Despite Saturday’s horrific weather conditions and the Glenshane Pass closure runners still managed to turn out in good numbers at both the Acorns AC cross country meeting in snowy Cookstown and also in Tyrone at the Eskra 10K road race.
Local and North West athletes were to the fore in both with podium places in Cookstown for Scott Rankin and Allan Bogle behind winner Seamus Lynch of Newcastle AC; Stephen Duncan and Anne Marie McGlynn took the Eskra honours and the Foyle Valley male and female squads consolidated their top standings in the ANI XC League with a team win and runner up spot respectively.
Newcastle’s Seamus Lynch added the Acorns individual title to his Malcolm Cup win a week earlier in Ballyclare, the snow and the big climb, no bother to the noted Mourne county mountain runner. Behind him Scott Rankin led his Foyle Valley quartet to maximum League points as Chris McGuinness 4th, Pius McIntyre 6th and Roy McGilloway 17th, combined with him for a well deserved team victory ahead of Newcastle and Acorns AC.
City of Derry’s mountain specialist Allan Bogle completed the podium placers with another strong run for third and had support from Chris McPeake 8th and Gary Slevin 10th, but the Spartans failed to garner any League points with just the three runners in the field.
Young Omagh Harrier Enya Haigney was an impressive Women’s race winner ahead of the seasoned Heather Foley and Natalie Hall of Acorns and the promoting club took the top League points ahead of the Martina McMullan led Foyle Valley quartet. Martina as ever battled hard for 7th, first M40, and was backed up by Emma McGilloway 20th, Lisa McGuigan 21st and Jacqueline McCann,22nd.
City of Derry’s Anne Paul made a very welcome return to competition in an excellent 5th place and took the F50 award and showed she will be a threat at the major Masters races in the New Year.
Meanwhile Stephen Duncan got back in the groove to win the Eskra 10K with a 32m 33s clocking, the Omagh man well clear of runner up North Down’s Stephen Wylie’s 34m 42s. Letterkenny’s Anne Marie McGlynn was third overall in a classy 35m 01s and comfortably claimed the women’s race honours , chased home by Omagh Harrier Julie Butler on 37m 57s.