ATHLETICS: Foyle Valley athletes consolidate top spot

Scott Rankin led his Foyle Valley quartet to maximum League points.

Scott Rankin led his Foyle Valley quartet to maximum League points.

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Despite Saturday’s horrific weather conditions, runners still managed to turn out in good numbers at both the Acorn’s AC cross country meeting in snowy Cookstown and also in Tyrone at the Eskra 10K road race.

Local and North West athletes were to the fore in both with podium places in Cookstown for Scott Rankin and Allan Bogle behind winner Seamus Lynch of Newcastle AC.

Stephen Duncan and Anne Marie McGlynn took the Eskra honours with the Foyle Valley male and female squads consolidated their top standings in the ANI Cross Country League with a team win and runner up spot respectively.

Newcastle’s Seamus Lynch added the Acorns individual title to his Malcolm Cup win a week earlier in Ballyclare.

Behind him Scott Rankin led his Foyle Valley quartet to maximum League points as Chris McGuinness (4th), Pius McIntyre (6th) and Roy McGilloway (17th), combined for a well deserved team victory ahead of Newcastle and Acorn’s Athletic Club.

City of Derry’s mountain specialist Allan Bogle completed the podium places with another strong run for third and had support from Chris McPeake (8th) and Gary Slevin (10th), but the Spartans failed to garner any League points with just the three runners in the field.

Young Omagh Harrier Enya Haigney was an impressive Women’s race winner and the promoting club took the top League points ahead of the Martina McMullan led Foyle Valley quartet.

Martina, as ever, battled hard for 7th, first M40, and was backed up by Emma McGilloway (20th), Lisa McGuigan (21st) and Jacqueline McCann (22nd).

City of Derry’s Anne Paul made a very welcome return to competition in an excellent 5th place and took the F50 award to show she will be a threat at the major Masters races in the New Year.

Meanwhile Stephen Duncan got back in the groove to win the Eskra 10K with a 32 minutes and 33 seconds clocking.

The Omagh man well clear of runner up North Down’s Stephen Wylie’s 34 minutes and 42 seconds.

Letterkenny’s Anne Marie McGlynn was third overall in a classy 35 minutes and 01 seconds and comfortably claimed the women’s race honours, chased home by Omagh Harrier Julie Butler on 37 minutes and 57 seconds.