O’Flaherty and Lynch shine in the Seeley sun

by Bogusboy

Club 10K Champion Seamus Lynch

Club 10K Champion Seamus Lynch

1st Woman, Kerry O'Flaherty

1st Woman, Kerry O’Flaherty

2014 Commonwealth Games 3000m Steeplechase finalist Kerry O’Flaherty was the runaway ladies winner of the prestigious Seeley Cup in Belfast’s Ormeau Park on Saturday 29 November.  The Newcastle AC athlete ran two fairly even 5k splits (17:15 and 17:26) to finish 37th overall in 34:41.  Louise Smith of North Belfast Harriers was second lady in 83rd overall in a time of 37:19.  It is the perfect end to a season that saw her realise a life-long ambition by competing in a major international games.

Run for your supper

There is nothing like a bit of incentive to motivate an athlete and the opportunity of a sponsored feed in the salubrious setting of O’Hare’s Lounge bars and restaurant proved to be enough to inspire Lynch to produce an epic performance, eclipsing the time of O’Flaherty from 2014.  The Drumgath man set out fast and was through the half was point in a speedy 16:15, a time which would place highly in any 5k race. He maintained his good form in the second half of the race and finished in 33:18 securing his free Christmas feed with 21 seconds to spare.  The time was good enough for 19th place overall in a race with 848 finishers considered the premier 10 k in the NI calendar.  Annadale strider Paul Pollock was the runaway winner in a very quick 30:15, over a minute ahead of the second place man Scott Rankin of Foyle AC.  It  was also great to see Annalong man, Andrew Annett, now of North Belfast Harriers run strongly to record a great time of 32:59, good enough for 14th place.

They come from here, there and everywhere

Newcastle AC athletes were well dotted throughout the field. Rostrevor’s Barry McConville was next home in 35:15, followed by Leitrim’s Aidan Brown in 37:14. To highlight the eclectic blend of the Newcastle membership Marty Melville from Dundrum was next to finish in a 38:05 followed by John Kelly, signed from Kilcoo under the Bosman Ruling in 38:36.  This was a super run that even had his coach Audey McVeigh impressed and unusually unable to castigate – maybe it was beginning of the Christmas cheer!!! John in this instance is not to be confused with ‘Hen’ who was unable to secure an entry due to leaving it too late.  However, every cloud has a silver lining and while Hen missed the race he was able to get some painting done, thus ensuring domestic bliss!  Joe McCann was next in 225th place (41:04) and the Prophet, despite the recurrence of injuries, was a stoic 265th (41:46) but, courtesy of competing, both had to postpone their domestic chores until Sunday, a day when Hen will be resting!!!  Sam McNeilly had another outstanding run to dip under the 44 minute mark in 43:56, further evidence of the benefits that accrue from attending club sessions regularly.

Samantha McNeilly

Samantha McNeilly

Jerome at Seeley 2014

In the aftermath, ‘Butcher’ was on the hunt for currant loaf and was only satisfied when the posse retreated to ‘Kaffe O’ for some excellent Scandinavian coffee, granola bars and gluten free brownies – it was far from these he was brought up on, the Prophet observed after much cogitation (Mad Dog will, at this point, be reaching for the thesaurus – if only to look up the suitable synonyms for thesaurus!!!) In the interests of inter-club relations, several of the Murlough athletes – all of whom performed excellently, the Leitrim Ladies who can be equally proud of their achievements – and East Down’s Gareth Kelly made this quite the social occasion. Barista Morgan certainly had his hands full as the ‘Magpie’ doled out coaching tips, but he remained characteristically unflappable as he frothed the milk and presented the raspberry ruffle slices!

Next outing for the Newcastle AC crew is the cross country event when the new club gazebo will be officially erected and blessed.  As yet it remains unconfirmed who will perform the official unveiling on her first outing, but several high profile names have been mentioned!

Position Name Category Finish First half Second Half Chip time
19 Seamus Lynch MO





37 Kerry O’Flaherty FO





55 Barry McConville MO





82 Aidan Brown MO





110 Martin Melville MO





131 John ‘Kilcoo’ Kelly M50





225 Joe McCann M45





265 Jerome  McCrickard M45





330 Sam McNeilly FO