Trio book their places at European Championships

Holywood's Paul Pollock, Annadale Striders crosses the finishing line
Holywood's Paul Pollock, Annadale Striders crosses the finishing line

Paul Pollock, Kerry O’Flaherty and Emma Mitchell booked places on the European Championship team with good performances at the Glowhealth Inter Clubs Cross Country at Santry, Dublin.

Pollock came third behind triple winner Mick Clohissey and John Coghlan, son of former world 5000 champion Eamonn, and looks forward to the Europeans.

“It’s been a great day and I think I will race well in France in a few weeks,” he said.

Double European champion Fionnuala McCormack won the ladies from Lizzie Lee and Caroline Crawley with Olympic bound Kerry O’Flaherty finishing very strongly to take fourth.

“I’ve done about 48 hours travelling from France,” said Kerry. “I think we’ll be very close to a medal at the Europeans next month.”

Ciara Mageean was very competitive running with McCormack for the first two circuits before fading to eighth and dropping out on the last lap.

Banbridge girl Emma Mitchell booked her place in the Europeans by taking second in the under 23 section behind Shona Heaslip.

l Dromore and Derry City Track Club came up trumps in the Aurora Festival of cross country relays hosted by North Down AC in Bangor.

Double Commonwealth Games runner Katie Kirk led for Queen’s after the first stage with Olivia Nelson from City of Lisburn and Rebecca Henderson Dromore close up.

Rebekah Nixon ran a brilliant second stage to take the lead for Dromore ahead of Jane Matthews Queen’s and Rebecca Douglas Lisburn before Laura Bickerstaff the former junior champion ran the anchor leg to bring Dromore home ahead of Lucy Backus Queen’s and Sarah Ferris Lisburn.

Ballydrain took the Masters crown with Amanda Perry, Heather Kelly and Denise Logue. North Down and Lagan Valley were next.

David McNeilly led for Newcastle after the first leg of the men’s with Darragh Crossan of Derry right behind. The Derry side then took over with Matt Doherty, Conor Doherty and Cathal McLaughlin going onto win by over a minute from Newcastle with Larne and Peninsula triathlon following.

Ballydrain took another Masters title with Richard Coey, Mark Earney, Pete Barbour and Norman Mawhinney.

The programme opened with age group successes for Nathan Semple, Elle Gordon, Rory Paul-Thompson, Anna Conlon, Thomas Patterson and Alisha Turner.

l Laura Graham maintained her winning streak with success in the Born 2 Run Gosford 10k which was the second race in the Run Forest Run series.

The Mourne runner came in over a minute ahead of Louise Smith with Niamh Kellett third. William McKee completed a Mourne double by taking the men’s race from Gerard Heaney and Aaron Woodman.