than last year after round 1
8 to go everyone
Please email myself if interested in competing in any of these races so we can arrange car sharing etc in good time
Thanks for your support