Ben Branagh claims Jimmy Murtagh title

Laura Graham

Laura Graham

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Ben Branagh showed his class to win the Jimmy Murray 10k Road Race in Downpatrick.

The St. Malachy’s runner who has been studying in America led from early on.

At half distance it was Branagh by 19 seconds from Chris Madden with David O’Flaherty and Neil Weir disputing third seven seconds further back.

Branagh who has gone close to 30 minutes for the distance on the track, looked in control as he came back to the finish to win by 15 seconds from Madden.

O’Flaherty came third ahead of Weir with Michael Crawley, Eddie Cooke and Stephen O’Gorman following. Francis Marsh and Paul Rowan were top M50s.

Laura Graham is practically unbeatable on the roads and the National Marathon and Half Marathon Champion notched up another success.

n Local competitors thrived at the Irish Life Health All Ireland Schools Cross Country at Mallusk.

Fintan Stewart of Lumen Christi and Patrick McNiff Banbridge Academy ran away from a star studded field to take the top two places in the Senior Boys.

Dylan McBride of Grosvenor on the the Minor Boys.

Cara Laverty,Thornhill just beat Victoria Lightbody,Wallace for Gold in the Girls.

Sean Corry of Omagh CBS came third in the Inter Boys won by the brilliant Darragh McElhinney from Bantry with Niamh Carr,Loreto Coleraine fourth in the girls behind Sarah Healy from Killina

Amelia Kane from Strathearns was a brilliant second in the Junior Girls just behind Aimee Hayde, St. Mary’s Newport with Patrick Mayne,Regent fourth in the Boys won by Sean Donoghue,St.Declans.

Team wise St Malachy’s took Gold at Inter and Junior Boys with Omagh CBS winning Minors.

There was Silver for Victoria in Senior Girls and Wallace in Minors with Strathearn’s Inters and St Columbana’s Juniors taking Bronze.