City of Derry duo Emmet McGinty and Marina Campbell grabbed the individual male and female honours at Wednesday night’s sixth and final race of this season’s Furey Insurances 5k series.
Staged in blustery conditions on the Baliniska/Branch Road circuit, the overall series awards went to the men’s runner-up on the night, Scott Rankin of Foyle Valley with Campbell doubling up on her night’s winning run to also claim the overall female honours.
Wednesday’s race served up another series of tussles right across the large field as the spectators were treated to some excellent action over the two lap circuit.
Up front McGinty and Rankin were clear from the gun, with the red vest pushing the pace from an early stage.
He had the advantage as they swept through the first lap and maintained the pressure to the line for an impressive win in 15m 33s, ahead of Rankin’s 15m 43s, with top Masters runner Colin Roberts taking third in 16m 02s.
The M40 Spartan got away from Culmore winner Pius McIntyre on the second circuit to eke out a six second advantage at the line with the M35 age group winner, Letterkenny’s Kevin Ferry a close up fifth in 16m 11s.
Connor Doherty impressed in sixth with a 16m 39s clocking, more than good enough for the U20 category win and in eight was the M50 winner, Emmet’s dad Damien with another good clocking of 17m 04s.
Paul Morton ran 18m 29s for top M40 honours, Marty Dunleavy was on the same time and took the M45 category while Seamus McElhinney and Condy O’Donnell once again claimed the M60 and M65 awards.
In the women’s race Marina Campbell took it out from the off and despite a late charge from clubmate Catherine Lilburn, she finished clear on 18m 29s to Catherine’s 18m 38s.
Both athletes have been in great form all season and deservedly took the top two places in the women’s overall series awards.
The consistent Martina McMullan ran 19m 39s for an excellent third on the night, ahead of Jackie McGinley on 19m 51s, good enough for the F40 award with Marian Bridge, 20m 02s and Inishowen’s Sarah Marie Doherty-Moore, 20m 04s battling hard to complete the top six female finishers.
Emma Jo McConnellogue ran 21m 04s for the U20 win, Caroline McMenamin was the leading F35 on 22m 19s, Hannah Shields made a rare start in such a short race and her 20m 19s took her to F45 honours. Gloria Donaghy of Finn Valley returned from injury to win the F50 category with 22m 24s.
Overall Series Podium Places
The consistency of Foyle Valley pair Scott Rankin and Pius McIntyre gave them a clear one-two in the overall male open category.
Rankin notched up two wins and two runners-up spots to emerge top man and McIntyre embellished his Culmore victory with a spate of other high finishing places.
Same story in the women’s overall as Marina Campbell and Catherine Lilburn dominated the six strong series with quality runs.
Dale Kelly did enough to see off his Spartans clubmate Zach McGowan and claim the Male U20 award while Zach’s sister Hannah was a clear winner of the Female U20 category after five top runs.
Jackie McGinley did just enough to shade Bridgeen Byrne for the Female Masters overall title and Sammy McAnanney took the Male Masters prize money ahead of newcomer from Moville, Benny Mullan whose 16m 51s run on Wednesday night gave him a creditable seventh to add to his earlier performances.
Presentation of Prizes
The overall awards were presented by Sean and Colm Furey of the Series sponsors Furey Insurances, and Cathy King from the Baliniska race sponsor, the Healthy Way, was on hand to do the honours for Wednesday night’s prize winners at the post race venue in the Sports Complex.