The day was bright, sunny and cold in Ballymote, Co.Sligo for the final day of the Connacht Championships. Though the weather was mostly dry, the course was damp and cut up fairly well as the day went on for the uneven aged finals.
Anthony Boyle was Craughwell’s sole competitor in the Senior race and he performed strongly, coming 11th in the field after a great battle with legendary Mayoman Conor McGloughlin. The race saw a Galway man crowned Connacht Champion for the second year in a row with the popular Abaas Edris of Castlegar AC hammering home for a dominant victory which never looked in doubt ahead of 2:26 marathon man Barry Sheil of Longford.
The race of the day from a Craughwell perspective was the u17 Boys race which featured former National Champion, Francis Donoghue from Sligo. Luke O’Sullivan and Donoghue shared the lead for the first few km when Declan O’Connell slipped into the lead and really drove hard to build a gap. Declan closed out a convincing winner in the end with Donoghue just pipping Luke O’Sullivan in a titanic battle for Silver and Bronze. Stephen Ruane came 7th in another fine run. The contribution of the lads was enough to seal a Gold medal for Galway County. This was a smashing run from Declan who hasn’t had the ideal season but looks to be coming good at the right time.
The u15 Boys race saw great Galway performances as Stephen Joyce came 4th behind a South Galway 1-2 pairing. Sean Cleare (12) and Oisin O’Donovan (21) were the other scorers. The u13 Boys race saw strong running from Donal Coyle in 14th, just outside the medal slots. Brian O’Gara came 35th in the nearly 70-strong field.
Sophie Meehan continued to show her grit and class with a superb 4th place finish. Sophie was followed home by Laoise Corban (20), Laoise Colleran (21), Ruth Burke (41) and Grade Drysdale (60) to win a fantastic Team Silver medal for the club and also one for the County.
In the largest race of the day with 108 finishers, lU11 Jack Hibbitt led the Galway men home in 5th place followed by Dean Fahy in 58th, Matthew Drysdale in 75th.
The ever-impressive Muireann Kelly was first Craughwell AC Athlete home in the U11s in 8th place, followed by Emma McGovern in 11th, Abbey Clesham (32), Aoife O’Connell (34), Jenny Hannon (59) which came 5th from 17 teams in a tight contest.