St Michael’s college minor (U14) team took a good bronze medal at the All-Ireland schools cross-country finals on an excellently appointed Sligo racecourse on Saturday afternoon.
On an day when Ulster schools found the going tough, this bronze, a tenth Irish medal in all for St Michael’s since they won their first in the junior age group a decade ago, was some reward for a season which was overall quite successful. 
However, the finals highlighted, yet again, the growing gap between those areas with strong established junior athletic clubs and those without.
The St Michael’s team minus Oisin Cassidy packed well with Conor Murphy leading them home just ahead of the as ever fast finishing Oliver Hughes Jordan with first year Cormac McCauley, an undoubted contender for athlete of the season and Dara McKenna completing the four scorers. Dylan Corrigan, Dylan Martin, Andrew Browne and Joseph Boyle completed the team who finished third behind the dominant school overall on the day Rice College Westport and Colaiste Eoin from Dublin, who had pipped them at the DCU event eight weeks ago.
St Michael’s seniors as expected found the jump in standards a step too far after their Ulster success, having to settle for fourth in a very high quality race dominated by St Aiden’s CBS and St Flannan’s Ennis. Domhnall Lynam was first scorer ahead of Jack Scallon, Jacob Britton and James Boyle who stepped up from the Intermediate ranks. Conor McNally, Bruce Worley, Oisin Morris and Conor McCaffey completed the squad who could not get ahead of St Kieran’s Kilkenny, who had the individual silver medallist in Peter Lynch, in the battle for bronze. 
St Michael’s Junior (U15) team did not run anywhere near as well as they did at the Ulster finals and finished seventh in a race won by St Colman’s Newry, Ulster’s only gold medal of the day, and the Newry college’s eight Irish title in a decade. 
For St Michael’s, who had done well to take silver at the provincial finals, Keelan Farry, Joe McDade and James Cox were the three leading finishers ahead of Sean Murray, Ben Corrigan, Dada McGandy, Pierce McGovern and Adam McGovern. Two years ago in the Ulster schools U13 age group St Michael’s took gold by a huge margin of 55 points, St Colman’s, they hadn’t made it out of their district, how things change.
In the senior girls Edel Monaghan, representing Mount Lourdes, had a good run in 16th place, fourth Ulster finisher, continuing what has been a season of progress for the Irvinestown girl who runs for Enniskillen RC.