Pat Scully kept the ﬂag ﬂying in the late 60s and earIy 70s.
The mid-70s were the glory years for the Club. The Juvenile section expanded rapidly and on the 6th January 1974 the Club won its ﬁrst ever Laois Senior Cross-Country. Pat Scully lead the team home in 1st place and was followed home by Jimmy Hunsben 4th, Johnny Ryan 6th, Pat Keenan, Liam Scully, Noel Scully and Richie Finn.
1974 was also the year in which Ann Keenan made her ﬁrst appearance in the Club colours, competing at a time in such diverse events, as the Shot and Relays. Through the following 21 years Ann has gone on to win many Regional and National Inter-Club Cross Country titles. Ann’s ﬁnest run was undoubtedly her second place in a Grand Prix Cross-Country in Mullusk in 1989. As the Club’s only Olympian, representing Ireland in Seoul in 1988, Ann is assured of her place in the Club History. During the late 70s the girls teams came to National prominence when winning National U17 and Intermediate titles.
Above left: Ballyﬁn team which won the Leinster Intermediate in 1978. Back row (from left) Helen Bleach, Larry Ryan, Michael Finn, Dan Allen, Sean Caplice and Pat Finn. Middle Row (from left) Josephine Finlay, Jimmy Hunsten, Ann Keenan, Johnny Ryan and John Allen. Front Row (from left) Breda Allen, Michelle Finlay and Dolores Finlay. Above right: By far the Club’s most successful athlete, Ann Keenan.
Josephine Finlay competed in the home countries International in Wales. The girls teams came from a small group consisting of mainly Ann and Noeleen Keenan, the Finlays, Helen Bleach, and Breda Allen, and were coached and trained by Jimmy Finn. Amongst the Juvenile section, National medals were won by David Keenan, Paul Gannon, John Egan and Liam Duggan all in Jumps and Throws.
In 1979 the Club won the Leinster Novice Intermediate Mens Cross-Country with a team which had just completed a hat-trick of Laois Senior wins. Jimmy Hunsten won two Seniors and was ably assisted by a ﬁne squad of Pat Finn, Johnny Ryan, Dan Allen, John Bergin, Richie Bergin, Sean Caplice, Lar Ryan and Michael Finn.