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Galway come out on top in a thriller

In a thrilling men's senior eights race, NUI Galway came from behind to beat Queen's and retain the title at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre in Inniscarra, Cork.

In a repeat of last year's dramatic final, Queen's had pushed the pace and looked on the way to victory when NUIG made a final push, catching them just before the line.

Included in the NUIG crew were Beijing Olympian Cormac Folan along with Alan Martin, James Wall, Jason Wall, Ruadhan Cooke and Eddie Mullarkey.

NUIG also successfully defended their senior four title, fending off a determined challenge from UCD, winners at Henley a few weeks ago. Making up the NUIG crew were Paul Giblin, Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall.

Winning the women's senior eights by some way was a composite crew of seven clubs from three provinces formed for the championships.

Stroke Laura D'Urso led a crew that featured the cream of Irish sculling talent. In the five seat was Killorglin's Monika Dukarska, a Polish native who has declared for Ireland.

At novice level, Queen's University won both the women's eights and the fours. In the fours, the Belfast crew beat St Michael's Limerick, with Dublin University third.

Shannon Rowing Club of Limerick recorded a fine win in the men's novice four over Fossa Rowing Club from Kerry.

Skibbereen Rowing Club dominated the first day's programme on Friday with wins in the men and women's junior fours and in the women's senior four.

For the senior race, three of the victorious Skibbereen junior crew were joined by Orla Hayes. Iniscarra is again the venue on Saturday for the annual Home Countries International.

From the Neptune club, Stuart King will compete in both the double and quad. Commercial's Dan Murphy and Colm Dowling go in the lightweight pairs, with Dowling also selected for the eight.

Of the women, Commercial's Becky Quinn is picked for the single sculls, while Laura Byrne and Naomi Fearon, also Commercial, will compete in the coxless pairs and also in the eight.

Selected for the lightweight coxless pairs and the eight are Claire Ludlow and Elaine Fitzgerald of Neptune. Offaly's Joanne and Eimear Moran go in the double, while Siofra Bennett and Rebecca Deasy of Dublin University are selected for the U-23 coxless four and for the eight.