Dunboyne AC complete a Grand Slam of victories in Meath Cross Country Season

Dunboyne AC complete a Grand Slam of victories in Meath Cross Country Season

Last Sunday saw our men’s and ladies’ teams compete in the Meath Intermediate Championships and win our 9th and 10th Gold medals of the season, having won team gold in every Meath championship race this season.

Not for the faint hearted, the day itself provided tough conditions with a hilly course, freezing cold water logged sections, mud, occasional rain and even snow. But the atmosphere was electric and the support from team mates was almost warming.

The ladies gave another strong showing in a race where gold was never in doubt. Jane Bandila quickly separated herself from a following pack to dominate the 2 lap 4,000m race and cruise home to victory. Carol Howard had a tougher time of it but showing true grit and experience battled from 5th place to comfortably finish in 2nd. Next in for Dunboyne was Claire Ni Fhaircheallaigh in an excellent 5th place. Clodagh Dunphy and Norma Farrell finished strong in 12th and 16th respectively. There was no need to calculate the points to see that the Dunboyne ladies had again showed their mastery of the discipline in Meath scoring 8 points to St Brigid’s 20pts and Bohermeen’s 24pts.

The only negative from the day was that in winning the Intermediate race, Jane had ruled herself out of running at this level and novice level next year. A symptom of success that is common for our female athletes. The valuable experience gained this year by our supporting runners will be put to the test next year as they finish in those scoring positions, a challenge they are more than capable of meeting head on.

It was the lads’ turn next, very much aware that it was more than a single race at stake but an unbroken perfect season. Paddy Peters showed that he was up for the challenge staying with Sean Murphy of Trim AC and Ronan Wogan of Bohermeen for the majority of the 4 lap 8,000m race and finishing in a fantastic 3rd place. Next in was Gerry O’Reilly in a season topping performance of 8th, followed by a slightly under the weather Ger Martin in 9th, hats off to him for turning up with a severe bout of man flu. (It’s a real thing, with real medicine and everything!) Next in was Gareth Fereday with a strong showing of 12th place, dominating a middle pack before losing all of them on the 3rd lap. Warren McIntyre, not really in form, finished in a solid 18th place and in a tough XC debut Cian Mangan finished in a strong 30th position, the lack of spikes not making this an easy race.
The team prize was less obvious here, especially because 2nd place Dunshaughlin AC fielded a team of 20 athletes! In the end it was a clear enough victory of 32pts to Dunshaughlin’s 46pts and Bohermeen’s 59pts.

Club Captain Tommy McDonnell’s thoughts:
Another great day for Dunboyne XC runners. A big congrats to all including Warren and Emilia, today’s win is extra special for me. The cup for today’s winning club is the Betty and Frank Mc Donnell memorial cup. My Mother was club secretary and President for more than 40 years. I’m in the UK so cannot join you this evening, but be sure I am celebrating this great, great performance by you all.”

The Cross Country Season isn’t over yet and everyone is still free to get involved. This weekend, two teams will travel to the National Novice championships in Waterford IT and in the New Year, we have the Leinster and National Intermediate and Master’s championships. We will need all hands on deck as these races will be held on the same days requiring us to field 4 teams of a minimum of 4 at each level. Needing 16 athletes each day will put us under severe pressure to field full teams. Please contact Club Captain Tommy McDonnell, Women’s Captain Emilia Dan or XC Captain Warren McIntyre if you are interested in competing.

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