Tuesday 25 October 2016

All the action is not just in Rio!

DSD’s Sinéad Denny will be a key factor in her club’s defence of its league title.
DSD’s Sinéad Denny will be a key factor in her club’s defence of its league title.

Although the Rio Olympics is already taking centre stage, domestic athletics continues unabated with the Glo Health Track and Field League final in Tullamore on Sunday.

Defending champions are the DSD women and the Clonliffe men. DSD are going for a tenth women's title after winning the women's title for a fifth consecutive time last year and then finishing third in the European Club Championships last May.

In Tullamore last year, they finished ahead of Leevale, with Clonliffe a close third. This year, Leevale haven't even made it to the final as two of its biggest points grabbers Lizzie Lee and Michelle Finn on Olympic duty.

Last year, DSD had wins with Sinéad Denny in the 200m and Anita White in the javelin and shot, but, more crucially, finished in the top three in 13 of the 19 events.

This year, the club is without White, who is injured, but can still call on 400m specialists Mollie O'Reilly and Katie Magee as well as Denny, hurdler Rachel Dunne, long jumper Tara Jenkins, all-rounders Grace O'Rourke and Grainne Moggan and an impressive roster of distance runners, among them Fiona Clinton, Meghan Ryan, Laura Shaughnessy and Maria McCambridge.

Other Dublin clubs to have made it into the final eight are Clonliffe Harriers and Raheny Shamrocks, who like DSD, have teams qualifying for both the men and women's premier final. Donore Harriers have qualified for men's premier and women's division 1.

After a gap of two years, Clonliffe were comfortable winners of the men's title last year, finishing top three in 17 of the 21 events.

With a squad led by 400m man Brian Gregan that includes sprinters Keith Pike, Chris Sibanda and Timmy Crowe, middle distance men Declan Murray, Mark McDonald, Brian Flanagan and David Flynn, throwers Simon Galligan and Rory Gunning, jumpers Andrew Heney and pole vaulter Ian Rogers, they are marginal favourites to retain their title.

That's despite the big threat posed by 2013 champions Crusaders, with all of their big names showing solid form this season. Leading the squad are long jumper and sprinter Adam McMullen, hurdlers Matt Behan and Jason Harvey, sprinters Kevin Woods and Nick Ennis and hammer thrower Killian Barry.

Lying third on the qualification table are County Tipperary, with a team capable of picking up points in all events.

In division 1, Carlow club St Laurence O'Toole, Finn Valley and Wexford County are the top three men's clubs, while Kerry County, Slí Cualann and Donore top the women's rankings.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News