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09 December 2013

Short and sour this week as only 2 Senior East Down Men turned out in the Malcolm Cup League Fixture in Ballyclare on Saturday meaning that not even minimum appearance points could be claimed and enabling a spirited Newcastle squad to not only pick up their appearance points but also an additional 4 points for a well deserved 4th place overall and move ahead of their local rivals in the League standings.  In fact it was only on countback that the seaside club missed out on 3rd place as they had finished equal with City of Derry. So well done to them.

The East Down  runners were Declan Teague and Stephen McCartan who were 70th and 84th respectively in a huge field. Barrie Atkinson earlier had enjoyed the 3 miles Masters race finishing in a very creditable 8th place and in a much quicker time than his efforts of last year.

It is perhaps a forlorn hope  that at least two more of our approximately 100 members will supplement the squad for the next round on 21 December in Derry if Ballyclare proved beyond travelling distance. The bad news is that the next 2 League Fixtures after that are in far off Antrim and remote Enniskillen before the final meeting in nearby Stormont estate. If you wanna play with the big boys (and girls) ya gotta go where they are.
Interestingly several of our Juniors have travelled further twice this year already and were represented on Saturday by Edie and Ella Carroll and Daniel Atkinson.

On a brighter note I hear there were 4 East Downers in the Extreme 26 10K race last Thursday night, Yes night, when it's dark and cold and scary in Castlewellan Park. Declan Teague who took a splendid 9th place, Michael Degan and Denis McKay were three of the night owls who are well used to being out after dark and scary enough even in daylight.  The fourth?  None other than our own Oonagh Cochrane who once again proved her deftness of touch for finding cushy little races to run in – late November, you have to wear a head lamp, it's cold muddy and 2 laps along the undulating forest tracks! Must seem like a walk in the park!  Well Done Oonagh but come back to training on Thursday nights, it's easier.

Joe Quinn

9 December 2013

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