Ciobanu quickest in Charleville

Lindie Naughton

Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu laid down his colours for next month's Dublin Marathon when he won the Charleville Half Marathon in 65 minutes 05 seconds. For second place, Rathfarnham's Sean Hehir ran a personal best 65:31 secs, while third was Paddy Hamilton of Annadale in 67 minutes.

Maria McCambridge of Letterkenny was first woman in 73:04 secs, followed by Barbara Sanchez 76:04. Even more remarkable was the achievement of McCambridge's husband Gary Crossan. He finished in 76:43, pushing son Dylan all the way. Can this be a record?

Matthews proves the real star

Robbie Matthews of Dunshaughlin took the scalp of Star of the Sea's Colin Costello at the Star of the Sea Cross-Country in Stamullen, Co Meath -- for many club athletes, the unofficial launch of the cross- country season. In the women's race, DSD junior Sarah Fitzpatrick beat Annalee's Clodagh O'Reilly. Nuala Reilly and Conor Cooney of Drogheda and District made the quick dash from Rathfarnham to Stamullen, where they both picked up their second age group prizes of the day.

Hat-trick of victories for Quinn

Not content with winning the Rathfarnham 5km earlier in the day, Dunleer's Martin Quinn dropped into the Land of Legends Cross-Country 8km in Drogheda on his way home and then won it.

The race was a fundraiser for the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre. Martin had started a busy weekend with victory in the Streets of Monaghan 5km on Friday evening, where Nuala Reilly and Conor Cooney also won their age groups.

Santry hosts school showdown

For schools athletes, the track and field season finally ends with Saturday's Aviva All-Ireland Schools Combined Events Championships at Santry (10am).

Battle of the day is likely to come in the boys' inter competition, where Leinster champion Mark Rogers of St Joseph's Drogheda takes on Sam Healy of Carrigaline CS, the Munster champion.

Both will pick up big points in the high jump, while Hand is a strong hurdler.

In the inter girls' event, Leinster champion Amy McTeggart of Our Lady's Terenure can expect a showdown with Munster champion Grace McKenzie of Scoil Mhuire Crosshaven.

Belvedere's Luke Bellintani goes in the junior boys' event.

Thornton wins Grey Lake 10km

Gary Thornton was a clear winner of the Grey Lake 10km in Loughrea in 31 mins 10 secs; at the Kilsheelin 10km in Co Tipperary, Ferrybank's Patrick Hogan was first home in 31 mins 47 secs, while in Belfast, Conor Murphy won the Decathlon 10km in 31 mins 49 secs.