hehir hurries to provincial glory

Lindie Naughton

RATHFARNHAM'S Seán Hehir, who won the national intermediate title last season, added the Leinster senior title to his collection last Sunday at Kilmacow.

As well as taking the individual title, Hehir led his club to team victory over Raheny and Sportsworld.

With everyone a bit rusty after the enforced weather break, Hehir took on the challenge of Gowran's Tommy Evans, who had picked up an injury at the snowy inter-counties in Derry last month.

He stretched away to win in a time of 30 minutes 28 seconds. Evans was 13 seconds behind for second place, with Ian Walsh of Raheny third and Clonliffe's Lorcan Cronin fourth.

With the veteran Paul Fleming fifth, Louis McCarthy 11th and Paul McGovern 17th, Rathfarnham WSAF took team gold, ahead of Raheny's quartet of Walsh, Brian Leahy, Bernard Roe and Will Walsh. In a race dominated by Dublin clubs, Sportsworld, led home by Phil Kilgannon, finished third, and Liffey Valley fourth.


Dublin-based clubs also dominated the women's race. Raheny's Aoife Talty produced the biggest result of her career to date when she won the women's title, with over half a minute to spare on Fiona Mahon of Donore Harriers.

In third place, Aoife Brady was leading Sportsworld to team victory. Backing her up were Jean Wilson in seventh, Helen White eighth and Crona Brady 11th. Tullamore, led by Liz Cuskelly in ninth, finished second and Kilkenny City Harriers third.

Winning the junior women's race was Tinryland's Mary Ann O'Sullivan. Shauna Moore of Dunshaughlin was second and Megan Morrissey of Thomastown third.

Celtic DCH, a Phoenix Park-based club, won the team title, with Clare Brennan fourth and Sinead Cronin fifth.

Mullingar dominated the junior men's race, won at a canter by Jake Byrne. Conor Rochford of host club St Senan's was a clear second and, with all four runners home inside the top eight, Mullingar took the team title.

Many of the runners in action will qualify for Sunday's Woodie's DIY National Novice Championships, postponed from just before Christmas. The venue is Tullamore with the men and women's races preceded by the juvenile even ages championships.