ATHLETICS: Ballyclare test for in-form Paddy Hamilton

Paddy Hamilton
Paddy Hamilton

Paddy Hamilton goes for his second victory in Ballyclare inside a month when he competes in the McFarlane and Smyth Malcolm Cup Cross Country promoted by Annadale Striders at Sixmilewater Park.

The Slieve Gullion athlete followed his Jordanstown win with success in the McConnell Shield over today’s course.

His second place in the Seeley Cup last week confirmed his form and he will definitely be the one to beat.

Declan Reed and Seamus Lynch came second and third in the McConnell and will challenge again. Reed came second in last year’s Malcolm.

Scott Rankin, Mark McKinstry, Chris McGuinness and possibly Brian Campbell will all be in the chase for top positions.

Team wise Foyle Valley, City of Derry, North Belfast and Newcastle will be in contention in the event which counts for the Athletics Northern Ireland League.

Emma Mitchell can follow her great run at Santry with victory here.

The Banbridge girl looked classy as she made the Irish European U23 team. She also won impressively at Jordanstown.

Jessica Craig, third last year, can go one better this time while Rebecca Henderson, Catherine Whoriskey, Cathy McCourt and the Newcastle trio of Shalene McMurray, Joanne Mills and Mari Troeng will all place highly.

The Veterans Men are on the track at the same time as the Ladies with Springwell’s Philip Tweedie fancied for a repeat victory.

There is a generous prize list. Changing is at Ballyclare Leisure Centre with the action starting at 1pm.

Also today William McKee and Laura Graham will start hot favourites for the Loughgall 10K Trail Race which is the latest round of the Born 2 Run Forest Series. Both were convincing winners at Gosford. The race starts at 11am.

Meanwhile tomorrow (Sunday) a good field is expected for the Griddle 10K at Saul near Downpatrick. Stephen Wylie, Barrie Atkinson and Richard Coey will be front runners unless Brendan Teer makes a reappearance while Heather Foley and last year’s winner Catherine O’Connor look good in the Ladies.

The event starts at 12 noon.

Also on Sunday there will be a big turnout of local athletes for the Glohealth National Novice and Uneven Age Group Championships at Dungarvin, Waterford.

Paddy Robb backed by Conor Gallagher, James Smith and Killian Gargan can lead St Malachy’s to the Novice team crown with Natalie Hall from Acorns worth watching in the Ladies.

Christy Conlon, Oisin Gallen, Jack Moore, Tomas Haigney in the Boys and Laura Gardiner, Edel Monaghan, Enya Haigney, Niamh Heaney and Cara Laverty will all be chasing medals.