Galway men claim national title after thirty three years

Galway athletes have claimed a memorable cross country title, winning the men’s intermediate team championship in Dublin at the weekend.

It is the first time in 33 years Galway runners have won the title, and on Saturday, in muddy conditions, the team was led home by Matt Lockett of GCH who finished in 11th overall.

Peter O’Sullivan of Craughwell AC (14th ), Matt Bidwell GCH (26th ), Brian Fury of Rathfarnham, running for Galway (27th ), Ian Egan GCH (34th ) and Owen Byrne GCH (50th ) were part of the winning team at the Woodie’s DIY Cross County Championships held in the ALSAA Complex at Dublin Airport. Byrne, who was Galway’s sixth scorer, was making his debut at the event, while the team were ably backed up by Seamus Gilhooly and Brian Bruton both of Athenry AC. Galway City Harriers finished fourth in the team event.

The last championship win was in 1978 when it was held in Rockmount College Tipperary on snowy ground. On that day Tom Connell was third and GCH coach PJ Coyle was fifth, with UCG taking the team gold. The time before that was in 1973 when it was a clean sweep for Galway - with GCH finishing first club, UCG second club, and of course Galway winning the intercounty team prize.

The Galway women’s Intermediate team of Tara Whyte (21st ), Helen Corbett (30th ), Amanda Gannon (50th ), Jean O’Connor (55th ), Louise O’Rourke (67th ) and Sinead Brody (78th ) finished just outside the medals as fourth county.

In the veteran races, Martin McEvilly took gold yet again in his M60 category. McEvilly has won every year since competing in the M55 category.

First home for Galway was Martin Corcoran of Craughwell AC who finished in 16th position, fourth place in his V45 category. Next was GCH's Joe Morrisey (26th overall ) and 15th in his V40 category. Dermot Lowe of GCH was seventh in his V45 category and 31st overall. Paul Fallon of GCH was 46th overall, Tommy Joe Whyte of Tuam AC 53rd, just ahead of Martin McEvilly, John O’Brien (GCH ), and Dan O’Rourke (Tuam AC ).

Anne Burke of Ballinasloe was the first Galway finisher in the women’s veteran event, taking third in her V50 category. Earlier in the day her son Brian led home the Galway u-12 team. Bernie Kelly (41st ) of GCH was next home as fifth V50. Craughwell AC’s Reena Deely was next athlete home (50th ), followed closely by clubmate Jane Reeves (52nd ), Margaret Sheridan (60th ) and Phyllis Browne (61st ). The Galway V50 team took a well deserved silver.

The u-12 girls team of Shannon Lee, Sarah McDonnell, Dearbhaile Walshe and Maeve Hughes won a bronze medal for Galway at the Juvenile Intercounty All Ireland Cross Country Relay finals. The u-12 Boys narrowly missed out on bronze when finishing in fourth position. The boys on the Co Galway team were Brian Burke, James Cahalan, Matthew Barrett and Bronson Kelly.


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