ATHLETICS: Seamus Lynch and Jessica Craig claim Cross Country honours

Seamus Lynch.
Seamus Lynch.

Seamus Lynch and Jessica Craig produced brilliant victories in the Mighty Oaks Cross Country event, which was promoted by Acorns AC at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown.

The meeting, which was held in very cold but pleasant conditions over a great undulating course, included the fourth round of the Athletics Northern Ireland League.

Lynch, who had been second at both Rostrevor and Comber, was in no mood to compromise. The Newcastle runner went straight to the front and was clear at the top of the first hill.

He came through after the opening lap well ahead of Paul Barbour, Martin Cox, Jonathan McKee and Gerard Heaney who were battling for second.

The lead had doubled by half distance with Barbour now second ahead of McKee as Lynch continued his relentless progress, showing his mountain expertise on the climbs.

He crossed the line with a 62-second advantage over Barbour with McKee, Heaney, Cox and David Proctor making up the top six. Eoin Hughes led Acorns to the team prize.

Jessica Craig, the winner at Comber, was also in a class of her own in the ladies race.

The North Down girl took the lead from the start and came through for the first time ahead of junior star Enya Haigney, Michelle Sturm and Karen Alexander.

Craig had increased the gap on the penultimate circuit with Karen Alexander now second ahead of Michelle Sturm and she had 40 seconds in hand at the finish. Karen and Michelle followed with Marina Murphy taking fourth ahead of Enya Haigney and Catherine O’Connor, with Toni Moore making up the top seven.

Omagh with Michelle, Enya and Toni joined by Morgan Owens took the team prize from Derry City Track Club, who were headed by Marina, Kendra McMullan and Amy McDaid.

Meanwhile, Stephen O’Gorman and Cathy McCourt were the winners of the Born 2 Run event at Drum Manor. O’Gorman came in ahead of Aaron Woodman and Oliver Cook, while McCourt - fresh from her huge medal haul in the World Masters - triumphed in the ladies from Judith Lonnen and Katherine Diver.