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Ulster & NI Senior Cross Country


from Finn Valley AC by Kieran Carlin.

At the Ulster & NI Senior Cross Country Championships held at a windy rain swept Gransha estate in Derry athletics was the eventual winner, both races having both quality and the numbers to justify the competition coming to the NW. In the ladies race the local woman from Derry now a full time athlete Aileen Morrison got of to a determined start taking the race on from the gun, eventually winning in a convincing manor. Finn Valley athlete Teresa Mc Gloin not enjoying the inclement condition letting the first three ladies gain a gap in the early stages, which meant she could not rein them in, Teresa eventually finishing 4th. Kay Byrne once again back running in the senior ranks after her impressive run at Stormont, Kay also struggled with the sticky, muddy under foot conditions, backing up the Valley team were Cliona Dunne who braved the elements battling to the line for the team, the final valley lady Maeve Culhane who made the 7 hour journey from Limerick where she now studies had a gallant run, Maeve must be commended for the effort to travel to the race enabling Valley field a team which eventually finished 4th.

In the senior men’s race Finn Valley did not field a team for the first time in a number of years. Never the less with huge numbers we were in for a competitive race, in the 1st of the 6 x 2000m lap a group of 15 battled the elements, as the race steadily progressed and the group dwindled to 6 men, Donegal hopes were down to Buncrana based School teacher Pauric Mc Kinney. Pauric pushing the pace, which would seem to be catching the two Belfast athletes Scullion & eventual winner Campbell, Letterkenny just missing out in the team medals by two points. A special mention the three lads who travelled to Derry to set the course up Neil Martin, Pat Mc Crudden and from Letterkenny AC Brendan Mc Daid. For results and photos see www.finvalleyac.com

Athletes will now look forward to the National Senior Cross Country which will be held in Santry, Dublin on 1st March 09, Whilst the masters will also compete in Santry in the National masters CC on 15th Feb 09.

At the Donegal sports star award held in the Mount Errigle Hotel on Friday night Finn Valley had a number of athletes receiving presentations. In the schoolboys Georgie Kelly from Toobin national school got best Primary school boy. Georgie one to look out for the in future, Ian Ward received the best Secondary boy award and Club Chairman Patsy Mc Gonagle received award for his contribution to sport. Congratulation to Toobin National School, who received the best overall Primary School award.