Craughwell AC had another exceptional performance at the National Community Games finals in Mosney last weekend. This is the last time the finals will be held in Mosney and it was a special occasion for athletes and coaches alike in the circumstances. It was also tinged with sadness as Kyle McCrann RIP should have been up here with his team-mates from the club in the U16 boys relay team but fate conspired against him. I’m sure however Kyle was looking down with interest from above on the busy Mosney activities.
Athletes from the club put in some marvellous performances culminating in four medals.
Aidan Conneely put in a blistering performance in the boys U12 100m to win his heat and semi-final comfortably and was just pipped for gold by Mark Varley from Limerick to clinch the silver medal – an incredible achievement as Aidan is young enough again for this age group next year. Usain Bolt would be impressed!
Rumours abound that it’s not the West Africans at all that have the sprint genes and that in fact Galway immigrants from Ballyconneely to Jamaica and the Americas in the 1700’s led to their genetic advantage in the sprints!
In the U16 boys’ high jump, Tomás Keehan put in a superb performance to win the bronze medal with a leap of 1.65m despite having injured himself at an earlier height when he slipped on the takeoff on the muddy ground.
.Linda Porter’s collection of National medals swelled again when she took the bronze medal in the U14 girls’ 800m. This was Linda’s first medal in the Community Games finals and came at the end of a super track and field year for Linda where she has won 3 National middle-distance medals. The race itself was a tactical battle between several of the top runners in the country. Linda kept herself well positioned throughout and with 250m to go, a breakaway group of 5 pulled away with Linda tucked nicely in the middle of it. Linda pushed strongly to move into 3rd in the home straight and held that position to the line behind Laura O’Dowd from Leitrim and Linda Conroy from Westmeath.
Maeve Curley won the club’s 4th medal as part of the Galway 7k marathon team who took a superb silver medal. As folks will know, Maeve is an elite race-walker and stepping up to run a 7k distance was a big change of style/event for Maeve. But she performed heroically to finish as the 2nd Galway member of the team which included Ballinasloe duo Claire Burke and Lorna Payne and Athenry’s Yvonne Keary.
There were many other fine performances from club athletes – PJ Kelly and Claire Ryder competed strongly in the U14 long jumps despite being a year out of their age, with Claire particularly impressive to finish 6th despite carrying an injury which limited her to 4 jumps on the day. Ashley McDonnell competed strongly out of her age in the U16 high jump, leaping close to her PB with a 1.40m jump. The Craughwell U15 mixed relay team put in the best performance from a parish team ever in the Community Games, finishing 2nd in their heat and semi-final and 6th in the final (Ashley McDonnell, Katie O’Donoghue, Pádraic Tobin, Brendan and Shaun Gallagher). Liam Forde put in a super performance in the U10 200m to finish in 6th place in the final.
The Ardrahan U16 boys relay had a super run to win their heat but disaster struck in the semi-final when the team dropped the baton in the 2nd changeover and were not able to retrieve the time lost to make the final. Tomás Keehan and Ruairi Finnegan from the club were members of the team. These things happen the best of teams – look at the US teams in the Olympics 4x100m.
All in all it was a very successful weekend for athletes from the club. All of them had a super time away in Mosney. They competed with the best all weekend and on Sunday night they easily won the all-night-talking-stay-awake competition and sleep deprivation championships! As always, they were exceptionally well-behaved and represented themselves, their parents, their parishes and the club with distinction.
Congratulations also to the other Galway track and field competitors who performed so well – in particular the Ballinasloe relay teams who had dominated the Galway finals and went on to win 3 sets of medals in the relays in the National finals. Bug success also in the sprints with no less than 6 athletes winning sprint medals on this highest of platforms – NUIG will have to start researching that Galway sprint gene!