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Dooney pips Tobin to title

KEVIN DOONEY of CBC Monkstown brought the All Ireland Schools Cross-Country in St Mary's, Galway to a thrilling conclusion when he outsprinted Sean Tobin of High School Clonmel to win the boys' senior title.

The pair forced the pace from the start over a hilly but fast course until the final lap when Dooney made his move, opening up a 15-metre gap. Tobin hung on and, with the finish line in view, made a gritty effort to catch his rival. But Dooney sensed the danger and held out for a first national cross-country title in his final year of schools athletics.

Ryan Holt of Methodist Belfast took the bronze medal ahead of Knockbeg's Kevin Brennan. Fifth- placed Patrick Monaghan led St Colman's, Newry to team victory over St Malachy's, Belfast.

Booterstown school Coláiste íosagáin dominated the girls' races, with two individual victories and three team titles from a possible four.

In the senior race, Leinster champion Clár Nic Carthaigh from Coláiste íosagáin came home a comfortable winner ahead of Lorna Fitzpatrick of Sacred Heart, Newry and Mary Mulhare of Scoil Criost Ri, Portlaise.

With Meghan Ní Riain fifth and Sorcha Nic Umfraidh sixth, Coláiste íosagáin were clear winners of the team title ahead of old rivals St Dominic's Cabra, led home by Heather Loughead in 11th place.

Coláiste íosagáin also took both individual and team titles in the intermediate race, where Síofra Cleirigh Buttner won her fourth All-Ireland title in a row -- a remarkable achievement. With Sarah Ní Mhaolmhuire second, it all came down to the team's third counter with Aoife Ní Mhaolmhanaigh giving Coláiste íosagáin a narrow victory over Ballyclare High School and Loreto Kilkenny.

In the boys' inter race, Leinster champion Aaron O'Hanlon of St Mary's, Drogheda had to be satisfied with fifth place, just one second ahead of Liam Mac Giolla Phádraig of Coláiste Eoin, with Dylan Keegan of Templeogue a fighting eighth place.

A closely fought team competition saw St Fintan's HS Sutton emerge victorious, thanks to committed running from Killian Kirwan in 11th, Eoin Strutt, Kevin Doran and Andrew Foley.

Most popular win of the day came in the boys' junior race when Padraig Creavan of host school St Mary's, Galway took the title, beating Cathal Doyle of Coláiste Choilm Swords and Jack O'Leary of Clongowes.

In the junior girls' race, with Carla Sweeney third and Nadia Porter fourth, backed up by Cara Dawson, St Mac Dara's narrowly beat Skerries for team gold.

Midleton CBS made it a double in the boys' minor race, with Fergal Curtain sprinting to victory over Pat Shaw of St Finnian's, Mullingar, and the team beating St Aidan's CBS, led by Shaun Carrick and Shane Merrigan.

Síofra O'Flaherty of St Leo's, Carlow sprinted away for victory in the minor girls' race. Eimear Fitzpatrick of Our Lady's, Templeogue just beat Rose Finnegan from Eureka Kells for the silver medal. Coláiste íosagáin won the team race from Eureka Kells.

Aviva All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country, St Mary's, Galway

Girls - Senior (69 finishers): 1 Clar Nic Carthaigh (Col íosagáin) 9.29; 2 Lorna Fitzpatrick (Sacred Heart, Newry) 9.36; 3 Mary Mulhare (Scoil Criost Ri Portlaise) 9.39; 4 Sarah Moore (Sacred Heart); 5 Meghan Ni Riain (Col íosagáin) 9.51; 6 Sorcha Nic Umfriadh (Col íosagáin) 9.53. Teams: 1 Coláiste íosagáin 12; 2 St Dominic's Cabra 73; 3 Rathmore Grammar 85.

Inter (74): 1 Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Col íosagáin) 13.28; 2 Sarah Ni Mhaolmhuire (Col íosagáin) 14.09; 3 Jessica Coyne (Crescent Limerick) 14.12; 4 Yasmin Wilson (Ballyclare HS) 14.21; 5 Linda Conroy (Mercy Kilbeggan) 14.23; 6 Anna Sheehan (Loreto Kilkenny) 14.28. Teams: 1 Col íosagáin 58; 2 Ballyclare HS 63; 3 Loreto Kilkenny 73.

Junior (79): 1 Clodagh O'Reilly (Loreto Cavan) 9.43; 2 Zoe Carruthers (Friends Lisburn) 9.52; 3 Carla Sweeney (St Mac Dara's CC) 9.53. Teams: 1 St Macdara's CC 60; 2 Skerries CC 63; 3 Ursuline Thurles 87.

Minor (85): 1 Siofra O'Flaherty (St Leo's, Carlow) 7.35; 2 Eimear Fitzpatrick (Our Lady's, Terenure) 7.44; 3 Rose Finnegan (Eureka Kells) 7.45. Teams: 1 Col íosagáin 42; 2 Eureka Kells 48; 3 Pres Athenry 84.

Boys - Senior (91 finishers): 1 Kevin Dooney (CBC Monkstown) 20.39; 2 Sean Tobin (High School Clonmel) 20.41; 3 Ryan Holt (Methodist Belfast) 21.17; 4 Kevin Brennan (Knockbeg College) 21.32; 5 Patrick Monaghan (St Colman's, Newry) 21.35; 6 Cillian O Maonaigh (Col Eoin) 21.38. Teams: 1 St Colman's Newry 55; 2 St Malachy's Belfast 76; 3 High School Clonmel 122.

Inter (107): 1 Kyle Larkin (Ard Scoil Ris, Limerick) 15.39; 2 Ryan Sharkey (Methodist Belfast) 15.48; 3 Conal Kirk (Sullivan Upper) 15.59; 4 Peter Gibbons (St Eunan's) 16.02; 5 Aaron O'Hanlon (St Mary's Drogheda)16.04; 6 Liam Mac Giolla Phadraig (Col Eoin) 16.05. Teams: 1 St Fintan's Sutton 149; 2 Sullivan Upper 156; 3 St Kieran's Kilkenny 168.

Junior (86): 1 Padraig Creavan (St Mary's, Galway) 12.20; 2 Cathal Doyle (Col Choilm Swords) 12.36; 3 Jack O'Leary (Clongowes) 12.40. Teams: 1 CBS Mullingar 100; 2 Coláiste Criost Ri, Cork 101; 3 St Malachy's Belfast 125.

Minor (101): 1 Fergal Curtain (Midleton CBS) 8.56; 2 Pat Shaw (St Finian's, Mullingar) 9.01; 3 Eoin Looney (St Joseph's Spanish Point) 9.03. Teams: 1 Midleton CBS 81; 2 St Aidan's CBS 125; 3 St Kieran's Kilkenny 135.