Daire Farrell was the outstanding local performer when the Connacht Uneven Ages Cross Country Championships took place in excellent conditions at Ardrum on Sunday last.
The Carrick AC runner, who had a bad race in the U-18 Championship when he failed to compete the course in Sligo eight days earlier, was in sparkling form on the Ballinamore course and soon pulled away from his major rival David Harper of Westport when he went with the pace being set by the U-19 winner Hugh Armstrong of Ballina from an early stage.
Although he fell off the Mayo runner’s pace in the closing stages as the Ballina man went on to do two further laps, Farrell was now so far ahead of his nearest rival that he went on to a comfortable victory.
There were other notable achievements by Leitrim runners on a day when awards were widely dispersed with the Galway club Craughwell having a particularly good day.
In the U-13 Boys’ race the Ballinamore team of Jack Gilheany (10th) Riordan O’Rourke (11th), Oisin McLoughlin (15th) and Ciaran Kenny (24th) taking second position with 60 points behind a strong Craughwell team (22) and ahead of Swinford on 68 points.
Both Gilheany and O’Rourke qualified for the Connacht team in the Curragh on December 11. In the Inter County race, Leitrim (100) placed second to Galway (27) ahead of Mayo (112).
The U-15 Boys event provided some of the toughest competition of the day with North Sligo’s Cian McBride winning out from James Spellman of Craughwell and William Crowe of North Sligo.
David Bruen of Carrick & Ryan O’Rourke of Ballinamore finished 8th and 11th respectively to secure Connacht Team places. Keith Beirne of Mohill finished 17th.
The Carrick team of Bruen, Blake Walsh (18th), Andrew Guckian (19th) and Paddy Flynn (21st) secured third position behind North Sligo (29) and Swinford (32) as the Leitrim County team on 94 points finished second to Mayo on 67.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.