Matthews plots further success
After his tremendous run in Sunday's Woodies DIY National Masters, Peter Matthews' next target is the national cross country, where his Dundrum South Dublin club aims to regain the national team title for the first time since 2003.
On a packed day at the Alsaa, Matthews' runaway win in the men's masters' 7km recalled his past senior duels with Seamus Power.
Matthews (pictured) was always the man to beat in muddy conditions and, on Sunday, he made running through ankle-deep brown stuff look easy.
From the start, he was the clear leader, leaving the rest to battle for the minor medals.
When Gerry Ryan (Craughwell) dropped out, Pauric McKinney (Letterkenny) took up the gauntlet. With dropouts and injuries a factor, John Harkin (Tullamore) and John Downes (Donore) found their heads-down approach paid dividends to finish third and fourth behind Matthews and McKinney.
Best of the teams were North Laois, led by Tony Reilly (seventh).
In the women's 4km, Annette Kealy of Raheny had to battle hard for her win. She showed her typical doggedness to hold off Carmel Crowley, who was having the race of her life, and previous winner Pauline Curley (Tullamore).
On a good day for North Laois, Irish U23 international Michael Mulhare was a clear winner of the men's intermediate race with Cork's Michael Herlihy nearly three minutes adrift. Donore, led by John Travers (eighth), Keith Daly (ninth) and Ken Nugent (10th), were the first team of the 17 entered. Rathfarnham WSAF were second.
Last October, Eilish Kelly of Raheny was the surprise winner of the Dublin Novice title. On Sunday, she underlined her potential when she raced clear to win the women's intermediate race.
Her time of 17 minutes 30 sec for 4km put her well over a minute ahead of Tullamore's Maire-Triona Keane O'Connor. Leevale finished first of the 12 teams, while Donore (second), Clonliffe (third) and Raheny (fourth) followed in behind.