The Malcolm Cup Cross Country meeting in Ballyclare on Saturday provided rich pickings for local athletes with City of Derry Spartans claiming both the male and female team titles.
Foyle Valley’s men finishing runners-up to their city rivals and for good measure the female Spartans overtook Springwell at the top of the ANI Winter Cross Country League.
The women’s 3 miler saw a runaway win from the outstanding Springwell runner Eimer Mullan who absolutely blitzed the large field for a gun to tape win almost a full minute ahead of Cathy McCourt with Jessica Craig in third.
Marina Campbell in an impressive fifth and Jackie McGinley sixth, spearheaded the Spartans challenge with strong runs up front.
There was gritty display from Catherine Lilburn 14th and a determined Angeline McShane 15th, the ‘red vests’ outgunned Springwell for a well deserved team success and went to the top of the Winter League in the process.
Springwell had Mullan supported by finishers in 11th, 13th and 19th so the Spartans took the team win and maximum league points, by a four point margin in the four to score contest, to leapfrog their rivals and set up another titanic battle at the upcoming North West Cross County meeting in Gransha later this month.
The application and consistency of the entire red vests squad is key to their strong challenge for honours, turning out at least a dozen runners at each of the League races.
Foyle Valley’s Martina McMullan had another impressive performance to post an excellent 8th overall and second F45 and there were age group prizes for Marina Campbell, Jackie McGinley and Una Gavin. The Male Masters were also in the field and Christy McMonagle was the top M70 finisher.