Golden days for Mayo's athletes
ATTENTION was naturally elsewhere at the weekend but while Mayo’s footballers were making huge progress, some of the next generation of Mayo’s sports stars were making names for themselves at the second weekend of the National Community Games finals in Mosney.After an incredibly successful first weekend, Mayo returned from weekend number two with a nice haul of medals as well. The team events dominated the first weekend with athletics, along with a handful of team events, taking centre stage the weekend just gone.On the grass track at the county Meath venue Mayo took three golds, a silver and three bronze medals while Bohola U13 Girls Indoor Soccer team and the Quay Ballina U11 Mixed Tag Rugby both took gold.
IT was redemption day on Sunday for Straide’s Mark Regan. The young hurdler appeared to be on the way to gold last year in the Boys U14 80m hurdles only to be pipped on the line by Letterkenny’s Mark English. Regan was perhaps guilty of relaxing in that race but he left nothing to chance at the weekend to storm to victory down the centre track on the Mosney green. He was on top form at the weekend and has the look of someone who could be a perennial medal winner at both Mosney and the national outdoors.
From the neighbouring area of Foxford Daniel Murray was also ot the head of the pile. As son of two well known middle distance runners Paddy and Ann of Mayo AC, it is no surprise that Murray should be a success at national level and he flew to gold in the Boys U14 800m.
Mayo’s third gold on the track came courtesy of an excellent performance from Swinford’s Claudia Davey who caused a minor surprise in the Girls U12 100m sprint. Davey had been tipped as a potential medal contender but many felt a gold was beyond her. However she turned that on it’s head with a stunning performance and can now look forward to an exciting few years at national level.
Another Swinford athlete, Aaron McLoughlin, travelled to Mosney as a potential gold medal candidate but had to settle for silver in the Boys U12 600m. McLoughlin is a steely athlete though and there is no doubting he will be back on the winners podium before too long.
Sally Maughan undoubtedly was the most successful Mayo athlete at the Community Games finals this year, returning back to Castlebar with three medals from the two weekends. Maughan picked up a gold medal in the first weekend with the Castlebar U15 Rounders team and scooped two bronze medals in weekend 2.
She took the first of these in the U14 100m sprint, an event she was unable to run in last year due to sickness but Maughan proved her versatility this year by coming third after having previously competed in the middle distances. She also lead the Castlebar U14 4x100m Girls team home for bronze. Ailbhe Sheridan, Laura Nugent and Claire O’Brien were the other key members of this team. Nugent and O’Brien also completed a double medal win, both having won bronze with the Castlebar U13 rounders team the previous week.
In the Girls U14 80m Hurdles there was nearly a Mayo gold medal double after Mark Regan’s success in the Boys event. Aine Charlton of Kiltimagh, who came fifth in the same race last year, produced an heroic performance to take bronze and is another girl who can look forward to a successful period at national level.
Ballinrobe’s Sarah Quinn was extremely unlucky not to finish in the medals in the Girls U8 60m sprint but did go home with a fourth place certificate. It was her first time at Mosney and the experience will no doubt stand her in good stead.
There was heartbreak for Breaffy’s Nathan O’Malley in the Boys U13 1300m Walk. Having won his heat comfortably, O’Malley was looking a good bet for gold in the final but the extremely difficult technical aspects of the event proved to be his undoing and he was disqualified.
IN THE MEDALS Aine Charlton from Kiltimagh finished third in the Girls U-14 80m hurdles final at Mosney last weekend. Girls U-14 80m hurdles final at Mosney last weekend.
BOHOLA U13 girls stormed to victory in the indoor soccer, completing a memorable year for many of the team. The Bohola NS girls side took a national title, together with their Boys team, in the Ribena FAIS National Schools finals last May and they made it a double of sorts when they took gold here in the Indoor soccer. The team consisted of Elisha Lavelle, Catherine Langan, Kerrie Evans, Grace Kelly, Kyla Canny and Siobhán Galligan.
HUGH Lynn has been bringing tag rugby teams to Mosney for several years now and this weekend they took gold back to the banks of the Moy with a confident and assured performance to beat Newbridge of Kildare in the semi-final and Doonagh of Monaghan in the final.
Ciarán Tracey, Eoin Kent, Fergal Tully, Niall Leahy, Michael Murray, Evelyn O’Sullivan, Fiona Tracey, Niamh Connolly, Patrick McGarry, Hugh Caufield, Jack Forde and Rayan Zabella were the strong panel who took rugby gold to Ballina.