Titanic battles in Tullamore as Clonliffe and Galway triumph

August 15, 2023

A titanic battle between defending champions Clonliffe Harriers and Leevale AC in the men’s premier division proved the highlight of the All Ireland Track and Field Championships in Tullamore on Sunday (August 13).

After a long day’s competition, Clonliffe had accumulated the most points over the twelve track and eight field events. But when the top fifteen results only were counted, it was Leevale AC, runners-up last year, who came out on top, denying Clonliffe an eighth consecutive win.

Highlight for Leevale , who were winning a first league title since 2014, was a national club record in the 4 x 100m of 40.50 secs. Individual winners for the Cork club included Conor Morey 100m, James Ezeonu 110m hurdles and Reece Ademola in both his specialist long jump and the high jump. Winners for Clonliffe included a rejuvenated Brian Gregan 400m, Eoin Sheridan discuss, and Rory Gunning javelin. As always in the league, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, it would seem that the club with the strongest roster of sprinters will win.

In the women’s competition, sprinters also laid the bedrock for DSD’s victory with Mollie O’Reilly winning the 100m and Molly Hourihan the 200m for DSD AC. Other wins for the club came from Eimear Maher 800m, Molly Mullally triple jump Ciara Wilson Bowen walk.

For second place, Leevale pipped Clonliffe for second place, with wins for Maeve Fleming high jump and the 4 x 100m team, and a pole vault victory for Una Brice proving crucial. Clonliffe, despite wins for Leah Bergin won the 400m, the 4 x 400 team and for Clonliffe’s new member Jessica Tappin in both the 100m the 400m hurdles just missed out.

Winning the first division titles were the Raheny Shamrock men and the Tullamore Harriers women. In a commanding performance, Raheny took nine wins - Mark Smyth 100m and 200m, Oisin McCorry 400m hurdles and 400m, Cillian Kirwan 1500m and 800m, Colm Bourke long jump (and second triple jump), Shane Spring 3000m steeplechase and Stephen Fay with an epic run in the 5000m.

In the county championships, Galway County won the men’s title, with maximum points for Reakwon Lucciano 100m, Andrew Egan 200m, Sean Doggett 400m, Abaas Adam Edris steeplechase, Daragh Fahey triple jump, Seán Kelleher walk, and the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays. East Cork beat Tipperary in the women’s category with junior athlete Averil Millerick, fresh from the European U20 Championships, winning the 3,000m in some style beating the experienced Dymphna Ryan of Tipperary County. Other winners included Orla Coffey pole vault and Sonya Walsh weight for distance. For Tipperary, who finished second overall last year behind DSD AC, Katie Bergin won both the 100m and 200m, while Jennifer O’Leary proved best in the 1500m.

Here’s to the 50th anniversary league finals next year !

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