Gritty & Determined Finn Valley Win Out

The scene was Barnetts Park, Belfast soft soft going where it was going to take a certain attitude to come out the other end smiling and in this Ulster under 11 - 19 age group championships that attitude was evident as from Daniella Jansen,Killygordon  bursting out in the 11 age group to alex Mc geehin's lead out in the 11 boys followed by Aaron Mc Glynn taking no prisoners 13 boys to a gutsy response from Leanne Kelly 15 girls and there was stories within each race. 

Lets consider the team /individual return of the day it was the 13 boys Aaron Mc Glynn from Comeen N S in the Glenfinn Gaeltaecht as he put himself in a lead position held a lead position and in those last 200m when all the questions were being asked this young man had the answer simply get there and grab the gold nothing else in his head and he delivered same . Behind him his training mates were lining up to battle to make the scoring team charles Mc daid ,tooban,5th;Luke Gavigan 14th ,Samuel Mc CLintock 17th ,Jamie Keegan and Calvin O Brien all Ballybofey top 20 or therabouts  .Team result Finn Valley 48 pts to Shercock 117 pts . Aoife Mc Grath from Castlederg had a right good go at taking the 11 girls race lost out by 2 seconds to a Shercock athlete but with Emer O Neill ,Buncrana 3rd ; Daniella Jansen 6th and her neighbour  Zoe Kelly 9th they had 60 pts to spare on Glaslough . Joining these girls in nationals Stranorlars Sinead Gallagher and Toobans Lauren Mc Daid .

Three of the scoring boys on the winning Valley team 11 boys hail from Tooban N S they are Shane Mc monagle,Adam Mc Crudden and Keith Mc Colgan a credit to the input of teacher Manus O Donnell and joined by the aforementioned Alex Mc geehin from ballybofey they had 70 pts to spare over Shercock a feat that brought a smile to coach Dermot Mc Granaghan indeed many years ago he was leading teams in these age groups as an athlete out in front .

The 13 girls did medal but they would agree they can do better Laura lee Penrose their best again from castlederg.It was then the turn of the 15 girls and only a yes a gritty dogged performance was going to see them ahead . They responded with just that winning on 73 pts to Lagan valley 79 pts all the serious work which translated as gold coming in the last 1000m with Leanne Kelly ,Tooban,Laura Kelly ,Convoy;Emer Kelly ,Castlederg;and Alisha Carlin from Crossroads daughter of former national long jump senior champion Shauna who even to this day can be seen churning out a tough personal training regime at Valley . We witnessed a Donegal victory in the 15 boys with Letterkennys Peter Gibbons and the team result reads Malachys 57, Letterkenny 57 and finn Valley 90 with  Oisin Gallen ,Pauric Patton , Adam Lynch and Shane Thompson all Ballybofey on duty . 

THe final medal tally came in 19 boys bronze team behinf Belfast clubs Lagan Valley and Malachys Mark Bonner,Ryan Porter,JUstin Brown and Patrick Hynes Mc glynn going to the line 

And so it ended 7 teams qualifying for nationals December in The Curragh , KIldare a day that parents ,coachs athletes can be proud of . Its a fact that you can prepare athletes for the challenge but its also a fact that when prepared they the athletes need to want to achieve . There was sereious intent in the approach on this day in Belfast. 

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