Spectacular day of athletics and a home win for Cranford AC at Nationals  Championships


You couldn’t be anything but impressed with the scenery and course layout at Rosapenna, Downings on Sunday last.  Cranford AC hosted the first National, Senior and Even Ages cross Country event in Donegal and it was a roaring success.

A fleet of friendly volunteers made this a welcoming and impressive event for all the athletes who travelled from far and wide to compete in the National Cross Country championships. From the local garda who met visitors at the road, to the amazing Mulroy Coast and Cliff rescue who assisted with safe and efficient parking to the local catering who kept the spectators fed with top quality food. We cannot forget our voluntary Mevagh Fire brigade who were also out in force doing every job asked of them and finally our local and club volunteers who marshalled the course, assisted athletes and always had local advice and knowledge to share with the visitors. This event was a demonstration of community spirit and support. 

The day started for Cranford AC with the strong Under 12 boys team who came from a silver medal performance in Ulster to the overwhelming field of around 200 athletes from every province of Ireland, for some this was their first taste of a national event, and it can be daunting. The boys held their positions well once off the starting line and battling through the crowds of athletes was made easier with the wide starting pen taking the full width of the Rosapenna driving range. Two small laps, 2km of the well positioned cross country course had our boys well challenged.  What a great race to watch and Cranford AC are very proud of each individual performance.

Oisin McBride (31) , with a good time of 7m20 to cross the line, Oisin McHugh (92) held his position well in this large field of athletes, closely followed by Ben McGee (104), Matthew Giles, Roan Ladley and  Rory Boyce also had strong finishes today. Well done boys!

Darragh Mc Hugh (55) had 2 large laps to work through of this 3k course and Darragh challenged well throughout in this large field of talented U14 athletes, well done Darragh, great racing today.

In the under 16 girls Miah Fletcher had qualified as a counter on the Donegal team and although Miah put in a fine personal performance, Donegal came 5th in the reckoning today.

Absolutely no doubt that todays star performance was from Caolan McFadden, Caolan was a hot favourite for todays challenge on his home territory and with a home crowd. Caolan was in the lead pack from the gun and stayed on the shoulder of Francis Donoghue, Sligo throughout their 4k race.  Caolan made his break with 800m to go and just flew to the line with ease. A gold medal performance and well-deserved praise from his coaches and all at Athletics Ireland.

Clodagh Neely and Blathnaid Gallagher ran strong races around 4k of this course and worked hard throughout to maintain their positions, both young ladies put in stellar performances today for the Donegal team. Well done ladies.

Finally for Cranford AC Oisin Kelly had an impressive run over 6k of the track, Oisin is no stranger to this level of competition and held himself well throughout, with a strong sprint over the line.

This was a memorable day for Cranford Ac in many ways from Caolan being crowned national Champion to celebrating over 60 years of Cranford AC under the helm of Eamon Giles.

We are forever grateful to the Casey family for allowing us to host such a prestigious event on the spectacular Rosapenna Gold course.

And a final thanks to each and every one of our athletes, coaches and supporters who made this such a memorable and successful event.






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Caolan crossing the line

Blathnaid Gallagher and Clodagh Neely

Miah Fletcher

Darragh Mc Hugh with Family

Cranford AC Boys u 12 Oisin Mc Hugh, Oisin Mc Bride, Rory Boyce, Ben Mc Gee, Matt Giles and roan Ladley

Oisin Blathnaid and Clodagh

Oisin and Tom Kelly