Cumann na mBunscol Cross Country Sees Exceptional Peformances

Cumann na mBunscol Cross Country Sees Exceptional Peformances

The club had many athletes in action at the Cumann na mBunscoil cross country races today which were held in Renmore. It was a very successful day again for Oranmore Boys School and Craughwell NS. I don’t have full details of individual athletes placings but will include what I know here. Apologies if you are not included – I don’t have the full information.

The races kicked off with the junior girls 800m where Craughwell had a good girls team in action comprising Erin Fitzpatrick, Katie Stephens, Kate Gilligan, Jade Connolly, Sandra Greaney and Laura Cunningham. Erin ran her best rest of the season to be leading the race with 150m remaining and was just pipped coming to the end, having to settle for 3rd place. Jade showed what a serious talent she has for distance running when finishing next in 13th place, despite not doing a whole lot of training. Equalling her friend in talent, Sandra put in another great run to finish next in 24th place. Laura whose preferred events are sprints and jumps, showed her determinaton when taking 24th place – the shorter distance suiting her better than the club cross country, while Kate had a fine run to come in 28th position – a very strong performance from the school. Katie had to pull out with a really bad stitch with about 150m remaining but thankfully recovered after a few minutes. This gave the school a team score of 61 points – good enough for 2nd place overall and beaten by a strong Scoil Fhursa team who recorded a score of 42 points.  

In the same race, Ciara O’Boyle (Clarinbridge) had a fantastic run to take 4th place overall – a pity Ciara didn’t try out for the club cross country because based on this performance, she’d have done very well in it. Carrabane’s Niamh Delahunty had a fine run to place 9th individual, as had Lisheenkyle's Derbhla Cronin who came in 20th.

In the junior boys 800m, it was Oranmore Boys School turn to shine where James Cahalane took the individual gold with a gutsy performance ahead of Claregalway’s Paraic Commins. Jim Crowley had a fantastic race to place 6th, with Hugh Mulryan 11th, Sean Delaney 13th, Cillian Doyle 15th, Brendan Commins 16th, Raymond 24th, Alex Fearon 46th and Michael Hand 70th.  This was a fine performance by a very young team with most of these guys young enough to represent the school again in this race next year. The performance was good enough to win the team gold with 31 points, a long way ahead of Athenry Boys School with 68 points.

The result continues a year of incredible success for Oranmore Boys School with both Galway and Connacht titles in the AAI primary schools races and also providing the nucleus of the Craughwell AC teams who done so well in the Connacht club championships this year.  

Clarinbridge’s Liam Moran placed 8th to claim the last of the lovely individual trophies that are awarded to the top 8 in these races. leading his team to 3rd place with 114 points. Craughwell’s highest placed finisher was Ronan Nevin who justed missed out on one of these trophies when placing 9th.   Carrabane's team performed well with Conor Caulfield 14th,  Jerry Keary 30th, Mikey Burke 39th, Peter Martyn 47th and Gearoid Treacy.

Next up was the eagerly awaited senior girls 1000m where Craughwell’s Connacht winning team were boosted by the return to action of their Galway champion Grainne McDaid. They were faced with strong opposition however from the Pres Athenry who came 2nd in the Connacht schools championships and from Scoil Fhursa who were unlucky not to qualify for and feature amongst the medallists in the Connacht schools finals.  

The race got underway with the main contenders for the title immediately pushing towards the front with Grainne running shoulder to shoulder with Scoil Fhursa’s Maeve Hughes. This year’s cross country season has provided some fascinating duels between these 2 runners with Grainne victorious in the earlier Galway schools cross country and Maeve 2nd. In the Galway uneven ages club championships, Maeve took the victory with Grainne in 3rd place. While in last weekend’s Connacht uneven ages, Maeve placed 2nd with Grainne in 10th place. The Pres Athenry’s Shannon Lee was also a contender for glory in this race, having finished in 3rd place in the earlier Galway schools race and having beaten Maeve in the Connacht even ages championships and beaten Grainne in the Connacht uneven ages championships. 

Anyway, as the race unfolded it was Grainne and Maeve doing the front-running for most of the circuit until joined by the unknown Erin Coyle from Corandulla who really put it up to both athletes in the final 150m – with Grainne just managing to hold on to take the Galway title and cap a marvelous year in her final year in primary school. The Corandulla girl managed to take 2nd place with Maeve in 3rd. The team battle was about to begin as Scoil Fhursa put in a strong showing at the front with Roisin Flynn taking 5th and Sarah McDonnell 7th. Craughwell’s Leanne Freaney was in next in 9th, followed by the remaining Craughwell runners with Emma Gaffney 15th, Michelle Duggan 19th, Aisling Keady-Cummins 21st and Amy Hynes 24th. Scoil Fhursa 4th scorer placed 29th – so it was going to be a real close result. 

Unfortunately a genuine error in the initial calculation of the scores resulted in the 11th place athlete from Clarain Naomh Fhursa being credited to Scoil Fhursa to give their school a score of 26 points. When the result was announced, the error was noticed and the scores recalculated – with both teams scoring 44 points and Craughwell awarded 1st place by virtue of having the lowest placed 4th scorer. It was an unfortunate turn of events for Scoil Fhursa but a genuine mistake had being made in allocating the 11th place finisher to their team.


So Craughwell retained the title that they had won so comprehensively last year with a gutsy performance which emphasised the benefit of a strong team as even though Aisling and Amy were not part of the scoring quartet, their finishing places ahead of Scoil Fhursa’s 4th scorer were vital to the team victory.

For Grainne McDaid it was a particularly brilliant conclusion to her primary school cross country athletics career – having burst on the scene in 4th class when taking the Galway AAI individual title that October and leading Craughwell to both the Galway and Connacht junior titles. She followed this up in 5th class when leading Craughwell to the Galway AAI senior title and taking the individual title in the 5th class Cumann na mBunscol race. And she capped it off this year by taking double Galway titles in the Galway AAI and Cumann na mBunscol races.

In fact most of the team today featured on the school’s teams that won the Galway and Connacht AAI junior titles in 2008 and the Galway and Connacht AAI senior titles in 2010.  They are easily the school’s most successful cross country squad, so a big well done to the girls and hopefully we will see them feature in cross country in secondary school (????). 

The final race of the day provided yet another stage for Oranmore Boys School to demonstrate that they are the dominent power in Galway and Connacht cross-country running. With an awesome display, Oisin Doyle powered to individual glory to add yet another title to his growing collection – having won the Galway AAI primary school title this year and the Galway club title.  A super performance that matches Grainne’s proud record of achivements.  

Oisin was followed by another great run from Matthew Barrett to take the individual 4th place with Eoin Rockall hot on his heels in 5th place and Matthew McKiernan completing the team scoring in 17th place to give the team victory by a huge margin with 27 points ahead of St Pats Galway with 94 points. The Oranmore team was completed by Ross Malone 66th, James Delaney 67th and Thomas Jacob 70th. Carrabane’s highest placed finisher was Cian Holloway in 8th place. 

This performance caps a marvelous cross country performance by Oranmore Boys School this year when they won the Galway and Connacht AAI junior titles, the Galway and Connacht AAI senior titles, and the Cumann na mBunscol junior and senior titles. Whether its Craughwell AC that is helping Oranmore Boys School to be successful or whether its Oranmore Boys School that is helping Craughwell AC to be successful, who knows! The important thing is that both continue to enjoy such good fortunes!

Results of the top 65 places in each race are as follows (only schoolnames were recorded except for the leading athletesin each race): cumann_na_mbunscoil_xcountry_results_2010.pdf

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