Magnificent McGrath claims Conna victory
Fresh from his silver medalwinning performances at the World Masters T&F at Malaga in Spain, Sean McGrath was an easy winner of the senior race at the Imokilly Oil/East Cork Division Cross-Country Championships.
On an excellent course at Conna, promoted by St Catherine’s club, McGrath had clubmate James McCarthy for company early on before he stormed to win by 49 seconds.
McCarthy, in his first race since the Cork City Marathon in June, was pleased with his performance while a major breakthrough was made by Dave O’Connor of St Catherine’s who took bronze. This was McGrath’s ninth East Cork senior title in all and it co n t i n u e d h i s m a g n i f i c e n t form this year. At Malaga, he finished second in the M35 cat- egory in the 10km road race, recording a time of 32:13 when finishing 20 seconds behind Nelson Oliveria of Portugal.
Before that, he was fourth in the 8km cross-country where he had the satisfaction of leading the Irish M35 team to silver behind Spain. He then finished off the championships when taking fifth spot in the 5000m in a time of 15:26.51.
Fiona Santry (East Cork) won the women’s race at Conna from Evelyn Cashman (Youghal) and Laura Hayes (St Catherine’s). In an exciting team contest, Carraig na bhFear won on countback after finishing on equal points with Youghal, with East Cork just four points back in third.
TOP PERFORMERS: The First three home in the men’s senior race with East Cork Division chairman Martin Drake (right): Sean McGrath (East Cork) first; James McCarthy (East Cork), second; Dave O’Connor (St Catherine’s), third.