Bronze For G.M.I.T In national Cross-country event
Sara Syron was the star of the show at the Irish Students Sports Association Cross Country Championships in Athlone last Wednesday. It was essentially her performance that brought the team into contention as they ultimately claimed bronze medal.
From the start it was a split Race and the phenomenal Sligo I.T. Team set a blistering pace. Sara was the only other runner who could keep in contention with this break away group. Running for each other the Sligo girls took their turns taking up the running and in the end this team-work helped them secure the first three places. Sara was never far off the pace and was in medal contention right until the final sprint, which saw her cross the line in fourth place.
This finish set the team up for a medal place and although Carlow I.T. secured Silver a dramatic finish from Helen McGee gained the points needed to lift G.M.I.T into Bronze position.
The hurlers put in an incredible performance to finish their group phase with a win over local rivals G.M.I.T Letterfrack. It was a very tight and tense game and two 65’s and a free from Gavin Kearey, who showed what a great leader he is, kept castlebar to just a two point deficit at half time. The second half was a tempestuous affair and while early points were traded Castlebar started to exert a grip on the game mid way through the half.
Excellent defending from Colm Forrestal Michael Donohue Will O’Halloran and Emmett Divilly as well as some heroics from Keeper Barry Newell limited Letterfracks scoring chances. With Gavin Kearey and Wayne Power tacking on further points the lads began to get the upper hand, when Stephen Mckeogh emerged the strongest from a goalmouth scramble to bustle the sliothar to the net the home team were cruising.
To their credit Letterfrack refused to be beaten and when a pointed free was followed by a goal they were back in the contest. Knowing that nothing but a win would do them, (and at that score averages may become an issue), Castlebar then threw caution to the wind, Gavin Kearey was moved to the edge of the square and the results were instant and impressive. Drifting away from goal he unleashed a thunderous shot that just rose at the last minutes for a point. Brushing aside two defenders moments later he left the keeper stranded only to see his effort return of the post. Great work by Shane O’Connor and Johnny Mullins made sure the supply line to the big Galway man remained open and his next possession, a replica of his first in the series flew past the keeper into the far corner for an excellent goal.
Ultimately Letterfrack had no answer to this late Blitz and at the final whistle Castlebar were winners 2-8 to 1-7. They now have to await the verdict form Croke Park to see how the stalemate in the group is to be decided, as they have finished tied for the lead with Sligo I.T. If it comes down to a playoff the strength of this performance, achieved without Mayo county Player Ger Whyte, will have them facing the prospect with utmost confidence. Top marks to Michael Byrnes and Daithi Condon for the work they got through in controlling the midfield and for Dave Hussey and Sean Callaghan for their continuous threat in the full forward line.
When things aren’t going your way they have a terrible habit of staying that way. A busy week for the men’s A soccer team had them facing Letterkenny away on Tuesday and Blanchardstown at home on Thursday. Against possibly the strongest team in the group the lads produced possibly their best performance of the campaign and despite mountains of early pressure and two superb goals from Alan McHugh costly errors including an own goal meant the Donegal men emerged with all three points.
Starting where they left off and in their favoured tactic this year of giving themselves mountains to climb before shifting into gear, the lads found themselves 3-0 down to the Dublin men early in the second half. Once they awoke they began to play some excellent football and very nearly dragged a result form the game. The first goal in the comeback came from a bullet header from Dave Lee off an exquisitely flighted Eoin Robbins free kick. While the second saw Dwayne Flynn keep a cool head in a one on one to loft a cheeky chip over the stranded keeper. Too little too late however and in the end the Dublin men ran out 3-2 winners