The senior male athletes of Ballina AC retained the senior team title at the recent Hollymount 10K road race held on a three lap circuit of the south Mayo village. This is a famous race which has been held for the past 46 years under the stewardship of Seán Reilly.
The race was won by Galway City Harriers’ athlete Matt Bidwell, the Mayo AC league champion. He had to surge on many occasions throughout the race before shaking off Ballina AC’s Roger Barrett in the last half mile. This was Barrett’s best placing in the Hollymount race and gave an instant advantage to his team mates in their efforts to retain the team title. Mayo AC’s Rob Malseed was third.
After his marathon heroics two weeks previously, Ballina AC’s Michael Canty made the trip to Hollymount expecting to run below his best. However, he completed a great race and was placed in an excellent fourth place. This was yet another sign of the consistency Carty has now achieved on the athletic scene in Mayo.
Seán Gallagher was next of the Ballina team to count in seventh place, and Ballina were well placed to retain their title, but in road/cross country running the team placings are decided by the first four runners from each club. Niall Cawley did not let the team down, with a determined drive for the finish in 19th place in which he had to summon all the energy he had. In the process Ballina AC held off Mayo AC to win the team title for the second year in a row, with the visiting team from Liverpool Harriers in third place.