Tuam, Co. Galway
On the rolling fields of the Palace Sports ground in Tuam on Sunday last Feb 8th, our women’s team became the first Liffey Valley team to win a National Club Cross Country Team Championship.
In foggy and cold conditions the relatively tight course meant the girls had to complete two 1000mtr. laps followed by two 1500mtr. laps which had some deceptively testing climbs to cover the 5000mtrs.
After the initial fast start Sile Carroll settled into the early teens followed by Eimear Nic An Bhaird, Aileen Gittens and Siobhan Keenehan. Annie Gittens and Lauryn Sullivan making their debut at this level were in the middle of the pack.
It was evident from early on that the team title would be very tight with Crusaders, Galway City and Liffey Valley all with runners well positioned. Sile having her best run ever in the club colours lead the team home in 15th with Aileen making up some valuable ground over the last lap to finish 17th Eimear rediscovered some of last years form to finish 24th with Siobhan completed the scoring in 34th. Annie finished 50th with Lauryn in 53rd.
The old cross country adage much loved by coaches, of every place counting, was never more in evidence when it emerged from the chip timing van that Liffey Valley with the same score as Crusaders on 90 points had won by virtue of the better placing of the fourth scorer. Scenes of joy all round with a National Team title been won some fifteen months after the team won their first championship team title the Dublin Novice. Dublin finished in the Inter County team with Ailleen and Eimear scoring on a team that was edged out by Kerry. Sile remaining loyal to her native county and eschewing silver medal opportunity.
|1||Liffey Valley||(15, 17, 24, 34)||90pts|
|2||Crusaders||(4, 1, 31, 44)||90pts|
|3||Galway City||(12, 18, 30.46)||106 pts|
Linda Spratt led the master’s home, the first occasion Liffey Valley had a team in the National Women’s Masters. Una Reilly won a bronze medal in her category.
Peter Arthur led the Men’s Team home in 16th. position and scored on Dublin’s winning team with a fine run on his first outing at this level. Chris Morgan was next in 30th with Gavin Curran 36th and Pierce Geoghegan completing the scoring in 41st the team finished a close up 6th.
The over 50 team of Tom O’Connor, Paul Quinn, John Cullen and Joe Cooper won Bronze Medals in the team event. John Cullen also won bronze in his category.
A very happy bus journey in freezing fog from Tuam on the way back to Dublin.