McCarthy Leads Leevale to County Title

At the county cross country championships at Kilworth, the senior mens race promised to be a thriller, with Garrett Barry of North Cork defending the title he won last year, and Martin McCarthy of Leevale bidding to add to the national 5,000m title he won in July. From the gun McCarthy, and Barry were joined by Cathal Lombard of Leevale, the national intermediate cross country champion, and John Kearney of East Cork, with another North Cork runner, Shane Simcox a little off the pace.  Halfway through the second of the five lap 10,000m course McCarthy made his move, upping the pace and quickly establishing himself at the head of the field.  To all intents and purposes the race for gold was all over bar the shouting.  As the race progressed McCarthy moved further and further away from the others to win in his first race of the cross country season.   The battle for the minor places was an intriguing affair with the order changing between the chasing trio all the time.  Kearney looked to have the silver sown up, but a late burst by Barry put him ahead, giving a 1-2 finish for the two Iona College grads. Lombard suffered a fall on the third lap that set him back a little, but he stayed on strong for fourth.  Next came Simcox, James McGee of Leevale, Cathal O’Connell of St. Finbarrs, Eric Meade of East Cork, and Leevale captain Cillian O’Tuama.  Leevale won the team title, with last year’s winners UCC fielding a very weakened team.  Louise Cavanagh of UCC won the women’s race, with Maureen Harrington second, and  Joan Hough of St. Finbarrs third.  Carmel Parnell of Leevale was next, ahead of Ann Marie Healy of South Dublin, Colette O’Riordan of West Muskerry, and Mary Sheehan of Grange Fermoy.  St. Finbarrs won the team award.   Paul Carroll of Leevale was never in any danger of being caught in the junior race.  He raced into the lead from the start and no one came even remotely near him during the 6,000m race.  Clubmate Ronan Crowley proved strongest of the others, racing ahead of Michael Herlihy of North Cork in the closing stages, with Brian Keane of Leevale in fourth.  They were followed by the Togher pair of Patrick and Timmy Murphy.  Leevale won the team title.  (See more Results)