THE TOP THREE - It was a one, two, three for Kilkenny City Harriers in the senior men’s 10K cross-country championship race in Conahy on Sunday. Medal-winners in the race were (from left:) Thos Hayes
Brian Maher maintained his vice-like grip on the cross-country gold when the senior county championships descended on Conahy on Sunday.
The Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) athlete took the gold for an incredible 10th time in what he himself described as his toughest win yet.
From the off Maher, accompanied by clubmates Eoin Everard and Thos Hayes, raced into an early lead and quickly shook of the challenge Gowran’s Niall Sheehan.
With the KCH trio continuing to burn up the course it was at the start of the final lap of the 10k course that Maher made his move, opening a significant gap to take the victory in some style.
It was left to his team-mates to contest the minor medals with silver going to Eoin Everard and bronze for Thos Hayes. Ray Lonergan crossed the line in fifth place, completing the scoring for the city club who retained the Cross Country Shield easily.
With Niall Sheehan finishing in fourth place and Paddy O’Keeffe sixth, Gowran took the club silver medals. A fine performance from Sean Caulfield, who finished in seventh place, helped St Senan’s to the club bronze medals.
St Joseph’s won the B Championship, just edging out Thomastown by three points, with Grade B bronze going to Gowran.
There was an equally impressive performance in the women’s 4k race by Castlecomer’s Lauren Dermody.
Lauren, who has just left the juvenile ranks, announced her arrival as a senior athlete in some style.
The ’Comer athlete took the lead right from the gun. There was some close attention from seasoned athletes Sally Forristal (St Joseph’s) and Adele Walsh (St Senan’s) but they were no match for the young ’Comer student, who powered away to a comprehensive victory.
St Joseph’s, with strong showings from Maria Griffin, Mary Doolin and Anne Watkins, took the team title while St Senan’s edged out KCH to win the team bronze by one point, a reversal of the 2015 result in the same race.
Held in perfect weather, the course was in immaculate condition. Thanks went to the Maher family and host club KCH. The action moves just up the road to Castlecomer this Sunday, with juvenile races (uneven age groups) from under-9 to under-19 and the Masters M45 3k event. The action gets underway at 11am.
(Club code: CC = Castlecomer, G = Gowran, KCH = Kilkenny City Harriers, SJ = St Joseph’s, SS = St Senan’s, TT = Thomastown)
Women’s 4k: 1 Lauren Dermody (CC), 2 Sally Forristal (SJ), 3 Adele Walsh (SS), 4 Michelle McDonald (SS), 5 Donna Dowling (KCH), 6 Niamh Richardson (KCH), 7 Maria Griffin (SJ), 8 Máire Griffith (G), 9 Rachel O’Hara (G), 10 Lucia Osca (G), 11 Mary Doolin (SJ), 12 Treasa Meany (G), 13 Rachel Butler (SS), 14 Anne Watkins (SJ), 15 Maria Cormack (KCH), 16 Maeve O’Connor (TT), 17 Michelle Ryan (G), 18 Kathy Millett (KCH), 19 Laura Walpole (TT), 20 Maura Bambrick (G), 21 Siobhan O’Dwyer (G), 23 Anne Marie Maloney (SS). Teams - 1 St Joseph’s, 34pts; 2 Gowran, 39pts; 3 St Senan’s, 43pts; 4 KCH, 44pts.
Men’s 10k: 1 Brian Maher (KCH), 2 Eoin Everard (KCH), 3 Thos Hayes (KCH), 4 Niall Sheehan (G), 5 Ray Lonergan (KCH), 6 Paddy O’Keeffe (G), 7 Sean Caulfield (SS), 8 James Kelly (CC), 9 Danny Shanahan (TT), 10 Luke Morgan (SS), 11 Derek Kehoe (G), 12 Jonathan Crowley (SS), 13 Conor Rochford (SS), 14 Patrick Bookle (SJ), 15 Tom Corrigan (G), 16 Simon O’Dwyer (G), 17 Eoin Molloy (KCH), 18 Seamus Power (SJ), 19 Lyndon Barcoe (G), 20 Stephen O’Connor (SJ), 21 John Davis (TT), 22 Craig Byrne (KCH), 23 Bill Carroll (TT), 24 Paul Sheehan (SJ), 25 Adrian Cunningham (G), 26 Terry Walsh (TT), 27 Donal Brophy (TT), 28 David Farrell (G), 29 Ian Cullen (KCH), 30 Michael Power (SJ), 31 Derek Dack (TT), 32 Thomas Kavanagh (G), 33 JJ Lawlor (SJ), 34 Nicholas Dunphy (KCH), 35 Willie McTiernan (KCH). Teams - 1 KCH, 11pts; 2 Gowran, 36pts; 3 St Senan’s, 42pts. Grade B - 1 St Joseph’s, 76pts; 2 Thomastown, 79pts; 3 Gowran, 104pts; 4 KCH, 115pts.
Good weather also favoured the recent KCH City Primary Schools Cross Country competition in the Castle Park.
The event, organised by Sean Lynch and his team from KCH, saw pupils turned out in their hundreds to cheer on their school’s athletes.
Competition as usual was keen with medals going in all directions. Some of the finishes were very close, none more so than in the fifth class boys’ race. The outcome was in doubt until Brian Moore, clinched the win at the mouth of the finish chute.
Team competition was also close with a mere three points separating the first three teams in the fourth class girls’ event. GaelScoil Osrai took gold with 36pts, Kilkenny School Project silver with 37pts and St John of God bronze on 39pts. Clara NS made their debut in the competition with team victory in the fifth class boys’ race.
May Hutt, for organisers Kilkenny City Harriers presented the winners medals and Thomas McAwee, St Canice’s Kilkenny Credit Union, presented the Shields.
The KCH Shield for best girls’ school went to St John Of God, while the KCH Shield for boys was won by St Canice’s Co-Ed, who also won the St Canice’s Credit Union Shield for best overall school.