Four Irish teams travel to Melmerby in Cumbria this weekend to challenge England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in the annual junior home international. This year’s event is being combined with the senior event and the races are uphill only. In 2011 the Irish under 16 teams were both runners-up and the under 18 teams were third. Killian Mooney won the under 16 boys and Clare McCarthy (DSD) won silver in the under 16 girls race.
Orlaith Moynihan is probably the strongest of the under 16 girls team but she is up against reigning European champion Annabel Mason (ENG). Cillian O’Donovan will be hard to beat in the under 16 boys. While the under 18 girls team may have to work hard to win medals, the boys team has a great chance of being the first Irish winning team since 2001. Killian Mooney has moved up an age group, Andrew Cullen is quite strong, Michael Carey is making his debut on the hills, and Hugh Armstrong could contend for the individual win.
Girls under 16: Alison Armstrong (Celtic DCH); Rosie Hynes (Swinford); Orlaith Moynihan (Clonmel); Aoife Mulroy (Swinford)
Boys under 16: Liam Fitzpatrick (DSD); Julian Martin (DSD); Padraig Moran (Mullingar); Cillian O’Donovan (Iveragh)
Girls under 18: Brigid Dennehy (Iveragh); Bronagh Kearns (St. Senan’s); Sarah Miles (DSD)
Boys under 18: Hugh Armstrong (Ballina); Michael Carey (Clonmel); Andrew Cullen (DSD); Killian Mooney (DSD)