Morgan caps great day at Irish schools’ cross


Morgan caps great day at Irish schools' cross

Michael Morgan (Summerhill College) kept up his winning roll on a truly great day of racing at the Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships in Santry Demesne (March 7).

Morgan came from behind, on a day where there were a number of come-from-behind victories, to win his first senior boys’ 6,000m title having won the last two intermediate titles. His winning run is now at three in-a-row with another year of school remaining for the Sligo schoolboy. Full results HERE.

The senior boys’ was the last race of the day and Daniel Stone (Belvedere College) stretched them from the off in windy conditions. Stone led for over half of the race but was eventually caught by Michael Morgan and then Shay McEvoy (St Kieran’s College). It looked like McEvoy had the title in hand but coming to the tree-lined finish it was Morgan who pounced in his multi-colour spikes for a gritty win.

The hard pace took its toll on McEvoy as he faltered at the finish and had to settle for third place with Conall McLean (BMC Titanic Quarter) coming through for second. Daniel Stone finished outside the individual medals in fourth but helped Belvedere College win their first senior boys’ team title ahead of St Malachy’s College Belfast in an exciting team battle.

Lucy Holmes (Ard Scoil na nDeise) was a popular winner of the senior girls’ 3,500m race coming through from second for a deserved win from Celine Gavin (St Dominic’s Cabra) and Holly Brennan (Sacred Heart Drogheda). Loreto Kilkenny won the team title.

The championships marked 50 years since girls first started competing in schools’ competition and there was no shortage of quality.

Saoirse Fitzgerald (Lucan CC) was the first winner of the day in the minor girls’ 2,000m with Mercy Kilbeggan winning the team title. They also won the Maeve Kyle cup for the lowest scoring winning girls’ team. Kyle was Ireland’s first female Olympian which was marked in a campaign on the Four Courts.

Lauren Madine (St Mary’s Downpatrick) won the junior girls’ 2,500m with Friends School Lisburn winning the team title making it double joy for Ulster.

The intermediate girls’ 3,500m was another topsy turvy race that saw Eimear Maher (Mount Anville) snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the closing stages. Kirsti Foster (Down High School) was second with Avril Millerick (St Mary’s Midleton) third. Pobalscoil na Trionoide came out on top in the team standings.

Luca O’Shea Breen (Temple Carrig) had a similar style victory in the minor boy’s 2,500m from Sean O’Croinin (Colaiste Ghlor na Mara) pipping him on the line. St Michael’s Enniskillen won the team title.

The junior boys’ 3,500m saw Oliver Hopkins (St Declans’ CBS) make a long brave bid for home to win gold from Luighaidh Mallon (Rathmore Grammar School) and Billy Coogan (CBS Kilkenny). Mallon’s silver helped Rathmore Grammar School to team gold.

Abdel Laadjel (Kisoge CS) was a strong winner of the intermediate boys’ 5,000m and had time to celebrate at the end from Matthew Lavery (St Malachy’s) in second and Dean Casey (St Flannan’s Ennis) in third. St Flannan’s Ennis had a brilliant team performance to win the team title and the best winning overall boys’ team score to go home Clare trophy and medal-laden.   

Santry Demesne proved to be a top-quality setting once more with Clonliffe Harriers excellent event hosts to boot along with the Irish Schools’ Athletics Association. It was a memorable 2020 championships.

Top 3 results

Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Cross Country Championships, Santry Demesne


Minor 2,000m

Saoirse Fitzgerald (Lucan CC), 2. Ferne Duffy (Ballybay CS), 3. Grace Byrne (Loreto Mullingar)


Mercy Kilbeggan, 2. Loreto Mullingar, 3. St Andrew’s

Junior 2,500m

Lauren Madine (St Mary’s Downpatrick), 2. Anna Gardiner (Assumption GS), 3. Nicole Dinan (St Angela’s Cork)


Friends School Lisburn, 2. Loreto Dalkey, 3. Ursuline Convent

Intermediate 3,500m

Eimear Maher (Mount Anville), 2. Kirsti Foster (Down High School), 3. Avril Millerick (St Mary’s Midleton)


Pobalscoil na Trionoide, 2. Loreto Mullingar, 3. Down High School

Senior 3,500m

Lucy Holmes (Ard Scoil na nDeise), 2. Celine Gavin (St Dominic’s Cabra), 3. Holly Brennan (Sacred Heart Drogheda)


Loreto Kilkenny, 2. St Angela’s Waterford, 3. St Dominic’s Cabra


Minor 2,500m

Luca O’Shea Breen (Temple Carrig), 2. Sean O’Croinin (Colaiste Ghlor na Mara), 3. Conor Murphy (Scoil Dara Kilcock)


St Michael’s Enniskillen, 2. St Mary’s CBS Tralee, 3. Midleton CBS

Junior 3,500m

Oliver Hopkins (St Declans’ CBS), 2. Luighaidh Mallon (Rathmore Grammar School), 3. Billy Coogan (CBS Kilkenny)


Rathmore Grammar School, 2, Wesley College, 3. Ardscoil na Mara Tramore

Intermediate 5,000m

Abdel Laadjel (Kisoge CS), 2. Matthew Lavery (St Malachy’s), 3. Dean Casey (St Flannan’s Ennis)


St Flannan’s Ennis, 2. St Malachy’s Belfast, 3. St Kieran’s College Kilkenny

Senior 6,000m

Michael Morgan (Summerhill College), 2. Conall McLean (BMC Titanic Quarter), 3. Shay McEvoy (St Kieran’s College)


Belvedere College, 2. St Malachy’s, 3. St Kieran’s College Kilkenny

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