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Man beats greyhound

A top greyhound was left with his tail firmly between his legs after losing his unbeaten record to a two-legged opponent.

In a novel fundraising event at Dundalk Stadium, Cavan GAA footballer Michael Hannon went head-to-head with Compass Mikey - and he came out on top in a thrilling finish.

The race had Compass Mikey - who arrived at the stadium in a stretch limo - running 350 yards, with Mr Hannon starting from the 150 mark.

Although some could argue that Mr Hannon had an unfair advantage, the handicappers got their sums right as the contest ended in a photo finish.

Coming up the final straight Hannon looked to be a comfortable winner but his four-legged opponent, who has won over 40 dog races, came with a storming late burst only to be denied on the line. Mr Hannon clocked in at 18:42s and Compass Mikey at 18:49s.

The event was part of a joint fundraising night for Dernakesh national school and Drumgoon GAA club near Cootehill, Co Cavan.

Mr Hannon revealed that the inspiration for the idea came from the recession.

"Normally we have a golf classic every year with a big contribution from banks and developers, but this year there is not a lot of money around so we had to come up with a new way of raising money," he said.

"When the committee came to me with the idea I was delighted to help out because I attended the primary school and play for the club. I really enjoyed it."

He also admitted he was a bit apprehensive before the race.

"I was a bit nervous beforehand because there is a lot more to think about than just running. The fact is that the dog will be travelling about 40mph so if you get hit you are in trouble, so that was going through my mind all the time. That meant that while I started on the inside, I had to remember to move to the outside to give him space, and at the same time be careful of the hare."

Thankfully all went well for Mr Hannon, who was delighted with the way the race went.

"I had no idea at any stage where Compass Mikey was but then near the end I saw the hare go past and I knew the dog wasn't too far away but I couldn't hear a thing. The next thing he flew past me and at that stage I wasn't sure if I had crossed the finish line, but the lads told me I had won so I am just delighted."

Chris Craddock of the organising committee was thrilled with the way the night went.

"We set out to come up with a novel way of getting people to come to the track and it has certainly worked as we are well on the way to reaching our target of €14,000 for the night.

"Hats off to Michael for agreeing to take part and to trainer Martin Lanney for providing one of the top dogs in the country to make a really great night."

Source: Irish Independent

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