Up with the leaders early on, an injection of pace on lap two of four by World cross-country champion Linet Masai from Kenya and Olympic 3000m steeplechase 5th Hiwot Alayewa from Ethiopia really stretched and then broke the field.
But Sarah kept on well, mixing it with some of Europe's best and she produced her usual fast finish to pick up a few places in the finishing straight. Her dip for the line wasn't quite enough to gain the verdict for 12th as she finished in 26.41 minutes for the 7.8km course.
Alaweya coasted to victory when Masai fell at a log hurdle 600m from home.
Of Sarah's Irish team mates, European cross-country champion Fionulla Britton was 4th in 25.48, Olympic marathon runner Ava Hutchinson was just ahead in 9th in 26.28 and Kerry Harty was 19th in 27.23.
A good performance in the Irish trials in two weeks time will hopefully gain Sarah selection for the European Cross-Country Championships in Hungary on December 8.