The Munster Seniors were held on home turf on Sunday, in club legend Frank Hayes field. After being a distant third in the Counties a month ago the mens prospects, to add to the 22 team title haul that we have amassed since 1986, were low. However the golden generation from Midleton CBS were to the fore again to spearhead a long shot attempt at the team title.
Back in 2004 and 2005 Tim and Kevin were 1st and 2nd scorers for the schools All Ireland winning Senior Boys teams in Antrim and Waterford and yesterday in Conna, 14 years later, helped lead the East Cork team to another Munster crown. Last year we won the title in nail biting fashion after tying with Ennis Track and the result had to be decided on countback. This year, with James and Michael out injured, we had the bare four to make up a team. Tim as usual had a super run leading from the start and opening up a small gap on the chasing pack. However in a reverse of the counties Sean Doyle from North Cork managed to hang with Tims pace and surged in the last 400m to win by 3 seconds. The birth of his daughter Chloe, 2 weeks ago, was probably to blame for this. Kevin was home next then in 9th overall after a tussle with St Johns Jake O'Regan the whole way around (and importantly got revenge on all the Leevale lads that beat him in the counties). Sean was 16th overall and collected his 12th Munster team title! Only Donnocha has won more with 13 to his name. Kenneth Kelleher was the star of the show running his first cross country in years. All expected him to fade in the last couple of laps but somehow the Midleton CBS 5000m record holder (15.28) responded to Liams encouragement and stayed ahead of Ennis tracks fast finishing Liam Naughton.
This got the team a total of 48 points with Ennis 2nd and Togher 3rd. Tim and Kevin also were on the gold winning Cork team.
Ladies Race - 6k:
Similar to the men the ladies had the bare 4 for their team. Interestingly it was the exact same team of four that have won bronze the last two years. And this year they did not disappoint again. Fiona lead the team (and 98% of the race) home with a mighty 2nd overall. Fiona was in a head to head battle with Amy O'Donoghue of Emerald AC. Amy was 3rd in the National T&F 1500m during the summer, so this really was a race of the XC specialist v the track star. Fiona pushed the pace for the vast majority of the race with Amy tucked in watching and waiting for any move. When they were coming up the long hill leading to the finish for the final time Fiona pushed hard but unfortunately the track speed won out and Fiona took 2nd. Eadaoin showed a turn of pace herself in the closing 100m to gun down Mary Louise Ryan and finish in 17th. Lorna had an excellent run battling in a big group for most of the 6k and finished 24th. Eibhlin Cleary, the rock of the team, showed again her commitment to her team mates by coming straight from a hen in Kilkenny and pushed hard the entire race to finish 27th. This got the girls bronze again as they held off Dundrum in 4th and Clonmel in 5th. Fiona scored on the Cork silver winning team. Well done ladies. For such a small club and we seem to be doing something right!
Well done to training squad members Frank and Jack in the Junior race too. Frank was 2nd overall (and 1st U-19) with Jack 6th (4th U-19). Both have been progressing well in training throughout the winter and have a promising season ahead.
Eyeries 5 Mile:
Shane and Caitriona went west for the weekend to run the Eyeries 5 miler. Shane was 2nd to Alan O'Shea in 28.14 and Caitriona was 6th lady home in 38.19. Being the local hero there was a nice write up on Shane "Bán". In fact, it seem suspiciously like a John Walshe guest article. There is a picture of it below.