Report Leinster Cross Country
Coscoran wins Leinster Junior Cross Country Championship: The Leinster Junior Cross Country Championships was held at Blandsford Estate near Ballyroan, Co Laois on Sunday. The parkland course laid out over a 2k loop was a superb test of cross country running with a mixture of some very fast running combined with dry hills and low lying areas where the going was heavy. The field for the junior event included defending champion David Mulhare (Portlaoise AC) and the crowd anticipated a battle between Coscoran & Mulhare for the title.
From the gun a group of about seven athletes had opened up a small lead on the rest of the field. This group as expected included Mulhare, Coscoran, Shane Hughes (Mullingar Harriers), Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers), Sean Power (Thomastown) and Dunboyne duo of Ahmed Hussain Abdi & Abullahi Mohammed Abdulle. However as the athletes approached the 1k mark Mulhare and Coscoran had opened up a small gap on the other athletes. These two increased their lead as they came to the first hill on the course and when they emerged from they had opened up a 20m gap on the chasers. As the chasing group of 5 headed out on their second lap they had now also opened up a gap on the rest of the field.
Mulhare, the local runner, and Coscoran were now well out in front as they approached the first hill on the second lap and as Mulhare slowed down as moved onto the hill the Star of the Sea man kept up the pace and as they exited the wood at the top of the hill Coscoran had opened up a gap on the Portlaoise athlete. Andrew kept applying the pressure and as he went out on his last lap he had a lead of close to one hundred metres. Meanwhile the chasing pack of five athletes were having a great battle for the bronze medal. Going out on their last lap the bronze medal would go to the man among them who had the most appetite for the ensuing battle. Slightly further down the field was the 3rd Dunboyne athlete Niall Cornyn who is not long back running after been ill for the latter part of the summer and early Autumn. He was having a great race in the middle of the field and the team medal would depend on him finishing his first race of the year.
Going through the lowest area of the course with 1k left to race Andrew was all the time extending his lead over David Mulhare while at this stage the race for the bronze was down to three athletes – Ahmed, Shane Hughes and Peter Lynch- and even these three were now starting to close on Mulhare. The battle for the bronze medal now saw Dunboyne man Ahmed Hussain Abdi open up a small gap on Peter Lynch (Kilkenny) as they emerged from the wood for the final time with Shane Hughes 5th and Abdullahi Mohammed Abdulle slipping back slightly to 6th.
Andrew crossed the line in a time of 20mins34secs to take gold with David Mulhare a further 30secs back. Ahmed won a hard fought bronze medal in a time of 21mins 21secs with Peter Lynch only 4secs behind him with Hughes only a further 3secs back. Abullahi finished 6th and with Niall Cornyn finishing 12th Meath won the team gold on a score of 22pts with Kilkenny 2nd with 32 and Laois 3rd with 40pts.
Kieron Peters in his first leinster Senior Cross Country Championship finished 16th in the mens senior race over 10k. Kieron has excelled in his first cross country season with Star of the Sea AC and we wish all the best in his final cross country race of the season which will be the National Intermediate Championships in Dunboyne.