Raheny end 58-year wait

by Alen McMahon
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MICK Clohisey sealed selection for the Irish team for the European cross country as he led Raheny Shamrock to a maiden national club cross country title last Sunday.
“It only really sank in after the trophy presentation” explained Clohisey, having taken individual silver behind Mullingar Harriers Mark Christie.
The Rio 2016 Olympian had been chasing his fourth consecutive national cross country gold medal, however struggled with the pace of Christie and Leevale’s Mark Hanrahan.
As the bell sounded for the final lap of the 10,000 metre race, Clohisey blasted back into form and began a hot pursuit of Christie.
Christie, however, was able to hold firm and crossed the line for his first national senior cross country title, for the record in 30 minutes 41 seconds 12 seconds clear of Clohisey.
“Personally it was a bit of a mixed bag,” explained Clohisey. ”I just didn’t feel I ever got going in the race, now finishing second is a good run but I wanted to win.
“It’s tough beating Mark Christie, he was always a good athlete” added Clohisey with the dry surface at the new national cross country arena suiting the Mullingar man.
“The team performance was brilliant, especially with everyone so involved” the marathon runner added.
Raheny Shamrock, founded in 1958, have constantly fallen short in their search of the blue riband of Irish club competition having tasted silver on eight occasions and bronze four times.
With Kevin Dooney taking sixth place, his elder brother Conor Dooney 11th and former national steeplechase champion Mark Kirwan 19th gave Raheny a total of 38 points.
It put them well clear of silver medallists Ennis Track Club who totalled 101 points while Kilkenny City Harriers took the bronze medals.
“It’s a great team and been a big effort from everyone” added Clohisey, “We’ve been working away at getting this title for so long, it was great for the entire club.
“It was a great day for so many like Dick Hooper, Paul Brady, Pat Hooper, Paddy Noonan who have wanted to see this day for years.
“It was also great that we got such a large support from across the club from the likes of John Frier, I know it meant a lot to them.”
Next stop for Clohisey is the European cross country championship in Chia, Italy on December 11. Kevin Dooney also received a call up to the Irish team.
“Personally, I just want to go out and prove myself in Europe” explained Clohisey who won an All-Ireland schools team title with St Paul’s College, Raheny in 2003. Mark Kirwan was also part of that team.
“After that we have the European Club Cross Country in Portugal in February, we’ll want to make Raheny proud that day.”

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