Athletes from the club had a fantastic performance in the Galway Community Games cross-country which were held on Sunday 22nd March in the Palace Grounds in Tuam. The club had representatives there from the parishes of Craughwell, Ardrahan, Athenry, Clarinbridge, Kilnadeemna and Oranmore. We were missing athletes from Carabane this year … unfortunately due to administrative complexities that are part and parcel of Community Games.
There were many fine displays of running both at the front and the back of the fields in each race … with every participant giving their best. Overall from the club’s perspective, it was a great performance – with 32 members of the club taking part and almost one-quarter of the qualifiers for the Galway teams coming from the club (8 of 34).
The U12 Girls were first to race in their 600m, where a large number contested the race. Laura Ann Costello of Milltown (GCH) ran a super race to win in style, ahead of Rachel O’Brien of Claregalway (Athenry AC) in 2nd place and Tara McNally of Kilnadeemna (Craughwell AC) in 3rd place. Grace Cahill Athenry and Grainne McDaid Craughwell took 4th and 5th place. The top 6 make up the Galway team for the National finals on 23/24 May in Athlone. Leanne Freaney was unlucky not to make the team, finishing in 7th or 8th place. Other athletes from the club who took part and raced well included Andrea Tobin, Katie Donoghue and Michelle Duggan.
Next in action, a huge number took to the field for the U12 boys race. It was won by Keegan Kelly from Milltown (GCH), with Aidan Conneely Ardrahan (Craughwell AC) running a super race to take 2nd and Jack Fitzpatrick Athenry in 3rd place. John Maher (GCH) and David Carter (GCH) took 4th and 5th while Colin Cotton from Ahascragh (Ballinasloe AC) took the final place on the Galway team. Oisin Doyle and Matthew Molloy finished just outside the qualifying positions in 7th and 8th place while others in action from the club included Adam Flynn, Christopher Phillips, Ciaran Nevin, Conor Dolan, Eddie Madden, Jack Creaven, Jack Miskella, Liam Forde, Oisin O’Brien, Oisin Woodlock, Ronan Nevin and Ultan McGlynn. The club fielded over one-quarter of the participants in this race!
The U13 1200m were next up, with the girls off first. Alanna Lally from Monivea (GCH) took 1st place and the Ballinasloe Burke running dynasty’s twins – Veronica and Michelle took 2nd and 3rd place. These girls are at the top of their age group in Galway for many years now, with Michelle getting the upper hand on Veronica for a few years, but Veronica turning the tables on Michelle in the last 12 months. Maeve Brannigan from Newcastle (GCH) took 4th place, with Elizabeth Maher from Moycullen (GCH) in 5th place. Craughwell’s Gabrielle Tobin was unlucky not to make the Galway team, finishing in 6th place. Other club members in this race included Bridget Geoghegan from Ardrahan.
In the U13 boys’ race, it was a 1-2-3 for our club members with Nicholas Sheehan (Oranmore) racing away to win in style, with Craughwell duo Keelan Ryan and Jamie Spelman in 2nd and 3rd place. Emilio Burke from Killimer took 4th place, followed by Cathal Reilly from Carlestrane. Other club members in the race included Matthew Moran (Clarinbridge) who finished close to the qualifiers, David Byrne (Clarinbdirge) and Oisin McNally (Kilnadeemna).
Craughwell’s Sarah Molloy was our only participant in the U14 girls 800m race and she had an absolutely exceptional run … possibly her best ever to take a super 4th place. Maria Touhy from Athenry took the 1st place in a welcome return to top form, with Orlaith McGrath from Bullaun (Athenry AC) in 2nd and Lorna Hannon Athenry in 3rd place. Katie Carter (GCH) and Annie Mai Bourne (Ballinasloe) took the last 2 qualifying places.
Final race of the day was the U14 boys 800m, where Conor Gillen (representing Athenry) and Paul Fitzpatrick (representing Craughwell) were in action. With about 250m to go, Conor was leading the race from Paul. With a big spurt, Conor opened a gap and Paul had a battle for 2nd/3rd place eventually settling for 3rd place behind Eamonn Mannion from Monivea (Athenry AC), with Keith Grehan from NBT (Athenry AC) in 4th, Noel Cotton (Ballinasloe) 5th and Ian Shaughnessy from Salthill in 6th.