Leevale Win National Novice Title as Dunlea Impresses in Juvenile Event

A number of national cross country championships were held at Rostrevor, county Down today.  The course must surely boast the most beautiful settings of any in the country.  The glorious sunshine added to the scene, situated on the shore of Carlingford Lough at the foothills of the Mourne mountains. The novice men’s race was a cracker, with Josh Palmer recording an excellent win over Pearse Hickey and Phillip Harty.  Sean Conroy of Leevale was seventh, leading Leevale to a clear win in the inter clubs, with James Grufferty, Darren Keenan and Ronan Guirey paking well.  In the All Ireland juvenile cross country championships, Damien Dunlea from Leevale had a great race at under 15 level. Settling into a lead group of four he was well placed throughout the race. Nothing separated them in the closing stages as the four battled all the way to the end.  Dunlea refused to give in and he crossed the finish line with Colin Costelloe in what was practically a dead-heat, with the judges deciding that Colin Costelloe from Meath had just got the better of Dunlea.  Leevale were second in the team contest ably assisted by Keith Linehan, Richard O’Connor, Aaron Hornibrook and John Shine.