Northern Ireland and Ulster Intermediate and Masters Cross Country Review

31 January 2017

The Northern Ireland and Ulster Intermediate and Masters Cross Country Championships were held on Saturday 28th at Gransha Grounds in Derry sponsored by Championchip Ireland.  It proved to be a very good day for running with no wind and only a couple of showers.  The course was largely dry with mostly good running but with a couple of muddy patches.

There was some very good competition throughout the four races with all being tightly contested both from an individual and team point of view.

In the first race of the day, the master’s women, Willowfield’s Amy Bulman went out hard from the start and by half way (2k) had established a 30m lead. However the chasing pair of Fionnula Diver (Letterkenny) and Cathy McCourt (U/A) pegged her back slowly over the second 2k lap though Amy managed to hold on to win by less than a second from Fionnula.   The team winners were North Belfast Harriers (57) from a strongly finishing Ballydrain on 62.

The masters men’s race (8k)  developed slowly with a large group at the front for the first 3k. However as the race progressed it was whittled down to three in contention. Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley) Declan Reed (City of Derry Spartans) and Stevie Duncan (Omagh). In the end Chris emerged as a comfortable winner with 9 seconds to spare over Declan and Stevie a further 8 seconds back. In the team event North Belfast had an easy win with 31 points with Willowfield just taking second (64pts) on count back from Foyle Valley.

 The Intermediate women’s race was also very competitive. Jodi Smith (North Down) had a slender lead over a chasing  group of 5 or 6 going into the final lap. She ran strongly over the final 2k and just managed to hold off a fast finishing Noleen Scanlon (Letterkenny) with Ciara McSherry (Springwell) a further 4 seconds back in third.

The team race was won by Letterkenny (40pts) from Omagh (47).

The longest race of the day was the  10 kilometre Intermediate men  It quickly developed into a three man race between Conan McCaughey (Derry Track Club),

William Mckee (Mourne) and Conal McCambridge (North Belfast). Conan put in a major effort with about 3k to go and eventually ran out a comfortable winner with 14 seconds to spare over William and Conal a further 25 seconds back. The team race was won by Finn Valley on 107 points with Acorns A.C. second on 124 and City of Derry Spartans  third on 129.