Rathfarnham rule in Raheny

Lindie Naughton

A THRILLING final leg saw Rathfarnham WSAF snatch the men's title from defending champions Raheny Shamrock at the Woodie's DIY All-Ireland Road Relays in Raheny.

Simon Ryan for Raheny and Sean Hehir for Rathfarnham had set out on the final two-mile leg together and they stayed together until the final lung-bursting sprint for the finish, with Hehir - back from injury - just getting there first.

Olympian Thomas Chamney had given Crusaders the early lead, but strong mile times on the second leg by Raheny's Feidhlim Kelly and the veteran Paul Fleming for Rathfarnham set the tone for the rest of the race.

Barry Minnock for Rathfarnham and Raheny's Kevin Moriarty ran shoulder-to-shoulder for the three-mile leg and then it was left to Hehir and Ryan to battle it out.

A strong squad from Ennis Track Club finished third, while Tallaght were fourth, thanks to a strong three-mile run by Tomas Fitzpatrick.

Other clubs represented included Slí Cualann, and a Craughwell team that featured the veteran Gerry Ryan running this event for the first time.


In the women's senior race, Dundrum South Dublin set a new course record of 21 minutes 17 seconds with victory.

Irish marathon champion Linda Byrne took over from Niamh Devlin, running a superb time of 10:33 for the two-mile leg. Ironically, fellow marathon woman Maria McCambridge ran an identical time in the Letterkenny colours. Bringing DSD home ahead of Clonliffe and Raheny was a very happy Sarah Mulligan.

Host club Raheny retained the men's and women's over-40 titles. First over-50 men's team was Tallaght.

* St Malachy's Joe McAlister led home around 2,000 finishers at the Titanic Quarter 10km in Belfast, finishing in 30:40. Annadale pair Eddie McGinley and Andrew Agnew were second and third rsepctively. Annadale were the first team ahead of North Belfast Harriers.

McAlister had paced the Irish athletes at the Rotterdam Marathon only a week earlier.

Julie Turley of Dromore beat Tullamore's Paulien Curley to finish first woman in 35:53. Clare Connor of North Belfast Harriers was third.