With the sixth and final race in the local Furey Insurances Series set for Balliniska on Wednesday night, July 18th at 7.30 p.m., the battle for the overall series honours is yet to be finalised.
Based on results from all five races so far, the contenders can be identified but final placings in the best of four overall competition, looks like going right to the wire.
In the female Open category, Catherine Lilburn, Marian Bridge, Jackie McGinley, Hannah McGowan, Martina McMullan, Marina Campbell and Bridgeen Byrne all feature but Marina and Martina must run Balliniska to make their four races.
Bridgeen, Jackie and Martina will have the back-up of the female Masters category and Una Gavin is also a potential contender in that group.
Hannah McGowan looks a good bet in the female U20 grade with her brother, Zach battling with Dale Kelly in the male U20 section.
Sammy McAnnaney, Dominic Bonner, Paddy Mhor Doherty and perhaps 70 plus Condy Doherty could feature in the male Masters competition.
Scott Rankin has to run Balliniska to get back in contention for the male Open prizes. Pius McIntyre and Gerald Doherty and even Paddy Mhor Doherty are also in the frame in the Male Open.
N.I. Young Athletes League
With most attention focused on the Senior Championships, Antrim was hosting the final of the N.I. Young Athletes League with both City of Derry Spartans and Olympian A.C. in the thick of the action.
A very determined City of Lisburn squad made the most of their numerical strength to emphatically win the Jimmy Murray trophy from a depleted Spartans squad, with Lagan Valley third, ahead of Olympian and Regent House.
The Lisburn U13, U15 and U17 squads arrived in Antrim in big numbers, covered all the age group events and emerged as worthy new champions.
Both local squads were down in numbers but produced some quality performances on the day, delivering 25 individual wins and two Relay victories.
City of Derry trio Amy Jackson, Naomi Morgan and Shane McGowan each impressed with A string doubles in the U17 age group. Amy took the 800m and 1,500m; Shane the 400m and 800m and Naomi the High and Long Jump honours.
Shane went on to anchor the Spartans’ youths 400m Relay squad to a last gasp win and Amy was at the centre of the girls success in the same event.
Daniel Cosgrove did the A Steeplechase and B Discus double at U17 level for the red vests; Connor Breslin and Michael Cartin looked good in winning the A 1,500m and 400m Hurdles in the same age group and the U17 youths Spartans squad produced the strongest challenge of the day to the all conquering Lisburn outfit, losing out by a mere nine points as they pushed their opponents all the way.
The other Spartans youths winners were all in B events, Michael Melarkey, steeplechase, Peter Melarkey, 3,000m, Conal Duffy, 200m, Matthew Doherty, 1,500m and Diarmuid Doherty, 800m.
Olympian’s Sean McIntyre won the U13 A 800m in fine style and Liam George looked very good for the U13 Spartans as he raced to an A 1,500m success.
Conor Duff also brought the red vests a B Javelin victory at U15 level. The Olympian girls squad also had two A winners in Christina Logue, U17 200m and Sarah Hannah Ward in the U17 Javelin, while Orla Miller and Aoife Wilson claimed B wins in the same events at U15 and U17 level.
The other Spartans girls wins came from Caoimhe Walsh, U13 A 1,200m; Ciara Armstrong, U17 A 100m and Jenny O’Brien in the U17 A 300m Hurdles.