What a pleasant morning we had at Irishtown Stadium today. A short but lively series of events in which the age group winners were

60 metres
U8G – Laura Ferry 15.1
U10G – Sarah Maher 13.7
U11G – Isabel O’Leary 12.9
U12G – Orla Murray 12.1
U10B – Alan Francis 12.6
U11B – James Woods 12.8
U13B – Kevin Woods 11.9

Long Jump
U8G – Laura Ferry 2.00
U10G – Ella Thirroueiz 3.05
U11G – Laura Shaw 3.20
U12G – Orla Murray 3.07
U13G – Isabelle Flanagan 2.73

Ball throw
U10G – Roisin McGuill 8.90
U12G – Aisling Stokes 15.50
U13G – Isabelle Flanagan 9.70
U11B – James Woods 15.00
U13B – Kevin Woods 22.50

This was followed by a little get-together in the aerobics studio with prizes, presents etc. The young athletes were delighted – as indeed was I, to meet the legend that is Mr Ron Delany (of whom more later), He presented each of those that had represented Crusaders AC in the autumn cross country fixtures with a personalised and autographed log book.

My running has taken a little break but tomorrow I get going again. The Euro Cross – in which both GB and ROI are expected to feature prominently, is being televised at lunchtime, so the plan is an early run. My immediate race plans include the Fields of Athenry 10k on 26th December and the Bandon 5-mile on the 28th. So I’ll be hiring a car and getting off ‘down the country’ for a few days.

I write as Birmingham City have just thrown away all three points in injury time at Preston, so lose ground on Wolves and Reading. Never mind, England are in a winning position going into Day 4 against India. However, never under-estimate England’s ability to make a bollox of the most favourable circumstances.