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Marian seal first win in big grapple

Marian College, Ballsbridge hosted the Dublin Schools Spring Judo Championships last week with more than 80 competitors, teachers, parents and coaches from 18 schools around the country taking part in the annual competition.

Marian College put on a terrific event -- which was celebrating its 10th anniversary -- putting forward their strongest ever team and the Dublin 4 college won the overall title for the first time.

Andy O'Reilly proved the star of the team taking both the Senior Heavyweight and Open categories as well as the title Senior Male Player of the Day.

O'Reilly's team-mate David Iannelli defeated Coláiste Eoin's Colm Ó Fainín in a closely contested final to win the Senior U66kg final, while Desmond Soon and Prince A Sithole took both bronzes in the same category.


Ryan Keogh was the most successful junior player on the team taking silver to Junior Player of the Day Alex Afanascenko in the U73kg category and bronze in the Junior Open.

Afanascenko of Confey College, Leixlip, was in terrific form winning all his eight matches to take the Junior U73kg and Open titles.

His defeat of Ashbourne Community College's Grant Irwin in the final of the Open clinched the Junior Male Player of the Day title for the Leixlip student.

Ashbourne had a very strong junior team competing this year with Andrew Flynn taking silver to Coolmine's Gary Byrne in the U66kg category and Jimmy Kelly and Ruslan Chaykovskyy taking bronze in the U60kg category.

Last year's overall school champions Coolmine Community College once again brought a very strong team, but had to settle for second place behind a triumphant Marian College.

The O'Gara sisters from Coolmine dominated the girls event, with Sarah winning the U44kg category, while her sister Zoë won the U57kg final as well as the Open.

She defeated her sister in the final before being crowned Female Player of the Day in recognition of her achievements.

Coolmine's junior men took two further gold medals with Rodion Murtazin at U60kg and Gary Byrne in the U66kg category. Hartstown Community School showed their growing strength winning three gold and two silver and bronze medals on their way to a credible third place in the overall standings.

Adam Kelly totally dominated the largest category of the day, Junior U50kg, where he defeated Stass Berzkalns of St Finian's College, Swords in the final. His brother, Luke, won at Senior U73kg before taking silver in the Open, while Anzor Ayadi added another gold winning the Senior U81kg title.

Liam Shier of Garristown NS won the lightest category of the day, defeating all his three opponents by ippon on his way to the title at U41kg before his sister Isabel won silver in the girls U44kg category.

In the Junior U45kg final, Brendan Mullins of Roscommon CBS defeated Ratoath College's Artem Saldatsenko in one of the most competitive contests of the day to round off a wonderful day at the Dublin Schools Spring Junior Championships.