LIFFORD AC athletes were in action at the second of the Ulster Cross Country Championships which were held in Killinkere, Co. Cavan on Sunday last.
Fourteen athletes made the trip, most of whom had recorded some fine performances at Jordanstown just two weeks previously.
While cross country is not for the faint hearted, the course in Cavan was a real test for the most experienced of athletes.
Wet conditions overnight made part of the course heavy underfoot, while a number of hills ensured that those athletes with endurance, grit and determination would lead the way.
At the minute, Lifford has a strong group of teenage middle distance athletes, and last weekend, a strong under 15 team travelled to Cavan, hopeful that they could be in amongst the team medals.
In a field of nearly 80 runners, Lifford’s athletes had to fight for every position and received their just rewards when the team positions were announced, the team winning bronze medals and qualifying for the All Irelands in Santry at the beginning of December.
Conor McGinley proved that his blistering performance in Jordanstown two weeks ago was not a one trick wonder, with yet another fantastic run on Sunday, coming in 8th overall, but notably, the first Donegal man home.
Niall Quinn was running out of his age group having won individual bronze at under-14 two weeks ago and while he can be satisfied with his 20th position, there is no doubt more to come from this young lad.
Charlie McElwaine was a solid performer yet again, coming home in 30th, with Conor Breslin just behind in 31st and Fionntan Moore running strongly to finish in 48th.
Thomas Mullen had shown early promise during the race but was forced to retire with less than half a lap remaining.
The six strong team will now turn their focus towards the All Irelands on December 7, with the team bronze giving them confidence now going for national honours.
FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S STRABANE CHRONICLE