Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan show their mettle at Ireland trial

Aifric Keogh and Monika Dukarska were emphatic in their win

Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. Photo: Inpho

Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. Photo: Inpho

 

The pressure was on Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan to win at the Ireland trial at the National Rowing Centre in Cork on Friday – and they did it with some style.

In good conditions with a cross tailwind, the former world lightweight champions finished ahead of the fast-finishing Patrick Boomer and Fionnan Crowley in the men’s pair race. Ireland high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni had said that winning here was a way to progress in the heavyweight ranks.

The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Monika Dukarska were emphatic in their win and are in pole position to represent Ireland this season.

The pair of O’Donovan and O’Driscoll won again in the second session, in tougher conditions, fighting off the challenge of the new crew of Crowley and Andy Harrington.

Paul O’Donovan won his race after a battle with heavyweight sculler Ronan Byrne, while Sanita Puspure was majestic in her win in the women’s single.

Molly Curry of Coleraine Grammar School and Rhiannon O’Donoghue of Killorglin come from different ends of the country but they gelled beautifully to win in a junior double scull on a morning of good racing.

Another crew with ambitions of competing in the World Junior Championships, the coxed four of John Kearney, Jack Dorney, James O’Donovan and Matthew Gallagher, with cox Leah O’Regan, produced one of the performances of the day – beating an under-23 coxed four on their way to winning.

Rory O’Neill of Castleconnell took a good win in the junior single sculls – his second of the day.

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