DCSIMG

Pollock fails to make impact at European cross-country

Paul Pollock

Paul Pollock

Paul Pollock finished third Irish scorer in the European Cross County Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

The 27 year old doctor who runs for Annadale Striders had been targeting a top 10 finish but the marathon star was perhaps not suited for a very fast, flat course which favoured the track runners.

Pollock was quickly away in the leading group. He was 11th after the first big lap running alongside training partner Andy Vernon of GB but although he fought hard all the way he ended up 26th.

Michael Mulhare moved through smoothly for 15th with David McCarthy 18th and Dan Mulhare 31st as Ireland came sixthth behind winners Spain.

Mick Closissey was 56th with Stephen Scullion 63rd. Amel Bezabeh of Spain took the title with Vernon third in a sprint finish.

Double champion Fionnuala Britton was just outside the medals this time in fourth as Sophie Duarte of France won from English girl Gemma Steel.

Ann-Marie McGlynn from Strabane running under her maiden name of Larkin came 49th. Ireland were sixth again in the team.

Paul Robinson in ninth led the U23 team which placed fourth. Annadale’s Ryan McDermott came 71st.

Sean Tobin was also 9th in the Junior Men with Letterkenny’s Ruairi Finnegan 61st. Siofra Clerigh-Buttner was top Junior Lady in 37th.

Meanwhile, Gareth Hill came out on top of a three man battle to win the MacFarlane and Smyth Malcolm Cup Cross Country which was promoted by Annadale Striders at Ballyclare.

Hill and Scott Rankin fresh from good runs in the Seeley Cup were joined by Richie Nicholls for most of the race before Hill got away to win by just five seconds from Rankin with Nicholls a further nine seconds back.

Jonny Steede, Alan Bogle and top Junior Conor Christie followed with Jamie Budde and Francis Marsh in 7th and 8th leading North Down to the team prize. Ryan Sharkey was second junior.

Eimear Mullan missing from the cross country scene for some time had a convincing victory in the Ladies. The Springwell runner had a fifty two seconds advantage over Denise Toner who just beat Marina Campbell for runner up position.

Michelle Sturm, Jessica Craig, Suzanne Higgins, Julie Butler and Catriona Donaldson followed in close order with Springwell winning the Horwell Cup team prize.

The Veterans race was an Annadale benefit as Mark Wright and Paul Carroll circulated in close formation before Mark went on to win by four seconds. Greg Lavery and Michael Magee completed the top four.

Keith Shiels and Pauline McGurren took the top honours in the Eskra 10K Road Race in Co. Tyrone. Shiels from Foyle Valley was in control as he won by forty one seconds from Glenn Phair and Stephen Prentice.

Sperrin girl Pauline had over two minutes in hand on Grainne Kelly and Deirdre Haigney.

 

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