Ryan's Flying' And Cheryl's Hot (Not Cole)

it was the cool, wet conditions or the closer proximity to home which made the difference, or perhaps it was just his new found dedication and application to training, but whatever it was he has certainly returned to the racing scene with a vengeance and will be a force to be reckoned with when he attains full fitness.  Well done to him – the Portaferry 10 on 19 July must be his next significant target. Another notable performance on the night was that of Francis Tumelty as he cruised round what is a very demanding course in a new best of 1.31 while Norman Mawhinney appears to be getting back to his best with a time of 1.33.  Raymond Milligan meantime proved that it’s better to rest the day before a race as his time of 1.37, respectable as it may be, is way below his best  – though it still beat mine as due to travel difficulties caused by a plate of fish and chips I was unable to reach the start line – next year maybe? The Ladies were out in force too and Cheryl Braniff, like Ryan, “fresh” from her exertions in Lisburn, improved her time by some 4 minutes to 1.39 and posted the perfect negative split of 49.38 and 49.37 for the two halves. The ladies field is wide open Cheryl, go for it! James Magennis continues his steady return to the long distance scene with a consistent 1.41 just ahead of Gavin Oakes, who had competed in the final Hill and Dale race the night before. Denis McKay was delighted to clock 1.55 for a new PB, again obliterating his Lisburn time by over 11 minutes – I reckon he stopped off for some shopping in Lisburn – and with Linda Cunningham recording 1.58  it was turning into a great night for East Down.  Add that Sheena McKermitt made a very welcome return from injury to clock 2.13 and the third sister Jacqueline Moore, in this family affair representing Murlough AC, coming home in 2.18 it was a night for deserved celebrations. I should also give a belated mention to Mark Johnston  who completed the Lisburn Half in 2.02, his first attempt at the distance and Arlene McMullan who clocked 56.14 for the 10K on the same night.  Any connection between these 2 omissions from my earlier report is purely coincidental. The Hill and Dale series came to an end on Thursday night and East Down athletes picked up prizes in 3 categories.  Megan Wilson took the Female Junior title with a superb 6 wins, Anna McCoy was 3rd in the ladies Open category and Brian Hamilton was 3rd in the Over 60 category.  Ross Denvir in his first season completed 7 races, with Brian Wilson 10, Michael Degan 9 and Gavin Oakes 6 the other East Down award winners. Congratulations to all who took part and to Newcastle’s Anne Sandford who had a great series to take the Ladies over 45 title and has returned consistently good results in all her races this year. Wednesday night is Loughinisland 5.05 miles race night and a considerable turnout is expected this year.]]>