Athletics: Brendan Teer expected to retain Comber Cup title

Brendan Teer
Brendan Teer

Brendan Teer will be fancied to retain his title in the Comber Cup cross country promoted by Ballydrain Harriers at the Billy Neill Centre, Dundonald, on Saturday.

The meeting, which opens the cross country season, includes the first round of the Athletics Northern Ireland League and is expected to attract big entries.

Teer, from East Down, is equally versatile over road and country scoring victories at Comber and Portaferry and if recovered from injury will be hard to oppose.

Mark McKinstry, third last time, heads a North Belfast team which includes Andrew Annett, Adam Boyd, John Black and Thomas Simmons. They should retain their team title ahead of 2013 champions Newcastle who have the in-form Seamus Lynch, David McNeilly, David O’Flaherty and David Steele.

Neil Johnston, Paul Rowan, Dennis Scott and Jamie Budde will all go well while last year’s runner-up Alan Bogle is a possible entry.

Rachel Gibson and Jessica Craig, the top two 12 months ago, head a North Down team which includes Jodi Smith.

They will dispute the John McKeag Cup with North Belfast, who include Martsje Hell, Louise Smith and hopefully Gladys Ganiel-O’Neill.

The age group races start at 12noon with the Senior Women at 1:30pm and Men at 2:15pm.

Meanwhile, Paddy Hamilton will be the athlete to watch in Sunday’s Adidas Armagh 10 Miles Road Race, which starts from Navan Fort at 12noon.

Hamilton, from Slieve Gullion, won at Dessie’s Run and came second in the Laganside 10K and can run close to 50 minutes for the distance.

Stevie Duncan, the fastest stage runner in the Masters Relays can join Omagh team-mate Paul Barbour - the reigning champion - while Leroy Brady and Cookstown winner Gary Henderson lead the promoting Armagh AC along with the evergreen Dermot Kerr.

Brian Campbell winner at Ards and Dervock is a possibility along with Don Travers, Lindsay Gordon and Gerard Heaney.

The Ladies race looks to be wide open unless four-times winner Breege Connolly makes an appearance.

Loughry winner Heather Foley, Gillian Burns - third last year - and Donna Evans should all challenge.

The meeting, sponsored by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, will attract a big line up. There is also a four-miles fun run planned.