English visitors dash home hopes to claim Schools glory
English athletes swept the board at the International Schools Cross-Country in Santry on Saturday, taking all four individual titles and all five team titles.
The best the Irish could muster on their home turf were second-place finishes in the intermediate boys' team event and the concluding mixed relay.
Individually, Jack McCausland and Michael Morgan put up the strongest challenges. Morgan, a student at Belfast Royal Academy, mixed it with the leaders for much of the junior boys' race, but had to settle for fifth in 13:09.
Irish champion Michael Morgan fought for his fifth-place finish in the intermediate boys' 6,000m, the Summerhill College student leading the Irish home in 18:46. The race was won by Mohamed Ali, who floated to the line in 18:07.
Ireland edged Scotland for the silver medals, with Scott Fagan 10th, Callum Morgan 15th and éanna ó Bradaigh 17th.
With Irish champion Niamh O'Mahony absent from the intermediate girls' race, the hosts finished third in the team event, led home by Róisín O'Reilly in 11th.
In the mixed 4 x 1,500m relay, Ireland's Fiontann Campbell set off on the final leg duelling with England for the gold. But the English yet again proved too strong, victorious by five seconds.
Garry Campbell clocked the fastest ever time at an Irish Parkrun last weekend, the Dunleer athlete running 14:44 for 5km at St Anne's Park in Raheny.
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