In last Sunday’s blog I was hoping but not believing that one of our young Crusaders would sneak an All-Ireland medal at Tullamore this weekend. And it came completely out of left field from Orla Murray in the U13 long jump. Orla only qualified from the Dublins in third place, which generally means you will be down with the dead men at national level. But with a previous best PB of 4.15m, set in the Dublins, Orla sailed out to 4.31m with her second round jump. This, with two no-jumps, left her in third position as the field was cut to eight for a further three attempts. Rounds 4 and 5 saw further no-jumps from Orla as the chasing jumpers got closer. Then, disaster in the final round as the fourth placed girl also recorded 4.31m. With countback in the offing Orla needed to hit the board with her last attempt or she was toast. It was close to the plastecine again and it seemed to take an age before the official deemed the jump legal to measure – an excellent 4.24m which, with the other girl’s second best of 4.17m, was enough to give Orla her medal – fantastic!

Niamh McCarthy, who I coached for a while last summer, grabbed bronze in th U18G discus ahead of a hobbling Sarah Fleming (5th). Elsewhere Isabel O’Leary was an excellent 5th in the U12 shot with Niamh Ferry failing to make the cut by just 1cm. Alix Hughes, below par on Saturday, was 7th in the U14 discus, but only 3m off the winning throw which she might have threatened had her two attempted full turns not ended up in the cage.

One noticeable feature of this big meeting was the virtual absence of Dublin club vests. Where were DSD for example who must have had many more athletes qualified than who turned up?

And the ‘ouch’ moment of the weekend came on Saturday when a young lady broke an ankle/leg in the sprint hurdles and lay on the track for 15 minutes or so awaiting an ambulance. There was another stretcher case in the hurdles today but this time the runner considerately fell onto the infield so the meeting was not delayed.

Next Saturday is relays day, switched late in the day from Sunday in the dubious wisdom of AAI who have thereby consigned many plans and arrangements to the bin. Crusaders’ U12G and U13G teams have qualified, the latter having had to be re-shaped because of the date change.

Edit – there is a link to the full provisional results if you click the title of this entry. Fair play to the much-maligned AAI for publishing these so quickly.