The second leg of the county cross country championships took place in Carrignavar. The programme included Masters, Novice and U23 competitions, as well as the juvenile even ages.
It was a good day for the club with some strong, promising performances, and it was great to see three Leevale juvenile teams come home with medals. The boys U9 packed very well to take gold, just pipping Midleton for the win. Team: Riain Brennan, Darragh Brennan, Craig Keane, Tommy Connolly & Eoghan Heaney.
The boys U13 were the club’s other gold medallists, ably led home by Matthew Murnane in 3rd position to take the team win ahead of Doheny’s and Togher. Matthew showed all of his track speed in taking bronze, not far ahead of Timmy Hennessy in 5th who had moved up and age to compete in his first cross country event. Barry Shanahan, carrying a slight injury put in a courageous performance to finish just outside the individual medals in seventh place. He was followed home by James Mintern in ninth place with Luke Ring close by. Team: Matthew Murnane, Barry Shanahan, Timmie Hennessey, Luke Ring & James Mintern.
There was a silver medal for the girls U15, where the tough 3500m distance suited Louise Shanahan who ran a fantastic race to take 2nd. Team: Louise Shanahan, Aisling Hanrahan, Sophie Collins & Denise Hallahan. Also in the U15s, there was a battling performance from David Fox who moved up an age group to finish 5th individual.
The boys U17 was a great race; by the half-way point the battle for gold was down to a lead group of 4: the Togher duo Ian Tobin and Emmet Bracken, and the Leevale pair of Philip Crowley and Chris Mintern. With a lap to go Philip made a brave break for home but it was all in vain as the Togher athletes proved too strong over the final lap to take gold and silver. Philip battled on for bronze, just ahead of Chris in 4th.
Earlier in the day combined races for the Masters, Novice & U23 competitions took place. First Leevale athlete across the line was Barry Donovan, running in the colours of UCC. Barry finished 3rd overall and won the Novice event. Next Leevale man home was Donal Coffey in 11th overall, and 5th in the Novice. The Leevale Novice team took bronze, with Robbie Williams, John Hallahan and Dave Comber completing the 4.