Meath Community Games Cross Country

There was a healthy number of representatives from Dunboyne AC at the Saint Brigids AC venue in Ballinacree for the 2018 Meath Community Games Cross Country Championships. The hilly course was sticky and the weather inclement, basically traditional cross country conditions. With the under 12 to under 14 races acting as trials for the Meath Team for the National Community Games Finals being held in Limerick in May there was going to be some cracking races.
Under 8 Boys
With a few years left in this age group Joe Gormley was the youngest Dunboyne competitor in action on the hills of Ballinacree and the race did not phase him on bit. He had a smile coming over the finish line (a very scarce sight during Saturdays race schedule) and gave a good account of himself even though he was surrounded by towering athletes.
Under 9 Girls
Holly Ryan was back at the venue where she claimed her Community Games age group title last year and she was not just there to make -up the numbers. Holly took off like a women possessed from the whistle as she destroyed the rest of the field to take gold with a considerable margin to spare.
Under 9 Boys
Very often the younger brothers are the forgotten ones in Athletics, where the sisters seem to absorb all the limelight. But George Comerford, John Hanlon and Fionn O’Reilly had an entourage of female to tap them on the back as they limped down the finishing shoot after emptying the tank during their race. John had bragging rights as he finished just ahead of George and Fionn to claim the club’s first two male medals of the day.
Under 10 Girls
There was tears and runners stuck in the mud in the third girls race of the day as the rain came along and the underfoot conditions deteriorated, but Amy O Reilly and Laura McCormack just got on with the task in hand. Both girls moved through the field as the testing 500m race progressed with Amy good enough to take a bronze on the day as Laura frustratingly just finished shy of a medal spot.
Under 10 Boys
Dunboyne had three budding stars out to impress on Saturday as Andrew Norman, Tom Gormley and Aodhan Fagan duelled with the biggest boys contingent of the day. Andrew showed great maturity on the hills and Tom fought to close an early gap that had developed and much to the delight of the crowd Andrew took silver and Tom a bronze as Aodhan showed potential in one of his first competitive starts.
Under 12 Girls
In the opening ‘Trial’ race of the day Dunboyne had a quintet of athletes in action as Kate Gormley who was on the county team that medalled at Nationals in 2017 was joined by Catherine Hanlon, Amy O Reilly, Sophie Brown and Elizabeth Comerford in search of glory. Kate had a commanding race, taking to the front from the off and setting a high tempo for the 500m loop, as Elizabeth chased in her shadow. Kate came home a clear winner with Elizabeth just squeezed out of silver on the line. Actually all five girl impressed in this age as they finished in the top end of the biggest field of the day.


Under 12 Boys
The two boys competing for a place in their under 12 age group’s relay were both under the weather, Dylan Ryan sick and Ciaran McCormack carrying an injury. Both would have expected to walk onto the county team with ease normally but through -out the race it was evident they were outs of sorts. Ciaran who was undefeated at this venue fought through the pain barrier to take bronze and Dylan’s brave effort just fell short of a medalling finishing position.
Under 13 Girls
In what is the longest race of the day, Isabelle Phillips was the only girl in action for the gruelling 1200m and should great determination as she fought her way each hill and pool of mud to secure a deserved silver. She will be part of a Meath team which run an ordinary Cross Country race as the thirty- two counties gather to do battle on the Shannonside in Autumn.
Under 13 Boys
We had the ever improving Harry Doherty joining the established Maithieu Kieffer in the boys distance race. With the race being ran at a incredible pace the lads had their work cut out for them. Maithieu was fatigued coming over the finish line as he secured the last automatic green vest for the All Ireland competition and it was heartbreak for Harry who just missed out on a medal as he was caught on the final approach down the finishing straight.


Under 14 Girls
We had three girls battling it out for selection for the Royal County 4 by 500m relay team bound for UL in May as Kayla Ryan being joined by Rachael Norman and Holly Conlon at the start-line. Kayla was in majestic form as she powered home for Gold, with both the males and females racing in the same race she was on just held off by one of the lads to be first to enter the finishing shoot. Holly showed her form as she just held of Rachael as both girls were in the medals to see the trio make the Meath panel for Nationals.
Under 16 Girls
Aoife McCormack looked strong as she ran her 700m race alongside the boys (in their equivalent race), sheltering among the male leaders from the start and stretching her lead all the way to the finish line as she took gold in style.
Best of luck to all who qualified for the National Community Games and well done to all those who competed. A big thanks to all who helped out with warm ups etc.

About Author