Kevin Dooney wrote himself into the history book as he claimed the national senior cross country title and led Raheny Shamrock to a magic three-in-a-row.
On a dramatic afternoon in Abbotstown, Dooney landed the national cross country title followed by Brian Fay in fourth place, not just making his senior cross country debut but also winning the under-23 title, which is held in this race.
Mick Clohisey recovered from his national marathon title four week’s ago to finish fifth and another marathon great Mark Kirwan came home in 31st place to secure the club’s three-in-a-row as Raheny Shamrock remained top dog’s in the country.
The talk in the national media and gambling outlets pre-race had questioned the Raheny Shamrock team, if Mick Clohisey and Mark Kirwan had recovered from their marathon performance and if Kevin Dooney was fit enough for the race.
Sean Tobin of Clonmel was installed as pre-race favourite with many pointing to Tobin leading his Tipperary team to their first club title.
The Raheny athlete’s didn’t read the script however as Kevin Dooney tracked Tobin from the gun, as the race entered its second half, Dooney charged through the mud leaving the Tipperary man in his tracks and to a delighted reaction from the Raheny supporters was crowned national cross country champion.
A roar of delight after a tough, tough year for Kevin Dooney. He takes a superb win in the senior men's race from Sean Tobin and Kevin Maunsell. Brian Fay 4th, Mick Clohisey 5th. pic.twitter.com/RHAlWb1PnO
— Cathal Dennehy (@Cathal_Dennehy) November 25, 2018
Dooney now joins Mary Lynch, Vinny Mulvey and Mick Clohisey as Raheny athletes who have won the national cross country title.
On the course Sean Tobin never gave up and came home in second place four seconds behind Dooney with club-mate Kevin Mansell taking bronze.
Brian Fay ran a revelation, debuting in the senior race Fay bounced through the Abbotstown mud to take fourth place over and claim the national under-23 championship with marathon champion Mick Clohisey fifth, all less than 60 seconds behind Dooney.
William Mansuell came home in 13th place meaning the Clonmel men had three home, Clonliffe Harriers back for more like through warriors arrived, places nine, 10, 19 and 26, but just like the postman Mark Kirwan always delivers.
Four week’s after racing the Dublin marathon showed his steel and his competitive class to come home in 31st place just over two minutes behind Kevin Dooney.
Kirwan made it a total of 41 points, 23 clear of Clonliffe and what would be 32 clear of Clonmel.
There was only one answer…Champions, three-in-a-row and kings of Irish athletics again.
The noisy neighbours are partying once again!
‘It’s a dream come true,’ Kevin Dooney on winning his first Irish Life Health national senior cross country title and leading Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club to three team titles in a row
Posted by Athletics Ireland on Sunday, November 25, 2018
Overall a very successful day for Raheny Shamrock, we are very proud of all our athletes who ran on the day.
Cillian O’Leary produced another very strong performance to finish 38th with Michael McMahon 70th.
Our B team finished 15th of 18 teams in the championship this team was Kevin Moriarty, Davey Duane, Ian McConkey and Rory O’Sullivan.
Our women’s team of Zoe Quinn, Karen Crossan, Blaithin Sheil and Orla Manley finished 10th with Camille Mortamet also competing.
In the junior girls race Aoibhinn McGoldrick took 24th place while in the junior men’s race Andrew Hyland took 43rd place.
In our 60th year we are very proud to say, “Welcome to Raheny, Home of the All-Ireland cross country champions”.