We travelled back to Ballyhale today which we had visited last year for the Leinster Novice Championships. Despite the fact that this idyllic area, with the Welch Mountains rising to the west is approx 150Km near the Equator than Dublin we certainly didn’t expect the near tropical conditions we encountered there.
The now disused but well maintained Mountain View Golf Club venue provided a real cross country challenge with some tough hills and tufty underfoot sod but there was a complete absence of mud despite recent heavy rain. There were three laps of the course to negotiate in addition to the start and finish straights.
The smallish field of 46 contained a number of excellent athletes, some of whom will challenge for places on the Irish team for the forthcoming European Cross Country Championships, scheduled for Turin next month. We took astrategic decision to enter the Leinster’s even though the Dublin’s were on the following day. This was in order to provide as many of our athlete as possible meaningful competitive opportunities in advance of the National Championships later in the month. Our athletes were somewhat off the pace on the first lap, but purposefully so with Claire around 12th, and Aislinn and Sinead not far behind. Sorcha, making her competitive debut for DCH, was comfortable and coming through the field nicely but she unfortunately lost a shoe which hinderer her further progress. Ellen was placed beautifully just outside the top 20, with Christelle, Aoife Corr, Niamh Donnelly and Aoife Donaghy fighting hard to gain places. After the second lap the field had settled down with some athletes paying the price for early extravagance. Our entire team gained ground going into the final lap with Claire now inside the top 10, Aislinn and Sinead(who ran despite having a cold and sore foot) were just outside and Sorcha running well despite her Cinderella state holding a mid-teens position. Ellen worked her way into the top twenty while Christelle, Aoife Corr and Niamh diced in the early 30s with Aoife Donaghy defending her position within the top 40.In the end we ran out comfortable team title winners with 42 points, Claire in addition to being 1st under 23 also scored on the Dublin County Team.
To see full results click on https://www.myrunresults.com/events/leinster_senior_xc_championships/4604/results
The club history shows that we have not won this title since 1992-results below- when the cross country season was arranged with pre-Christmas and after Christmas championships in equal number. DCH sometimes used these Leinster Championships as trials for the European Clubs Cross Championships in the past and who knows maybe history will repeat itself in the near future.
WOMENS EASTERN REGION SENIOR INTER CLUB CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS-
1ST TEAM 16 POINTS
Ursula Noctor 1st
Catherine Smith 4th
Frances Murphy 5th
Louise Cavanagh 6th
Olivia Clinton 15th
Ailish Smyth 16th
Eithne Kenny 21st
So far so good!