Bronze for Down

Bronze for Down

5 December 2012

THE County Down team finished up in third place at the recent All-Ireland Cross-Country Championships in Ratoath, County Meath, and not 10th as reported last week.

Mark Kendall and Brendan Donnelly, from Newcastle AC, Dennis Scott and Francis Marsh, from North Down AC, and the East Down trio of Brendan Teer, Barrie Atkinson and Neil McCartan, took bronze medals in the Category C classification and only missed out on the silver award by virtue of some lackadaisical funnel arrangements.

Sixmilewater Park, Ballyclare, is proving a happy hunting ground for Brendan Teer.

On Saturday he crossed the finish line ahead of his rivals in the Malcolm Cup, just four weeks after finishing third in the McConnell Shield event at the same venue.

While victory looked relatively comfortable it was only in the last half mile that he shook off the attentions of City of Derry’s Noel Lagan and Ballymena and Antrim’s Gareth Hill.

The team was made up of Barrie Atkinson, completing his second race of the day having earlier ran in the masters’ race over three miles, Francis Tumelty, who was a revelation on his debut on the grass this season, Michael McKeown and Stephen McCartan.

One more runner would have claimed an extra bonus point for the team, but due to a technicality the only other club runner present had exhausted himself a short time earlier in the Three Mile Masters and was busy trying to kick-start his zimmer when the race began.

Perhaps one or two more of the approximately 100 members will supplement the squad for the next round on December 16 in Derry.

Earlier, Edie Carroll showed the seniors how to do it with an impressive winning run in the U-11 girls’ race and made nonsense of the transfer test excuse several of her club mates used to avoid taking part.

Good performances too from the ever-reliable Daniel Atkinson (seventh) and Owen Edwards (11th) in the U-13 boys’ race with Aoife Cochrane, our only representative in the U-13 girls, taking a creditable 8th place in a race that was much too short for her liking.

This weekend it is the Dromore cross-country meeting, and club coaches will be hoping for a better turnout from all age groups.