Kilkenny athletics: Ballycurran Cross action was top class

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Kilkenny athletics: Ballycurran Cross action was top class

Despite the dismal weather predictions all week, Sunday was a glorious Autumnal morning for the first day of the county cross-country championships.
With the mountains and rolling hills forming a backdrop to a very cross country set of fields, hundreds of athletes gathered to celebrate a great day of running at Ballycurran Cross.
With the under-8s getting the program off to a start, there were wins for Ellen Daly of Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) and Robert Coogan of Gowran. These races produce competition of such a high intensity that there is often very little to separate finishers as they race to the line.
The under-10 races is where the points for the best overall club in the county begin to gather. In the girls’ race Molly Daly (KCH) clinched victory from fast finishing Orla and Elenore Brennan of Gowran.
Host club St Joseph’s won the team prize, having four athletes in the top 10. However this win was only achieved on count back as they had the same points as second-placed Gowran. In cross-country it is the position of the last scoring athlete from the respective tied clubs that determines who comes up trumps.
It was nice to see Barrow Harriers, the county’s newest club, with several athletes in this race. Megan Kinsella performed very well to finish seventh.
The boys’ under-10 race saw Joseph O’Connor (St Joseph’s) come home to yet another victory. Robert Lacey (KCH) and David McGee (Gowran) battled hard coming up the home straight for second and third spots. Gowran won the team event from KCH and St Joseph’s.
It was in the under-12 races that the contest for the best overall club changed. It looked like it was going to be a battle between KCH, St Joseph’s and Gowran, but St Senan’s were about to change all that.
Renowned for producing top class cross-country athletes, the South Kilkenny club bounced back with a team victory in both the boys and girls events. With five athletes in the top 10 in the girl’s race it was never going to be easy to surpass them.
Thomastown wrapped up both individual honours, without featuring in any of the team results. Orla Kirwan and Darragh Coverdale impressed as they crossed the line.
Like so many county cross country races down through the years, the girls under 14 emulated that of a national championship. It was good to see last year’s All-Ireland winner Fiona Dillon back after a long injury. Battles between Fiona and Hannah Kehoe have become the norm – this time with Hannah gaining the upper hand.
St Senan’s again took victory in the team event, with their B team clinching the third team spot. They also won the boys’ event with a fast finishing David Williams, who was third overall, leading them home. Donagh Murphy and Billy Coogan took the first two individual places for Gowran.
Tara Ramsawmy (St Senan’s) showed what class really is when she eased to victory in the girls’ under-16 race, beating Thomastown duo of Ciara and Hannah O’Keeffe. Thomastown took the team honours.
In the boys’ event, Castlecomer had their first victory of the day. A strategic approach from 2016 All-Ireland champion Will Fox saw him shake off the challenge of Rory O’Connor (KCH) to take the gold. There were no club teams in this event.
KCH were unbeatable in the girls’ under-18 race with a one-two finish for Annie McEvoy and Ella Richardson. It was good to see Ruth Kennedy back in form when taking third place. KCH won the team event, something they repeated in the boys’ under-18 event. The top five places were filled by KCH, Adam Fitzpatrick leading home a very strong squad.
The absence of club athletes in some races may have been questioned, but there was no problem over 40s races. The ladies were led home by Adele Walsh of St Senan’s.
Adele has been running really well of late and is hoping to make the over 40s Irish team again this year. KCH won the team event from St Joseph’s. It was great to see so many ladies out running cross-country.
The men’s over-40 event produced a thriller between the once-penned flying greengrocer Sean Caulfield of St Senan’s and Robbie McGee of Gowran. There was nothing dilettante about these two athletes as they shrugged off any early challenges. McGee finally got the better of the experienced Caulfield, in a race that was cross-country at its best.
With the juveniles cheering on fathers and coaches, it was a great spectators event. Gowran won the team prize from Kilkenny City Harriers.
St Senan’s AC are now leading by one point from Gowran, but will have to wait two weeks before the overall results are known. This Sunday the county seniors are on in Kilmacow at 12 noon. The juvenile county squad will have a training session in the same venue at 11am.
Results
Girls’ Under-8: 1 Ellen Daly (KCH), 2 Niamh Brennan (Gowran), 3 Anna Kelsey (Gowran), 4 Karrie Byrne (Barrow Harriers), 5 Ingrid Tierney (Barrow Harriers), 6 Lauren Phelan (Gowran), 7 Sonia Mullally (St Joseph’s), 8 Dervla Ryan (St Joseph’s), 9 Muireann Green (Gowran), 10 Isabelle Griffin (St Joseph’s).
Boys’ Under-8: 1 Robert Coogan (Gowran), 2 Sam Corr (Gowran), 3 Ryan Farrell (KCH), 4 Darragh Carroll (Gowran), 5 Damien Bolger (BH), 6 Eoin Ryan (Gowran), 7 Kai Chan (St Joseph’s), 8 Tom Henderson (KCH), 9 David Hayden (BH), 10 Sam McDonald (St Joseph’s).
Girls’ Under-10: 1 Molly Daly (KCH), 2 Orla Brennan (Gowran), 3 Eimear Brennan (Gowran), 4 Lilly Ryan (St Joseph’s), 5 Kate Maher (Castlecomer), 6 Ashling Coverdale (Thomastown), 7 Megan Kinsella (BH), 8 Keelin Byrne (St Joseph’s), 9 Sara Foley (St Joseph’s), 10 Megan Doyle (St Joseph’s). Teams: 1 St Joseph’s, 2 Gowran, 3 KCH.
Boys’ Under-10: 1 Joseph O’Connor (St Joseph’s), 2 Robert Lacey (KCH), 3 David McGee (Gowran), 4 Aidan Keating (Gowran), 5 Jamie Cahaleen (Castlecomer), 6 Eoin Moore (KCH), 7 Brian Cummins (St Joseph’s), 8 Luke Browne (KCH), 9 Tom Kehoe (Gowran), 10 Conor Carroll (Gowran). Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 KCH, 3 St Joseph’s.
Girls’ Under-12: 1 Orlaith Kirwan (Thomastown), 2 Sara Kehoe (Gowran), 2 Grace Glennon (St Joseph’s), 4 Eve Dunphy (St Senan’s), 5 Caoimhe Phelan (St Senan’s), 6 Charlotte Carpendale (St Senan’s), 7 Meave Bookle (St Joseph’s), 8 Molly Long (St Senan’s), 9 Hazel Coogan (Gowran), 10 Aine O’Callaghan (St Senan’s). Teams: 1 St Senan’s, 2 St Joseph’s, 3 Gowran.
Boys’ Under-12: 1 Darragh Coverdale (Thomastown), 2 Rory McEvoy (KCH), 3 Eoin Aylward (St Senan’s), 4 Isaac Carew (St Senan’s), 5 Stephen Kinsella (BH), 6 Shane Morrissey (St Senan’s), 7 Aaron Doyle (Gowran), 8 Michael O’Shea (St Senan’s), 9 Matthew McAvinney (Gowran), 10 Darragh Dunne (Gowran). Teams: 1 St Senan’s, 2 Gowran.
Girls’ Under-14: 1 Hannah Kehoe (Gowran), 2 Fiona Dillon (Thomastown), 3 Elenore Giddon (KCH), 4 Maria O’Keeffe (Thomastown), 5 Danielle Griffin (St Joseph’s), 6 Saoirse Allen (St Senan’s), 7 Sophie Williams (St Senan’s), 8 Libby Murphy (St Senan’s), 9 Ciara Mullally (St Joseph’s), 10 Rose Sheridan (St Senan’s). Teams: 1 St Senan’s A, 2 Gowran, 3 St Senan’s B.
Boys’ Under-14: 1 Donagh Murphy (Gowran), 2 Billy Coogan (Gowran), 3 David Williams (St Senan’s), 4 Tom Lodge (KCH), 5 Tadgh Connolly (St Senan’s), 6 Ethan Butler (St Senan’s), 7 Harry Boyle (KCH), 8 Billy Power (Thomastown), 9 Naoise Gilmartin (St Senan’s), 10 Cillian Dunne (Gowran). Teams: 1 St Senan’s, 2 Gowran, 3 Thomastown.
Girls’ Under-16: 1 Tara Ramasawmy (St Senan’s), 2 Ciara O’Keeffe (Thomastown), 3 Hannah O’Keeffe (Thomastown), 4 Sophie Jackman (St Senan’s), 5 Ellen Ryan (Thomastown), 6 Orla O’Keeffe (Thomastown), 7 Clodagh Monahan (St Senan’s), 8 Katie Bookle (St Joseph’s), 9 Eve O’Dwyer (Gowran), 10 Robyn Denieffe (Gowran). Teams: 1 Thomastown.
Boys’ Under-16: 1 Will Fox (Castlecomer), 2 Rory O’Connor (KCH), 3 Cathal Kearney (KCH), 4 Gavin Manning (Gowran), 5 Brogan McAvinney (Gowran), 6 Cathal O’Reilly (Gowran), 7 John Muldowney (KCH), 8 Michael Corr (Gowran).
Girls’ Under-18: 1 Annie McEvoy (KCH), 2 Ella Richardson (KCH), 3 Ruth Kennedy (Gowran), 4 Izzy Shine (KCH), 5 Ciara Murphy (KCH), 6 Aoife Allen (St Senan’s), 7 Sinead O’Keeffe (Thomastown), 8 Aine Phelan (St Senan’s), 9 Ellen Rockett (St Senan’s). Team: 1 KCH.
Boys’ Under-18: 1 Adam Fitzpatrick (KCH), 2 Shay McEvoy (KCH), 3 Kevin Burns (KCH), 4 James Kearney (KCH), 5 Colm Murphy (KCH), 6 Conor Clarke (Castlecomer). Team: 1 KCH.
Ladies Over-40: 1 Adele Walsh (St Senan’s), 2 Barbara Rossiter (KCH), 3 Maria Griffin (St Joseph’s), 4 Niamh Richardson (KCH), 5 Maria Cormack (KCH), 6 Cathy Millett (KCH), 7 Michelle Ryan (Gowran), 8 Mary Doolin (St Joseph’s), 9 Siobhan O’Dwyer (Gowran), 10 Maggie Helen O’Connor (St Joseph’s). Teams: 1 KCH, 2 St Joseph’s, 3 Gowran.
Men’s Over-40: 1 Robbie McGee (Gowran), 2 Sean Caulfield (St Senan’s), 3 Conor Bolger (KCH), 4 Mick Kelly (Gowran), 5 Paul Moran (KCH), 6 Derek Kehoe (Gowran), 7 Patrick Bookle (St Joseph’s), 8 Simon O’Dwyer (Gowran), 9 David Lanigan (St Joseph’s), 10 David O’Connor (St Joseph’s). Teams: 1 Gowran, 2 KCH, 3 St Joseph’s.