BY JOHN WALSHE
THERE were two victories on the road for Alan O’Shea in the space of three days as he took the honours over 5km in Cloyne and five miles at Kinsale.
Having missed a month through injury which forced him to drop out of the Cork City Marathon, the Bantry man showed surprising finishing pace to win what was an exciting Cloyne race, an event in which he and runner-up Paul Moloney were taking part in for the first time.
It was Mallow-man Moloney – winner of the nearby Ballinacurra race the week before – who looked set for victory with a half-mile to go but O’Shea had other ideas and passing the iconic Round Tower with 400 metres to go, he started to close the gap.
Turning into the finishing straight, it was O’Shea who had the extra edge and he reached the finish with a second to spare in a time of 15:11.
‘Paul had about 10 or 15 metres on me coming down to the finish but I just caught him before the line,’ said the winner who stated his next target would be the Streets of Galway 8km on this Saturday evening.
Moloney, who won the Irish M35 cross-country title last February, was also delighted with his time of 15:12 which was a personal best.
‘It was a great race, that’s my fastest so I’m very happy with it,’ he said.
An exceptional performance was that of Richard Piotrowski who lives near Macroom. The Eagle athlete knocked 11 seconds off of Sean Cooney’s Irish M70 record when winning that category in 20:26 – just two seconds slower than he ran in the same race 12 months ago.
At the annual Kinsale Regatta five-mile – a race he has won in the past – O’Shea had an easier victory as his 25:37 gave him over a half-minute to spare over Michael Corbett of St Finbarr’s who finished in 26:14.
Carmel Crowley from the Bandon club continued her consistent form to finish second in 30:21 behind the winner Margaret Murphy (Mallow) who recorded 29:49.