Although Connacht athletes performed much better at last Sunday’s Woodies DIY Athletics Ireland Uneven Ages Cross-country Championships at The Curragh than they had in Sligo two weeks previously, Leitrim’s athletes were not among the contingent who brought home medals from the Kildare venue.
The Connacht athletes who qualified to compete in The Curragh on Sunday last as a result of their performances in the Provincial Championships held in Ballinamore a few weeks ago had a more rewarding day than in Sligo a fortnight ago with North Sligo’s Cian McBride winning the U-15 Boys race in a sprint finish.
Daire Farrell made a brave effort to secure an individual medal in the Under 17 Boys event where the Connacht team was not strong enough to challenge for medals. The Carrick AC runner was in the leading bunch from the start and held tenth position going into the last lap. However, the earlier pace had taken it’s toll and he dropped to 16th at the finish.
It was still a very good performance but four positions outside the individual medal area. The event was won by Kyle Larkin of Emerald of Limerick with Conall Kirk of Lagan Valley second and Westport’s David Harper having a very good run to take third.
Leitrim interest on Sunday was in the Under 13,15 and 17 Boys races. In the first of those Ballinamore were one of the three Connacht teams taking part as a result of taking second position in Connacht on a tie breaker with Swinford. Here the strong Craughwell team which won easily in Ballinamore packed very well to record Connacht’s only team success over the two days of the Championships.
The Ballinamore team performed much as expected in the big field with Riordan O Rourke coming home in 76th position followed by Oisin McLoighlin 83rd, Jack Gilheany 90th and Ciaran Kenny 134th. The Team position was 13th with 383 points.
The Under 15 Boys also saw a strong Connacht challenge with North Sligo’s Cian McBride taking the title and leading his team into second position behind Mullingar. The Connacht team with 82 points finished second to Munster on 68. The two Leitrim runners were Ryan O’Rourke who took 56th position and David Bruen who finished two places further back.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.