McDermott seals Ulster title to toast Ireland call
Annadale's Ryan McDermott took the NI and Ulster Junior 10K Cross Country title in atrocious conditions at Lurgan Park, where he enjoyed a 12 seconds victory over Mark Hoy of Finn Valley. There was a record turnout of over 600 athletes in the various races.
This performance reflects McDermott's best season ever following his Irish selection last month for the European U-23 Championships. His clear win in driving wind and rain makes amends for last year's performance, when he dropped out.
Third place went to Newcastle's Eoghan Totton, who was some way ahead of Finn Valley's Colin Watson. Totton led a fighting performance by his club which managed to record their first team win in almost 30 years. Their 93 points just managed to achieve victory over Finn Valley with 96 points and Foyle Valley (99 points).
The Master's title went to Omagh's Stephen Duncan, who is returning from injury. He had a 16 seconds victory margin over the evergreen Pauric McKinney, who in turn was 11 seconds ahead of north Belfast's Eamon White with Annadale's Paul Carroll taking fourth. North Belfast were easy team winners.
In the equivalent women's race, there was a clear win for Letterkenny's Fionnuala Diver from Finn Valley's Kay Byrne. Byrne's team-mate Donna Evans, who won last year, finished third.
In the Intermediate event, Omagh's Michelle Sturm went one better than last year's runner-up spot when she had a seven second winning gap over Foyle Valley's Sarah Lindsay.