THE Dunleer AC focus was on Junior and Senior Cross-Country last weekend as the club's athletes competed over the wonderful cross-country course at Oldbridge, Drogheda.
This OPW site, where the Battle of the Boyne raged in 1690, is a marvellous recreation space superbly maintained by the OPW and open to the public during the day for walking, jogging and running. But on Sunday last the battle was very sporting as Louth's finest cross-country runners lined up to test themselves over the undulating course.
The Senior Men's race run over 10 kilometres was a very exciting affair and reminiscent of the fine International Rás na hÉireann races held there in recent years. The lead group broke away on the first lap containing four Dunleer AC men, alongside Drogheda & District and North East Runners athletes.
Ultimately it was Martin Quinn, Dunleer's top senior cross-country runner, who broke away in the final section to win in fine style ahead of his middle-distance teammate Darragh Greene in second, with the talented Keiron Kelly in fourth and marathon expert David Carrie fifth.
Fintan Reilly's eighth-place finish and Graham Townsend's 16th position combined to give the Dunleer AC team the gold, with Dunleer's other senior men Shane Walsh, Aonghus Rooney, Eugene Burns, Pat Fitzpatrick and Patrick Connolly all giving their best to ensure the title went to the mid Louth club. North East Runners were in second place, with Drogheda & District third.
Dunleer also provided first and second in the Junior Men's 5km, with Conor Dunne claiming his first Louth Junior Cross-Country title ahead of clubmate Ciarán Connaughton in second place.
Niamh Murray was a very deserving winner of the Junior Ladies title, finishing second overall in the Senior Ladies 5,000 metre race. Niamh's Senior and Masters clubmates did their bit, claiming the bronze team medal, led home by Sandra Doheny and backed by Helen Cheshire, Jacqueline Matthews and Donna Brennan.
Next Sunday it's the turn of Dunboyne to stage the Leinster Juvenile Cross-Country Championships, while the Noel Mc Guill/Sandra Floyd Memorial Cross-Country at Darver take place the following Sunday.
Dunleer AC's results from last week Dublin City Marathon: David John Carrie 2.44.49, Mark Carroll 3.19.32, Anthony Connolly 3.41.43, Gareth Murray 3.50.40, Ian Pat Carroll 4.20.21, Karen Costello 3.42.37, Aileen Carrie 3.50.08, Helen Cheshire 3.59.30, Sandra O'Rourke 4.12.13, Audrey Murray 4.13.15.
Well done to all 78 Team Carrie runners who successfully completed the 26.2-mile Dublin Marathon, with 44 of them running the marathon distance for the first time and raising funds for the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre.