What a contrast at two sporting events in less than 24 hours. Leaving Aviva Stadium after the Ireland / Argentina match you couldn't help but feel let down by an Irish team that lacked motion and pride in the green jersey .I was half expecting Joe to be at the exit gate apologizing and offering our entrance fee back. Jump forward to the Munster Cross Country championships in Two Mile Borris on Sunday and the contrast was palpable . One group a professional outfit with supposedly the best rugby coach in the world couldn't get out of second gear and the other group of amateur athletes who wore their heart on their sleeve giving all for clubs and counties.
But Munster cross country days are special not just because it's a provincial championships but because of the caliber of the athletes who turn up year in ,year out.
This year Nenagh Olympic are continuing to build on a couple of strong years and our group of boys from U13 to U15 are leading the way.
This Sunday it was the turn of the uneven ages and we went into it highly motivated and expecting a good show .We were not to be disappointed coming away with the Gold medal in the U15 club competition and our four club scorers we're also on the Tipp team with six to score who also took the gold medals. Nenagh were led home by Cian Hodgins in 3rd with Tom Walshe 6th , Luke Purcell 12th and Jamie Moloney 15th. Cian & Tom we're running out of age to make it all the more impressive with Luke and Jamie gaining in confidence and getting stronger with each outing.
Out two U13 boys also had high expectations and these boys also ran out of their skin with Ben Walshe 3rd and Diarmuid Moloney 25th in only his fourth race for the club. Both athletes were on the scoring six for the Tipp team that finished 2nd to Cork in the county competition. Ben is rounding into form nicely and there is no better man to have a crack at the top two come All Ireland time in a few weeks .
Our two U17 girls of Ailbhe O'Neill and Lucy Mulcahy did the girls side proud today with Ailbhe 10 th out of age which is probably her best cross country performance to date as she is normally a track specialist. Lucy finished 19th and both of these girls were on the scoring six of the Tipp team that took the silver medals in the county category. Tipperary were led home by Aimee Hayde ,Newport, in 1st place.
Ted Collins was 14th in the boys U17 category and as he is really a track athlete he will be well pleased with his endeavors today.
Our younger athletes didn't medal today but Ruairí Walshe , Mikey Ryan, Aodhán Tucker , Jack Quirke Jones and Lilly Duffy all ran very well in an extremely competitive envoirment and will have gained much from the experience.
Our one and only Senior athlete competing today was Ciara Cummins . Ciara was competing in the senior ladies 6k race which would normally be a little outside her comfort zone but true to form this true competitor dug deep for to finish 8th and help the Tipp ladies win the team competition. Incidentally the Tipperary team were led home by Borrisokane's Siobhán Doherty in 1st position.
So well done to all concerned and in contrast to the day before rather than looking for a refund I felt like throwing an extra fiver in the kitty such was the effort and commitment from all concerned.
Next week we have Munster cross country relays in Clarecastle and the following Sunday See's the cross country band wagon move to Abbottstown, Dublin for the even age All Ireland's.
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