***Dunboyne Do the Double at the County Cross Country Championships, Ardbraccan, Navan, Sunday 20th December 2015***

***Dunboyne Do the Double at the County Cross Country Championships, Ardbraccan, Navan, Sunday 20th December 2015***

We’d a heroic morning of performances by our senior athletes in Ardbraccan today when both our men and women’s teams won their respective senior county cross country championships. The races, hosted by Bohermeen AC, saw the best of the county’s athletes descend on the North Meath venue. Conditions were reasonable, if a little wet, but all in all for late December the ground made for good performances. The hills and wind were another matter though: while the first long hill was made manageable by the wind at the runners’ backs, the second set of hills was unforgiving – up, up again, around a bend, into the wind and up a final time at the steepest and windiest part before leveling off to a 200M run towards the end of the lap: a truly challenging course.

Our ladies kicked off proceedings at 11am with their race over 4kms. Sara Treacy, having recently hung up her stethoscope in favour of a full time commitment to athletics, was as expected the favourite for the women’s race. The race panned out as expected with Sara jogging off into the distance to win the women’s senior race. We had a ‘race within a race’ with the battle for 2nd and 3rd, between Dunshaughlin AC’s Shauna Moran and Dunboyne’s Eva McNeilis with Emilia not far behind. Eva and Shauna exchanged places throughout before Shauna nipped in for 2nd towards the end, with Eva claiming a magnificent bronze. Eva has shown improving form throughout the season and has been a key scorer on our teams all winter. Right behind Eva was Emilia in fourth position, as always giving her all in the blue and white and gaining valuable points for us in the Club competition. Roisín Bell, coming off the back of an excellent run at the National Novice put in another strong showing today. A collection of great performances to win gold for Dunboyne. Honorable mention to Laura Buckley, ever present on the women’s XC team but who has been sick since the National Novice two weeks ago and unable to make the start line for this one.

In the men’s race, over 8kms, Darragh Rennicks was out to retain a title which has become his of late, this time in front of a home crowd. He did, in as emphatic a fashion as Sara won her race. As with the women’s race, we’d another herculean battle for 2nd and 3rd involving one of our own, Rory Kavanagh and Eoin Callaghan from Star of the Sea. There was little between the guys for the first lap: however with every lap that went by Rory extended his lead over the 2:18 marathoner before eventually claiming an emphatic victory and silver medal on the day. Next over the line for us was Loughlin Campion in 5th overall, out for his first run in a while following two weeks of exams and school placement. Niall Cornyn and Luke Forde were on hand to place strongly and add valuable points to our team efforts as well. Luke running despite persistent difficulties with a back injury. Niall carried the form that saw him run sub 16:30 in the Jingle Bells 5k. Both Niall and Luke will also be key contributors to the Club’s efforts at the National Short Course XC championships next month in ALSAA. We packed particularly well in the men’s race, evergreen Derek Finnegan placing highly as did new signing Alan Kenny. Owen Fletcher and Gerry O’Reilly, the latter one of two of our male athletes who also ran here in 2011 ran a great race, traded places and worked well together before finishing well up the pack.

Fantastic finishes by all – a massive well done to both teams from the whole Club, a great way to wrap up 2015 and so much promise there again for 2016.

Some race pics from today can be found here

Categories: Senior News & Reports

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