When we awoke to the sound of wind and rain I taught it was in the words of Del Boy , déjà vu all over again as our last trip to the Kingdom four years ago the weather was memorable for all the wrong reasons . In fact after the U10 races had finished around midday the sun shone for the rest of the day and I’m sure I spotted Kate Kearney leaning over the half door spotting the incredible athletic talent on her doorstep.
Well if talent was what she was looking for then she didn’t have to look any further than our own boys U14 . They romped to the munster title in the classiest race of the day. Speaking of class Cian Hodgins was back to his best winning the munster title for the second year in a row , leading our club team to the club title and Tipperary to the county title. Not a bad days work by any standards but this quiet unassuming young man just takes it all in his stride and was as excited about the team titles as his individual title. Five athletes broke away including Cian and teammate Tom Walshe who is showing signs of a return to his best form also. With the Clare athlete fearful of the Nenagh boys finishing speed he pushed the pace at the front and soon down to just two athletes. Try as he might the Clare man couldn’t break Cian and with 800m to go Cian struck for home and pulled away all the way to the finish. He was ably backed by Tom Walshe in 5th , Ben Walshe running brilliantly in 8th and Micheál Moylan after a recent dose of the flu having his best run in a while to finish 19th . Indeed the Tipp team also won the county title with the Nenagh boys being backed by Dundrum , Templemore and Newport athletes and should be favourites to win the All Ireland title in Abbottstown in a months time.
Our U14 boys were not the only Nenagh athletes on show with our two U10 athletes Emily O’Neill 28th and Charlie Cairns 19th in the girls and boys races respectively. Both ran really well with both county teams finishing 4th.
We had two U12 boys with Diarmuid Moloney and Ruairí Walshe getting stuck in from the start. Diarmuid finished 14th in his first munster championship and Ruairi 28th running out of age both should be well pleased with their efforts.
In the U16 Girls Ailbhe O’Neill was delighted with her endeavors . Staying in contention for most of the race she eventually finished 10th for her highest finish in a munster cross country race. This track star will surely benefit in the upcoming indoor season from the strength gained from cross country training.
Our U16 boys had a mixed bag of results . Three of our team were out of age with one having a slight injury and the other two athletes were running in their first munster championship. Luke Purcell finished 21st and Jamie Moloney 23rd were first home and being backed by Seán Hilmi and George O’Leary the team finished 6th and all will benefit from the experience.
Last but definitely not least we had one athlete in the U23 men’s race and with Aaron Quigley running 16.10 for 5k just a week ago he was quietly confident of a good result and so it proved. Staying with the leaders for all the race he eventually finished 2nd individual and also helped the Tipperary team to the bronze medals in the novice team competition.
Our next outing is in two weeks in Turnpike, Two Mile Borris for the uneven age munsters and next Saturday the munster development squad will train with us in Nenagh CBS .