| 6.5°C Dublin

pollock is in pole again

Paul Pollock of Annadale continued his successful return after a long period of injury when he beat Mullingar's Martin Fagan to win the Greencastle 5-Mile road race in Omagh on St Stephen's Day.

Pollock, who won the national intercounty cross-country title in Dundalk before Christmas after just six weeks training, looked close to his best when crossing the finish line in 24 minutes seven seconds. Fagan was 21 seconds behind for second with these two a minute clear of the chasers, led by Glaslough's Conor Duffy in 25 mins 27 secs.

Largest field of the holiday period turned out for the Fields of Athenry 10km, where Mick Clohisey of Raheny Shamrock proved the class of the field winning in 30 minutes 18 seconds.

Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF, still recovering after his marathon exploits of last season, did well to finish second in 30 mins 55 secs, with Galway's Matt Bidwell third and first over 40 in 32 mins 46 secs.

Ballina's Norah Newcombe was an equally untroubled winner of the women's race in 37 mins 2 secs.

Clubs and families were clearly making it a day out, with Clohisey's father, Vinnie, finishing second over 60 and Hehir's sister Cushla the third woman overall.

A decent crowd turned out for the Streets of Wicklow 5km in Wicklow Town, where Garreth Murran of Sportsworld produced the race of his life to finish first in 15 mins 57 secs, beating the evergreen Mick Byrne of Sli Cualann, back as good as ever after recovering fully from a massive heart attack a year or so ago.

First woman was Tara Jameson of Sli Cualann, one of many US-based athletes back for the holidays. Particularly impressive were the number of young athletes, most of them members of organising club Inbhear Dee who turned out. Stars of the future!


In Santry, the atmosphere at the Clonliffe Christmas Cracker 5km remained festive despite the rain and wind. Tudor Moldovan of Clonliffe made the early running but lost out in the end to John Frazer of Crusaders. Junior international Hope Saunders of Clonliffe was first woman, with the host club taking both team titles.

At the annual Bull Run in Clontarf, the hot showers proved welcome after a blustery and wet day on the dunes, with Raheny athletes dominating. Brian Leahy beat Martin Kelly to finish first overall, with Tom Loftus the first master and his wife Orla Gormley the first woman.

Finally in Newtownforbes, Co Longford, Cian O'Reilly and Catherina McKiernan, both members of Annalee AC in Cavan, were the winners of the Shane Brennan 5km.