Longford is celebrating treble gold following an action packed first weekend of the HSE Community Games National Finals at AIT.
Rionagh McCormack (Clonguish) struck gold in U-8 Art with her beautiful painting depicting a swimmer and there was another gold medal winner in art as Cian Clancy (Killashee) triumphed at U-12 level - two years earlier he won a silver medal in the U-10 age group.
While talented athlete Cian McPhillips (Ardagh/Moydow/Glen) emerged victorious in the U-13 Cross Country individual event.
In July Cian claimed gold in the U-13 boys 600m at the National Juvenile Track and Field Athletic Championship in Tullamore Harriers Stadium where he also set a new Irish track record of 1 min 36.47 sec.
Cian was part of Longford’s U-13 Mixed Cross Country team alongside Thomas Ivel, Daire McManus, Keelin McGann, Aaron Farrell, Sarah Murphy, Ciara Sutton, Bea Drummond, Alannah Flood and Alannah Mulligan and they agonisingly missed out on the medal places.
Longford’s leading lady in the event was Dromard’s Sarah Murphy and her sterling display was sufficient to see her earn a fourth place medal.
Dromard also secured a fourth place medal in the U-15 Culture Corner, finishing joint 4th with Killaloe from Clare. The winners were Cappagh of Limerick. Dromard’s successful group, under the guidance of Natalie McEntire, comprised of Callum McEntire, James Brady, Gavin Reilly, Matt Duffy, Avril Cosgrove and Orfhlaith Mulligan.
At the colourful opening ceremony on Friday night, Bea Drummond (Ballymahon/Forgney) had the honour of representing Longford.
A motto of HSE Community Games is ‘Kickstarting a healthy future for every child in Ireland’ and there were numerous admirable performances from Longford competitors over the course of the excellently organised weekend.
Acres Pitch & Putt course in Ballinalee - thanks to Michael Stephenson and his team - was in pristine condition as Longford Community Games once again hosted the National Pitch & Putt Finals and local knowledge proved crucial in helping Killoe finish 4th in the Boys U-16 Final.
The Killoe quintet, in competitions dominated by Ennis, was made up of Reece Reid Leonard, Paul Brady, Enda Bracken, Adam Fenlon and Jonathan Borland. Daniel Reynolds (Clonbroney) and Adam Fenelon (Killoe) also registered fantastic rounds of 60 which was just two shots shy of the individual best pitch & putt scores.
Another Killoe competitor, James Kennedy won a bronze medal in the U-16 boys art.
The Ballymahon/Forgney U-16 Debating team of Liadhan Farrell, Ella McMonagle, Cillian McKeown, & Danny Pat Ward were silver medalists. Coached by Herbert Farrell this was a great achievement as it was Longford’s first year to enter this competition.
Longford’s U-14 Mixed Distance Relay side of Dylan Farrell, James Moran, Reece Reilly, Eoghan Smith and Peter Nolan finished a very creditable seventh.
In swimming, Orla Ryan (Lanesboro) progressed from her semi-final and qualified for the U-14 Backstroke Final where she was drawn in Lane 5, however, following a brilliant swim she narrowly missed out on a top four finish and a medal.
Aideen Skelly (Longford South) reached the U-16 Freestyle semi-final and in the U-8 Freestyle ‘B’ Shauna Burke (Clonguish) was also a semi-finalist.
Duileach Ryan (Lanesboro) won a silver medal in the U-12 Backstroke and Michael McCann (Clonguish) won bronze in the U-14 freestyle.
Ciaran Scanlon (Abbeylara/Mulinalaghta) finished 4th in the U-12 Breaststroke and Harry Byrne (Kenagh) was also 4th in the U-8 Freestyle.
The U-13 swim squad of Seadhna Ryan, Duileach Ryan, Evan Chambers, Michael Kijan & Ernie Brunt (Lanesboro) came 5th just missing out on a national medal.
Cian McCormack (Clonguish U-10 freestyle), Seadhna Ryan (Lanesboro U-14 Butterfly), David Mills (Carrickedmond U-14 Breaststroke) and Daniel Durkin (Longford South U-14 Backstroke) got through their heats and into the semi-finals.
The Longford managers over the weekend were - Teresa Ryan, Paddy McPhillips, Rita Moran, Herbert Farrell, Natalie McEntire, Mary Skelly, Carmel Keenan and Siabhra Durkan.
Also representing Longford during the first weekend of the finals were ;
Art: Boys - U-8 Adam Curley (Kenagh), U-10 Cian McCormack (Clonguish), U-14 Jamie Byrne (Kenagh). Girls - U-10 Ava Breslin (Carrickedmond), U-12 Eatha Healy (Lanesboro), U-14 Urte Vityte (Ballymahon/Forgney), U-16 Megan Forbes (Ballymahon/Forgney).
U-13 Project: Aine Kennelly & Patrick Smyth (Lanesboro).
U-15 Duathlon: Eanna McGrath (Lanesboro).
Handwriting: U-10 Boys Aidan Mulvihill (Newtowncashel), U-10 Girls Anna Lynch (Killoe).
Table Quiz Mixed U-14: Brian Kelly, Daniel Farrell, Joseph Kenny, Conor Skelly, Jamie Bermingham & Eoin Mulvihill (Newtowncashel).
Swimming: Boys - Freestyle U-12 Cian Sutton (Clonguish), Backstroke U-10 Ciaran Faherty (Clonguish).
Girls - Freestyle U-10 Aoibhin Kelly (Kenagh), Freestyle U-12 Jenna Mills (Carrickedmond), Freestyle U-14 Ciara Sutton (Clonguish), Backstroke U-10 Aisling Scanlon (Abbeylara/Mullinalaghta), Backstroke U-12 Saoirse Joyce (Mostrim), BreastStroke U-12 Aisling Gorman (Carrickedmond), BreastStroke U-14 Sarah Murray (Longford South), Squad U-13 Orla Ryan, Aine Kennelly, Jane Dowd & Hazel Johnston (Lanesboro).
U-16 Pitch & Putt: Sean Farrell, Charlie Reilly, Evan Tully, Francis Duff & Daniel Reynolds (Clonbroney).