I was delighted to see Richie and Rob together with Shane securing the first victory for Crusaders in the hills since the inception of the team competition. We won the 2008 Winter League without actually winning a race!
Behind them where our new German addition, Iron-man Markus Roessel, in 23rd, Gavan Doherty, and Diarmuid O’Cholmain (winning the M60 again!). With Jason, Mark and Bill O’Sullivan, Jeffrey Healy, Alan O’Keefe, Paul Kelly, Shane Enright, and myself all waiting in the wings, our team, for the first time, has true strength in depth. We still miss a match-winner like Rathfarnham (who have a seemingly endless supply), Boards AC who have Eoin Keith, or Sli Cualann who can muster many runners who have won races in the last 10 years (Martin Francis, Hugh McLindon, Colm Mullen, Cormac Conroy).
But in the team competition strength in depth can be decisive, so the team building that started a few years ago, and the swelling numbers in Crusaders in general (our membership has soared up to around the 100), bodes well. However, the brutal fact is we need the numbers. Over the last year, both myself, Paul Kelly, Diarmuid O’Cholmain, Jason, Richie and Rob,, and Shane have been laid low with various injuries including several cases of plantar, a few mysterious knee injuries, and many freaky sprains!
If any club deserves the tag “Crocked”, it’s unfortunately us. Hopefully, we’ll stay on our feet long enough to have a real go at the Leinster League team title. The lads certainly threw the gauntlet down at Hellfire and our runners thrive in the longer more open mountain races later, which gives us ground for further optimism.
We’re still crocked, though, as we speak I’m healing up after my dive at Howth and Jason Kehoe’s got a sprained ankle. Will we ever have a team unspoiled? Probably not in this sport!