Stephen Duncan surges to Beragh 5 Miles title

Stephen Duncan took the honours in the Beragh 5 Miles Road Race
Stephen Duncan took the honours in the Beragh 5 Miles Road Race
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Stephen Duncan produced a power packed exhibition of running to win the Beragh 5 Miles Road Race in the Co Tyrone village.

The Northern Ireland and Ulster Masters champion started red hot favourite and soon took control of the race as he moved clear of the rest headed by Adam Boyd and Fergus McGirr.

Duncan was on his own and came back to the finish with a one minute and eighteen seconds cushion over North Belfast Harrier Boyd who was equally isolated in second.

McGirr, from Enniskillen, came third for the second year in succession with Stephen Cassidy, Michael Kerr and Aidan O’Hagan making up the top half dozen.

Pat McIlroy was leading M40, Martin McLaughlin took the M50s, Oisin Donnelly was first junior with Seamus Arkinson and Francis Boal occupying the leading M60 places.

Patricia O’Hagan from the St Peter’s Club in Lurgan made a welcome return to competition after a years absence and soon made her presence felt.

The former Rollercoaster winner disputed the lead with the fancied Pauline McGurren of Sperrin before opening up to win by thirty five seconds from Pauline.

Grainne Kelly of Knockmany in third was followed by Jacqueline Mulligan, Deirdre Haigney and Catherine O’Neill. There were 232 finishers altogether.

Meanwhile, Kerry O’Flaherty improved her seasons best by fourteen seconds with a brilliant run in the 3,000 metres Steeplechase at Walnut, California.

The Northern Ireland record holder produced blistering finish to take third in 10:00.27 in the race won by Canadian international Chantelle Greenwood in 9:55.94.

Elsewhere, Aaron Doherty, from City of Derry, and Judi Graham, North Belfast, took the major honours in the Ballyliffin Coastal Challenge 10 Miles in Co. Donegal.

Doherty moved clear of team mate Alan Bogle to win the Mens race by just over a minute with James Brown completing a podium clean sweep for the club.

Judi Graham crossed the line well ahead of Springwell pair Alison Rankin and Gemma Turley.

Monday’s action is at Whitehead for the traditional Easter Monday 5 Miles Road Race which starts at 12pm.

North Belfast athletes Conor Curran and Eddie Cooke will place highly while club mate Cathy McCourt can continue her winning Ladies ways by taking the race from Claire Connor and Catriona Donaldson.