Class act Breege Connolly one to beat at Magherafelt

Breege Connolly
Breege Connolly

Breege Connolly, Cathy McCourt and Claire Connor are expected to head the 200 plus field in Saturday’s Stunnerz N Runnerz Women’s Only 5 Miles Race in Magherafelt.

Breege is in tremendous form. The two hours thirty nine marathon runner has scored victories recently at Sligo and the Newry Half Marathon and will certainly start favourite.

Cathy McCourt, the triple Masters champion has come back from a year’s injury with wins at Castleward and Ballymena while Claire Connor won the Jengana 10K.

Julie Murphy came first in the Causeway Half Marathon and Whitehead 5 Miles while the organisers hope to have Julie Balmer back after injury. She won last year at Newry, Larne, Ards, Dervock and Groomsport.

Anne Paul is the holder. She took second at the Airtricity 10 Miles in Derry.

The promoting Sperrin Club have a strong line up. Pauline McGurran won the Annaghmore 10K, Karen McLaughlin was second here last time, while Natalie Hall took the bronze in the Newry Marathon.

Louise Lemmon, third last year, former Junior champion Olivia Mullan, Jacqueline Mulligan and Lorna Stibbett can also place highly.

The 5 Miles Race, Fun Run and Walk start from Meadowbank Sports Arena from 12noon.

Also on Saturday at huge field is expected for the Enniskillen 10K which starts and finishes at the Lakeland Forum. The event is organised by the local Council and community associations.

Stephen Duncan will start favourite. He has had a great season and was a close second to Freddy Sittuk at the Newry Half Marathon.

Last year’s winner Declan Reed will challenge for medals along with Conan McCaughey and Stephen Prentice. Conan and Stephen ran well in the Senior track 5000 at the Mary Peters Track.

Paul Barbour, James Brown, Brian Young and Fergus McGirr will all take high places while there is a possibility that Tudor Moldovan from Dublin, second last year, may be on the start line.

Defending Ladies champion Denise Toner from Clones can win again although she will have to watch out for Wilkie’s 5 Miles winner Rhian Pegram.

The action starts at 2pm.

The Northern Ireland and Ulster U16 and U17 Track and Field Championships are also being held on Saturday at the Antrim Forum. The meeting will include the postponed Senior and U19 high jump and pole vault competitions.

Zoe Brown and Claire Wilkinson led the Senior pole vault entry with Melissa Moffett in the U19s. In the high jump Anna McIlmoyle will take the Women’s with Adam Hill and Barry Quigg leading the Men.

The competition starts at 9.30am with the U16 and U17 Girls and Boys hammer with the U16 Girl 80m hurdles opening the track at 9.45am.