Ballingarry was the venue last Sunday for the County Novice B Road Championships and it was great to see all the Club members competing so well. In the Women’s 3k race we had four athletes competing. Right from the start we had all four athletes in the leading group. Then after the initial charge, Ailish Mansfield took up the pace and she was closely followed by the rest of the group, then just before halfway Courtney lost touch with the leading group as the leading group was down to four at halfway. Then from there to the finish there was very little separating all four athletes and it came down to a sprint finish with Sarah Fitzpatrick edging out Anne Marie Boland on the line with Ailish Mansfield 3rd and Suzanne Shine 4th, brilliant race as all four athletes gave it everything over the final 200m. It was so close that 1st and 2nd were credited with the same finishing time of 11 mins 43 secs with Ailish 3rd in 11 mins 46 secs and Suzanne Shine 4th in 11 mins 52 secs. Then we had Courtney McGuire running very well over the final 400m to finish 5th in 12 mins 13 secs, brilliant performances by all four members. In the team event, with three to score, Clonmel were very convincing winners with Anne Marie 2nd, Ailish 3rd and Suzanne 4th winning the Gold medals and County Champions. The last time the Club won this title was in 2015 when the team was Yvonne O Connor who was 1st, Suzanne Shine was 2nd and Marian Flaherty 5th.
The Men’s race also attracted a quality field and here the early pace was set by a group of athletes that included Joey Feery and Anthony Bowen as well as Stephen Flanagan of Moyne and John Fogarty of Moycarkey Coolcroo. These four athletes set a strong pace and soon they drew clear of the chasing pack. Then over the final 2k, Stephen Flanagan went clear with both Joey and Anthony not far behind and this was the way it stayed to the finish line with Joey winning the Silver medal in 21 mins 2 secs and Anthony Bowen winning the Bronze medal in 21 mins 14 secs, two fantastic performances from two athletes winning their first individual Championship medals for the Club. Then we had Billy Moloney also running a great race when finishing 7th in 22 mins 25 secs and along with Joey and Anthony won the Inter Club Gold medals and crowned County Champions. We also had very good performances from Nigel O Flaherty 8th in 22 mins 35 secs, Alan Carter 22nd in 24 mins 8 secs, Aidan Cremin 26th in 24 mins 40 secs, Vincent McHugh 28th in 25 mins 25 secs and John Laste 30th in 26 mins 13 secs. The last time the Club won this title was in 2014 with the winning team of Declan Curley 2nd, Finbarr Horgan 6th and Conor Fleming 8th. The last time the Club achieved this double, Women and Men Inter Club County Novice B Champions was in 2011 in Ballingarry where our women’s team of Nicola Maunsell 1st, Rosie Casey 3rd and Sareen Walsh 4th while our winning Men’s team was Mark Ryan 1st, Niall O Ceallaigh 2nd and Liam Casey 11th. Once again, great performances all round by our members.