Day to Remember at Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country

Day to Remember at Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country

It was a day to remember at the finals of the Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country where athletes from the club starred on teams that lifted the Connacht title in 3 out of the 4 races!

Craughwell NS continued their proud tradition in the girls races when taking the Connacht title in the senior girls 1000m for the 3rd time in the last 8 years. And to achieve this without their leading runner and Galway champion Grainne McDaid, was all the more remarkable.


Oranmore Boys NS went one better with an absolutely storming performance to do the double yet again in the boys races and take the Connacht title in both junior and senior boys race for the 2nd year in a row – an incredible performance.


Read on for a more detailed account.

Things looked pretty grim as we approached Sligo town on Saturday around noon – the rain was started to hammer down and you could only see a glimpse of Ben Bulben through a dense grey cloud that looked like it was soaking all of North Sligo. Memories of last year on the same cross country course flooded back where it rained incessantly and the field was more like a mud-wrestling arena than a cross country course. On this occasion however, miraculously the grey cloud lifted, the rain stopped and the field was in perfect condition …. very little water and no rain for the duration of the races.  

There was a large number of athletes from the club in action today – with 2 teams from Craughwell NS, 2 from Oranmore Boys NS, 1 from Carrabane NS and 1 from Scoil Mhuire Clarinbridge, together with individual athletes from these schools and Ballyglass NS, Kilnadeemna NS, Labane NS and Lisheenkyle NS.

The junior girls 800m race was the first to get going where Derbhla Cronin (Lisheenkyle NS) had an incredible run to claim individual 4th place in only her 2nd cross country race ever. Derbla was running comfortably in 2nd place as the race entered its final quarter and was only just pipped on the line for 3rd place at the end. In fact it was a very close call between 3rd and 4th but the officials on the day called it with Derbla in 4th. A fantastic race after finishing 3rd in the Galway championships.  In the same race, Jade Connolly led the Craughwell NS team to a great team score of 158 points just a tiny 9 points away from the 3rd-placed team. Jade took 21st place, with Mia Waters having a fantastic run to take 42nd, Sandra Greaney 45th, Laura Cunningham 50th, Aoife Raftery 56th and Shauna Tobin 88th. In the same race, Avril Donoghue (Kilnadeemna NS) had a fine run to take 25th place. 

In the senior girls 1000m, Craughwell NS had a strong team out but were missing their Galway champion Grainne McDaid who was away on foreign tours. Remarkably such is the depth in their squad, the Craughwell team raced to a marvellous victory to claim the Connacht title for the 3rd time in history and in the process lift “The Cahill Cup”.  Leanne Freaney put in an incredible display of leadership to take 16th place overall and was followed by Emma Gaffney 32nd, Amy Hynes 33rd, Aisling Keady-Cummins 34th, Erin Fitzpatrick 40th and Michelle Duggan 49th. This gave the team a score of 116 points and when the numbers were crunched for the other teams, Craughwell just claimed victory over the Presentation Athenry team by a single point. Craughwell NS had previously lifted this cup in 2003 led home by Cathriona Farrell in 10th place and in 2006 led home by Orla McDaid in 12th place. Also in superb form in the senior girls race, Derbhaile Walsh (Labane NS) had a fine run to take individual 12th place. 

In the boys’ races, Oranmore Boys continued their domination of recent years of Connacht Primary Schools cross country. In the junior boys 800m, the school made it 3-in-a-row in this age group when taking the Connacht title in style led home by Brendan Cummins in 3rd place. Brendan was followed home by Cillian Doyle 15th, Sean Delaney (33), Hugh Mulryan (34), Michael Hand (51) and Alex Fearon (56). Carrabane's Peter Martyn had a fine run in the same race to take individual 28th place.

And incredibly in the senior 1000m, the Oranmore team made it a double double when retaining last year’s Connacht title. Oisin Doyle led the team home in a fantastic 2nd place, followed by James Cahalane 12th, Matthew Barrett 16th, Eoin Rockall 24th, Matthew McKiernan 43rd and Jim Crowley 56th.

Carrabane NS put in a fine performance in the same race to rack up a score of 170 points led home by Cian Holloway in 7th place, with Conor Caulfield 42nd, Mikey Burke 56th, Colin Curley 63rd, Jerry Keary 68th and Gearoid Treacy 99th.  Liam Moran led Scoil Mhuire Clarinbridge home with an individual 22nd place performance followed by William Corcoran 52nd, Shane Ryan 85th ad Jack Egan 111. Liam Forde Balllyglas NS and Brian Loughnane Kilnadeemna NS had fine runs to place 13th and 41st.

Full results are at :

Here's a brief summary of the performances of schools team which involved athetes from the club since records began (or rather since my record-keeping began) . Note that the 4th class race was only introduced in 2006. 

If anyone has further information to add to this, please send it to me as while I have good records for Craughwell NS, I don't have the same detail for earlier years for other schools. 

SchoolSenior Girls 1000mPosScoreTeam
Craughwell NS20101116 ptsLeanne Freaney(17), Emma Gaffney(32), Amy Hynes (33),
Aisling Keady Cummins (34), Erin Fitzpatrick (40), Michelle Duggan (49)
 20094138 ptsLeanne Freaney (22), Emma Gaffney (32), Emma Byrne (41),
Ellen Fitzpatrick (43), Hannah Rabbitte (44), Lisa Doran (50)
 20083112 ptsSarah Molloy (14), Gabrielle Tobin (22), Maeve O’Connor (30),
Ellen Fitzpatrick (46), Andrea Tobin (58), Shauna Burke (61)
 20074126 ptsMaria McNamara (14), Sineád Gaffney (21), Ailbhe Greaney (45),
Sarah Molloy (46), Tara Keady (73), Gabrielle Tobin (76)
 2006194 ptsOrla McDaid (12), Debbie Kenny (15), Katie O'Donoghue (28),
Caoimhe Quill (39), Sinead Gaffney (48), Maria McNamara (50)
 20055144 ptsKatie O'Donoghue (31), Orla McDaid (32), Debbie Kenny (34),
Sinead Gaffney (47), Caoimhe Quill (68), Mairead McCann (90)
 2003188 ptsCathriona Farrell (10), Ashley McDonnell (13), Yasmine Tobin (24),
Rachel Kenny (41), Cianna Greene, Kelly O'Donoghue
Killeeneen NS2007180 ptsNicole Brennan, Anna Lane, Claire Ryder (26),
Rachel Mullins (35), Amy Huban, Sarah Mullins
SchoolSenior Boys 1000mPosScoreTeam
Oranmore Boys NS20101 Oisin Doyle (2), James Cahalane (12), Matthew Barrett (16),
Eoin Rockall (24), Matthew McKiernan (43), Jim Crowley (55)
 2009181 ptsOisin Doyle (14), Jamie Spellman (20), Aidan Conneely (23),
Eoin Rockall (24), Cillian Black (54), Nathan Lynskey (55)
 20083100 ptsNicholas Sheehan (9), David Doyle (11), Eric Greaney (39),
Jamie Spellman (41), Aidan Conneely (52), Niall Touny (59)
 20076 Nicholan Sheehan (10), Barry Smith,
Malachy Black, Eric Greaney, Like Whelan
Craughwell NS2009?164 ptsCiaran Nevin (40), Matthew Molloy (41), Ronan Nevin (42),
Eoin Lally (43), Adam Flynn (53), Andrew Greaney (59)
 20084122 ptsKeelan Ryan (15), Matthew Freaney (16), James Tansey (45),
Korvah Dorbar (46), Oisin Coppinger (55), Patrick Phillips (69)
 20073114 ptsKeelan Ryan (18), Matthew Freaney (25), Paul Fitzpatrick (35),
Liam Sheehan (36), Conor Lally (38), James Tansey (44)
 20065127 ptsJack Raftery (20), Paul Joyce (29), Conor Lally (36),
Patrick Prendergast (42), Cathal Coppinger (60), Paul Fitzpatrick (64)
Carrabane NS2010 6 170 ptsKeane Holloway (7),  Conor Caulfield (44), Mikey Burke (56),
Colin Curley (63), Jerry Keary (68), Gearoid Treacy (99)
Clarinbridge NS201012270 pts Liam Moran (22), Willian Corcoran (52),
Shane Ryan (85), Jack Egan (111)
SchoolJunior Girls 800mPosScoreTeam
Craughwell NS20105158 ptsJade Connolly (22), Mia Waters (42), Sandra Greaney (46),
Laura Cunningham (48), Aoife Raftery (56), Shauna Tobin (88)
 2008196 ptsGrainne McDaid (4), Leanne Freaney (12), Emma Gaffney (32),
Michelle Duggan (48), Aisling Keady-Cummins (49), Sinead Walsh (60)
 20075171 ptsEllen Fitzpatrick (36), Emma Byrne (41), Lisa Doran (43),
Andrea Tobin (51), Hannah Rabbitte (55), Ashling Connolly
 20061134 ptsSarah Molloy (15), Gabrielle Tobin (29), Tara Keady (41),
Maeve O'Connor (49), Shauna Burke (69), Carina Coppinger (81)
Ballymana NS20093148 ptsCiana Reidy (27), Grace Whirskey (29), Shonagh Gilligan (37),
Alice Whirskey (55), Emma Waters (59), Molly Lynam (60)
SchoolJunior Boys 800mPosScoreTeam
Oranmore Boys NS20101 Brendan Cummins (3), Cillian Doyle (15), Sean Delaney (33),
Hugh Mulryan (34), Michael Hand (51), Alex Fearon (56)
 2009165 ptsIsi Richards (2), James Cahalane (11), Malo Salmon (19),
Jim Crowley (33), Cillian Doyle (38), Sean Delaney (50)
 2008156 ptsEoin Rockall (5), Oisin Doyle (7), Christopher Mooney (12),
James Cahalane (32), Nathan Lynskey (51), Jim Crowley (88)
 20072 Jamie Spelman (13), Aidan Conneely (16), Christopher Mooney (24),
Owen Ruco, Ross Malone, Nathan Lynskey
Craughwell NS2009?267 ptsEoin Fahy (37), Alan Callanan (50), Jack Lally (80),
Diarmuid McCartin (100), Adam Lawlor-Smalle, Jack Doran
 2007397 ptsCillian McDaid (17), Oisin Coppinger (18), Conor O’Donoghue (30),
Andrew Greaney (32), Christopher McDonnell (38), Dean McCan (43)
 20067130 ptsMatthew Freaney (13), Liam Sheehan (30), Keelan Ryan (33),
Davy Kerse (54), Michael Roche (90)


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