Fourth win for Raheny
Nic Dhomhnaill blasts her way home to claim women’s win for Donore Harriers
Raheny Shamrock made it a home victory for a fourth year when they won the men's senior title at the National Road Relays in Raheny last Sunday.
A week ago Raheny weren't even sure who would make their team, with Mick Clohisey on marathon duty in London and both Conor Dooney and Eoin Strutt unavailable.
From last year's quartet, only Kieran Kelly remained and taking on the opening two-mile leg, he pushed himself to the front and came into the changeover with Eoin Everard of Kilkenny City Harriers before handing over to Cillian Kirwan for the second leg over one mile.
Kirwan maintained the team's lead although chased hard by Cathal Doyle for Clonliffe Harriers, and by Louis O'Loughlin who was also making good progress for Donore Harriers.
Next up came the critical three-mile leg with Irish cross-country man Kevin Dooney setting off for the Raheny team, knowing that Donore's John Travers was the biggest danger.
Travers stayed with the pack for the first mile, but took over in front when coming into the finish.
It would all come down to a final showdown on the final two-mile leg between Brian Fay running for Raheny and Eric Keogh for Donore.
Suffice it to say that Fay ran the race of his life with his time of 9 mins 12 secs by some way the fastest of the day. Keogh held on to give Donore second place - an improvement on their fourth of a year earlier.
For third place, Colm Rooney of Clonliffe Harriers held off the fast finishing Shane McEvoy running for Kilkenny City Harriers.
For Donore Harriers, winners of the women's senior title, it was a first ever victory and they did it in style.
Niamh Allen for Crusaders AC had led after the first mile lap, with less than 20 seconds separating the top four teams. All changed on the two-mile lap, with Jodie McCann for Dublin City Harriers taking over in front, and a heroic run from Barbara Cleary pulling Donore into a second place.
Taking on the final leg for Donore was Ide Nic Dhomhnaill who blasted her way into the lead, and built up a commanding lead to claim victory. DCH finished second, with North Down third ahead of Raheny Shamrock.
On a great day for Donore Harriers, the men's team of Tristan Druet, Ray Hynes and Rossa Hurley retained the M35 title, beating Rathfarnham WSAF AC and St Finbarr's. St Finbarr's, who had travelled from Cork, were also double winners taking the women's W35 title from Dunleer AC and Raheny Shamrock B, and retaining the M50 title, with Raheny Sharmock second and Drogheda and District third.
Raheny Shamrock, with a team including Annette Kealy, retained the W50 title for a second year. Key team member was Annette Kealy whose time of 11 mins 30 secs for the two-mile leg was the second fastest in the race.
Numbers were up in all races, with Lusk AC worthy of special mention. They fielded nine teams - five of them in the M35 category and two each in W35 and M50.