SCOTT RANKIN impressed yet again with a 15m 47s winning run at Wednesday night’s Balliniska 5K, his third victory of the 2011 Furey Insurances race series and the Foyle Valley man duly took the coveted Overall honours.
Rankin took the title ahead of third placer on the night, Noel Logan, whose 16m 12s left him ten seconds adrift of his City of Derry clubmate, Gary Slevin who posted his best ever finish in the series.
Inishowen AC’s Helena Crossan added to her Lisnagelvin and Carndonagh victories with an 18m 11s winning effort on the two lap Balliniska circuit to finish ahead of the City of Derry duo, Marina Campbell and Anne Paul, who posted 18m 22s and 18m 29s respectively.
Anne Paul’s aggregate runs gave her the Overall female honours ahead of Foyle Valley’s Rosie O’Brien who finished fourth on the night with 19m 34s.
Connor Doherty and Mid Ulster’s John O’Neill fought out the Male U20 category with the young Spartan clinching the Overall award by storming to a 17m 50s victory on Wednesday night, well clear of his rival and they finished one, two again on aggregate.
The Overall female Masters win went to F60 Roisin Lynch after a close contest with her Spartans clubmate, Bridgeen Byrne over the six race series.
It was the same in the male Masters category with M55 Peter Lilburn just edging out another red vest, the M65 Christy McMonagle as the age graded finishing times for these ultra competitive male and female masters were calculated.
Wednesday night’s race was staged in excellent conditions with 115 starters and the two lap Balliniska circuit once again proved very popular with both runners and the large number of spectators who gathered to enjoy the action.
They were rewarded with some thrilling duels right down through the field and rightly applauded Scott Rankin’s impressive individual and overall series victory.
The Foyle Valley man compensated handsomely for last year’s narrow overall loss to Richard Johnston with an emphatic trio of wins and good fourth place finishes in the ultra competitive Bay Road and Buncrana races to take the 2011 series overall honours.
The Spartans, Noel Logan deservedly claimed the runners-up spot, two second places at Lisnagelvin and Culmore and Wednesday’s third place the highlights for the Waterside man.
The now Buncrana based Nenagh Olympic and former Irish junior triathlon star, Gary Scully ran 16m 14s for fourth at Balliniska, Cathal McLaughlin was fifth and the top M40 with 16m 17s; the consistent Pius McIntyre was sixth on 16m 20s; Gary Scully’s younger brother, Shane ran 16m24s for seventh ahead of the top M35 Keith Shields of Foyle Valley on 16m 33s.
Bill Duncan moved into the M45 age group and celebrated with an 18m 04s run to win his category; Dermot Connolly ran 17m 50s for the M50 win; Peter Lilburn was the top M55 with 17m 59s and Christy McMonagle won the M65 on 19m 55s. Connor Doherty and John O’Neill were the leading U20 finishers.
The top three females all produced excellent efforts in a very competitive up front battle as Helena Crossan ran 18m 11s for the victory.
Marina Campbell posted yet another PB with 18m 22s in the runners-up spot and the tough Anne Paul was a close up third on 18m 29s.
Rosie O’Brien’s 19m 34s in fourth was good enough for the F40 win; Bridgeen Byrne and Roisin Lynch were the leading F45 and F60 age groupers with respective 20m 56s and 22m 33s clockings and Una Gavin continued her progress taking the F50 award with a 21m 57s run. Amy McDaid was the first F U20 on 20m 53s.