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Athletics: Brady's best of the bunch

Last year, Liam Brady from St Brendan's Birr ran the inter boys' race Leinster Schools Cross-Country Championships wearing his football boots. He finished in the top 15 and went on to finish eighth at the All-Irelands.

Yesterday, the hugely promising Brady won the boys' senior title at the Leinster Schools Cross-Country Championships at a canter.

On a cold, wet and thoroughly miserable day, DCU's playing fields at St Clare's in Glasnevin would have been a mud wrestler's delight.

While the stretches around the football pitches remained sticky but runnable, the hills in the 'jungle' area took their toll on athletes of all ages and states of fitness.

For the senior boys, who had three of the full 2km lap to negotiate, the rain that had been spilling down since the start of the minor girls' race at last took a break.

While it didn't make the underfoot conditions any better, Brady bravely pushed the pace from the start. Midway through the opening lap, he had already had built a sizeable gap on the chasers led by John Travers of Inchicore VS and Emmett Jennings of Oatlands.

Brady pushed on, unphased by the strength-sapping conditions, and came home a deserved winner, ahead of Travers and Jennings.

St Joseph's Drogheda packed well to finish best of the teams.



SPLATTERED

Behind the leaders came a long line of mud-splattered athletes, happy to have the day's work done and looking forward to a hot shower. For Brady, the race was just a warm-up. Last night he was due to play in a hurling match!

In the boys' inter race, Timmy Moriarty of St Paul's, Kevin Dooney of CBC Monkstown, Stephen Attride from Knockbeg College and Conor Turner of St Aidan's Whitehall were part of a large group that set the pace on the opening lap, with no-one giving an inch.

Dooney took the lead on the first of the big laps, with Turner for company and Attride and Moriarty not far off the pace.

Attride, who finished third last year, made his move on the final lap, with only Dooney hanging on and a gap back to Turner in third place. By the finish line Attride had a clear lead and looks favourite to repeat this win at the All-Irelands. Dooney battled on to finish second, with John Murphy from CBS Kilkenny in third place.

Knockbeg College was best of the teams ahead of CBS Portlaoise and Belvedere College.

Winning the boy's junior race in style was Shane Connaughton from St Mary's Drogheda, who was out on his own for much of the final lap. In second place Pauric Meehan was leading St Mary's Mullingar to team victory. Robert Tully from Gormanston finished third.

Willow Park proved best of the teams in the boys' minor race won by Jack Reid from St Joseph's Rochfortbridge. Second was Aenghus Meehan from Ard Scoil Rís Dundalk.


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