Grufferty Wins County Senior 1500m

The Cork senior track and field championships were held in bright sunny conditions at the CIT track today.  In spite of being held on a Sunday numbers were down on previous years, but that did not in any way detract from the good competition that was served up by the competing athletes.  Indeed a number of athletes travelled from various parts around the country adding a nice flavour to the meet.  Electronic timing was booked for the championships, but, unfortunately, the system did not work until the very last event on the programme, the relays.  This was due to the underground electrical ducts which had been wired up during the previous week, but failed to work when they were needed.  The good news is that everything should be right for Cork City Sports at the start of July.  Jer O’Donoghue of Leevale, working for a qualifying time for the European under 23 championships, won the 100m, but was hard pressed by clubmate Darren O’Donovan who is one to watch for the future.  O’Donovan later won the 200m, with Ciara Sheehy winning the womens race.  Fiona O’Friel’s trip from Dublin was a successful one as she had a good win in the womens 100m ahead of Shauna O’Brien of Carrick on Suir.  Later O’Friel finished second to an impressive Ciara Sheehy in the 200m.  Nicole O’Regan of Togher won the 400m hurdles after a fluent performance, while Dave Cloghan of DCH won the mens race from Paul Kelleher of Bandon. When Tony Lilley of Togher took up the running with 250m to go in the 800m the race looked over.  However, he struggled in the closing stages and both Darren Keenan and Ian Donovan of Leevale closed on him in the final straight.  They finished in that order however.  James Grufferty of Leevale took the lead from the gun in the 1,500m and settled in to a comfortable pace.  Then with 400m to go he sprinted away from the leading pack, and went on to win his first track race.  Clubmate Bryan Keane also took the lead at the gun in the 5,000m, and then at half way upped the pace, leaving the rest of the field in his wake as he raced to victory.  DCH athletes won both 400m races on the programme in impressive style, with Martina McCarthy winning the womens race and Darren Hough the mens race.  All in all a good days sport, but Cork clubs have a lot of work to do to get Cork athletics back in the very fast lane again.