Day 2 of the Connacht Cross Country Championship

November 9th, 2015

Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon was the very scenic venue for the last weekend’s Connacht Uneven Ages Cross Country. Day 2 of the Championships saw 20 juveniles from Longford AC competing in true cross country conditions of wind and rain, several hills and a lot of mud made for a genuine challenging course! No one went home as clean as when they had arrived.

Although there were no medals on the day it was a great occasion for the club to have such an enthusiastic turn out with many of the U11 juveniles running in their first race at this standard. Caoimhe Crossan, Rachel Mulligan and Alyssa Galligan all finished in the top half of their 1500m race and gave solid performances that they will surely build on. Tara Crossan, Jane O’Boyle, Saidh Nerney and Caitlin Maher can take this as a learning experience as the distance is nearly double the schools cross country races.

Seamus Walsh and Eoghan Carrigy were also making their U11 race debut in the blue Longford AC singlet. Both runners still had energy for sprinting towards the finish so they can go away with valuable insight into pacing themselves for middle distance.

Newtownforbes’ Kate Hagan was out for the second weekend in a row to get more practice before the Nationals in Santry at the end of the month. Kate finished 20th in the U13 Girls race, running a full year above her age category. She kept a great pace throughout and always looked like she would make the top 20. Cian McPhillips from Ardagh, was also using the race as a training exercise and he looked comfortable at every point on the 3500m course, running a year above his age in the U15 Boys race.

The U13 Boys 2500m race proved the most competitive of the day as the course was quite slippery with thick mud and the pace was fast. The Longford AC boys were thick in the middle of it all finishing quite close together in 22nd, 23rd, 30th, 31st, 35th, 42nd and 51st places. Their team score of 106 put them in a disappointing 5th place narrowly missing the last qualifying place for the Uneven Age National Finals in December. If each runner had only managed to pass one or two places forward they could have gained a lower score that would have clinched team 4th place. After such a race it is easier to see how each member has to give their best performance so that together they score well. Well done to Jim Crossan, Tadhg Nerney, Daniel Hayden, Christopher Conaty, James Galligan, Jack Gallagher, Cathal Farrell and Brendan Finnan.

The day ended with junior, novice, senior and master adults all taking to the starting line to try their skills in navigating the course. Niall Nerney, Mick O’Hara, Lorcan Gearty, Sean Crossan, Raymond Brogan, Michael Pilkington and Liz O’Reilly did themselves and the club proud marking another achievement for club in 2015.




Submitted by Leslie Finnan

Longford AC juveniles

Start of U11 Girls 1500m Cross Country race

November 9th, 2015

photo 1

Lough Key Forest Park, 8 Nov 2015

Longford AC U13 Boys team after their 2500m race

November 9th, 2015


Lough Key Forest Park, 8 Nov 2015

Tadhg Nerney, Jim Crossan, Christopher Conaty, Daniel Hayden, Jack Gallagher, James Galligan, Cathal Farrell & Brendan Finnan

New club members Seamus Walsh & Eoghan Carrigy

November 9th, 2015


U11 Boys 1500m race

8 Nov 2015, Lough Key Forest Park

Longford AC Juveniles at Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

November 9th, 2015


8 Nov 2015, Connacht Uneven Ages Cross Country races

Looking so clean before they get out on the muddy course!

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championship – Cian McPhillips Does It Again!

November 2nd, 2015

Held 1st November 2015 at Moyne Community School, Co. Longford

The Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championship attracted over 550 runners from throughout the Western Region to compete in Moyne on November 1st.  Athletics clubs from the 6 counties sent their best to run on the challenging course with its deceptive steep hill finish in hopes of a qualifying place for the Athletics Ireland National Finals in Santry on November 22.  Members of Longford AC spent nearly a week preparing for the event and were praised by Connacht officials for the very high standard of organisation that was evident in all aspects of the Championship.

In the Girls’ races Gold individual medals were won by Galway City Harriers, Westport AC and Athenry AC.  The team medals were well split in the clubs from Mayo, Galway, Leitrim and Sligo. Kate Hagan, Newtownforbes, gave a very strong performance in her first race at this standard to finish 10th making her the only local girl to qualify for Nationals. Kate and the U12 Girls team of Avril and Tamara Cosgrove and Karen O’Bolye placed 6th overall.

Sarah Murphy, Dromard, didn’t have an ounce of energy left as she crossed the finish line in 21st place in the U14 Girls 3000m race showing the high standard expected at this competition.

Westport AC dominated the Boys’ races winning 3 sets of Gold team medals with nearly every scoring member of U12, U14 & U16 Boys’ teams coming in the top 10 finishers in their race. Longford AC athlete Cian McPhillips who is already a National Champion in U14 Boys 800m and 1500m from the summer outdoor season, did not disappoint as he won the U14 Boys 3000m race and led his team to capture the 4th place qualifying team spot for the Santry Finals. Cian together with Joe Reilly, Brendan Finnan, Cathal Farrell, James Galligan, Daniel Hayden also won silver medals for Longford in the County category.  This is a new achievement for the club as they have never had enough entries to compete in the County standings. Tadhg Nerney narrowly missed out on this occasion as he was not a scoring member but  he showed genuine effort in his performance.

Jack Gallagher put on the pressure as he fought for his spot in the U12 Boys race. He was the fastest Longford finisher in 20th place, with James Miney, Mark Rowley and Patrick Crossan rounding off the team. The clubs’ distance of 2000m was a real learning experience for this young team as it is double the primary schools cross country distance.

Niall Nerney, Stonepark, placed 4th in the 6000 Junior Boys race securing his place at the end of the month in the Nationals. Congratulations to 8 juveniles from Longford AC that gave excellent performances and go forward to the next level of competition. Credit is due to coaches in Longford, Kenagh and Dromard for the preparation of all the Longford participants in club and primary school cross country over the past two months.

Next Sunday the Connacht Uneven Ages Championship will see 4 teams from Longford AC compete in Lough Key Forrest Park with high expectations for another set of County medals.


Submitted by: Leslie Finnan, Longford AC juveniles PRO\coach

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championship, Nov 1st, 2015 held in Moyne

November 2nd, 2015


Longford AC U14 Boys team- 4th place

Cian McPhillips, Joe Reilly, Brendan Finnan, Cathal Farrell, James Galligan, Daniel Hayden and Tadhg Nerney

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championship, Nov 1st, 2015 held in Moyne

November 2nd, 2015


Longford AC U12 & U14 Juveniles that took part



Longford AC U14 Boys team- 6 scoring members winning Silver County medals

Cian McPhillips, Joe Reilly, Brendan Finnan, Cathal Farrell, James Galligan & Daniel Hayden

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championship, Nov 1st, 2015 held in Moyne

November 2nd, 2015


U16 Girls medallists

1st Sarah Gilhooley, Athenry, 2nd Ailbhe Morgan, Sligo, 3rd Anna Yates, Swinford



U16 Boys medallists

1st Cian McAllister, Westport, 2nd Shane Ryall, Westport, 3rd Leo Doherty, Sligo

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championship, Nov 1st, 2015 held in Moyne

November 2nd, 2015


U14 Boys medallists

1st Cian McPhillips, Longford AC, 2nd Malcolm MacEvilly, Westport, 3rd Rossa McAllister




U14 Girls medallists

1st Saoirse O’Brien, Westport, 2nd Katie Gibbons, Castlebar, 3rd Ellie O’Rourke, Ballinamore