The annual Donagh Coughlan five mile road race, organised by Bandon athletic club, and sponsored by Flor Griffin, was the big attraction on New Year’s Day. The weather was a little kinder than the past couple of years, and an increase in numbers taking part reflected this. Leevale’s Martin McCarthy was one of those whose celebrations went on longer than planned, but he still made it to the start line looking reasonably fresh. From the gun he went to the head of affairs, with John Kearney of East Cork and Leevale junior Ronan Crowley joining him. The three stayed together for the first mile, but then the only uphill stretch on the course saw Crowley drop back. From there on the two leaders gradually drew well clear of the rest of the field. Little separated them until the four mile mark when McCarthy went into a slight lead, increasing it all the way to the finish, winning in a time of 25:32, nine seconds clear of Kearney. Crowley kept his third spot.