McMonigle and Friel Triumph in the Hills of Donegal

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 Donegal Motor Club hosted the fifth round of the Squealing Pig Border Navigation Championship on Saturday night last 19th February for the first time in a long number of years and it would be fair to say that they didn’t disappoint. Experienced navigator and indeed stages driver Conor Harvey and his team took up the challenge and laid on an excellent 110 mile route taking in every forest lane and mountain track that South Donegal had to offer. The local men would always be hard to beat on home turf and indeed it was Charlie McMonigle and Aidan Friel who led the pack home on 3 penalties with previous round winners Chris Kelly and Sam Johnston 2nd o/a on 6 pens while experts Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins were 3rd on 12pens. Drumkeen parish hall outside Letterkenny was HQ for the event and a start list of 30 headed off into the Donegal hills at 9:01pm. The first half of the event was fairly straight forward looking on the map but most time points took crews over mountain passes that the sheep don’t even use anymore so times were tight! All but 3 crews dropped time through the first 14 tps and with a welcome petrol halt in Glenties it was beginners Michael Reilly and Colm Duffy who led from semi-experts Chris Kelly and Sam Johnston with experts Michael and Ciaran Tynan all on clean sheets. The second half would be a much tighter affair with Reilly and Duffy effectively ending their hopes of a good run through tps 17 and 18 where they dropped a total of 8 pens. Quietly hammering away in the background were eventual winners McMonigle and Friel who were only down one penalty in the first half and growing with confidence on home soil. In the beginners class father and son team Arthur and Macartan Kierans were having a good run well ahead of the rest. Unfortunately a double visit penalty at 14 would see a possible 2nd o/a slip out of their hands. Kelly and Johnston would drop 4 penalties through tps 18 to 26 and the Tynans dropped 2 to leave Charlie McMonigle and Aidan Friel in the lead still only down 1 penalty and even with 2 more dropped at the last time point they still had done enough to claim the win from Kelly and Johnston with Andy and Liam coming home 3rd and 1st in the expert class. The Tynans took 2nd in expert class but it could have been a whole lot better had they not spent too much time sorting out the final plot and bash which was later scrubbed but were still forced to miss the final time point as they went OTL. In the semi-expert section Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes’ run of bad luck continued as they slid off the road on a gravel junction and in doing so dropped 10 pens to tp 12. Monaghan men Sean McKenna and Gary Farrelly made their trip north worth while with a fine 2nd in the novice section behind local men Gary Lockart and Adrian McElhinney while the Kierans’ did enough through the latter stages to take 2nd in the beginners class. So that’s it from Donegal for this year, a well run event which seemed to go down well with competitors, tough but good navigation terrain. Monaghan is next up on 5th March for the penultimate round of both the Squealing Pig Border and the National championships with almost every class position still up for grabs through the final two rounds ending with Cavan on 19th March. Donegal Motor Club Navigation Trial Results 1 Charlie McMonagle/Aidan Friel (Subaru Impreza) 3 marks 2 Chris Kelly/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 6m 3 Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins (Subaru Impreza) 12m 4 Michael Reilly/Colin Duffy (Proton) 16m 5 Michael Carbin/Evin Hughes (Subaru Legacy) 16m 6 Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 22m 7 Gary Lockhart/Adrian McElhinney 27m 8 James Sheridan/Sidney McDaid 34m 9 Arthur Kierans/Macartan Kierans (Subaru Impreza) 36m 10 James Logue/Hugh Kelly (Subaru Impreza) 50 Semi-experts: 1 Chris Kelly/Sam Johnston 2 Michael Carbin/Evin Hughes 3 James Logue/Hugh Kelly Novices: 1 Gary Lockhart/Adrian McElhinney 2 Sean McKenna/Gary Farrelly 52m 3 Damien McElhinney/Charlie McGinty 55m Beginners: 1 Michael Reilly/Colin Duffy 2 Arthur Kierans/Macartan Kierans 3 Fintan Sherry/Darragh Kelly 448m Sympathy

 The committee and members of Monaghan Motor Club would like to convey their sincere sympathy to the partner, family and friends of popular club member Brian Ruth following his untimely death last week. Brian was a keen competitor on the night navigation scene and also navigated for long-term friend Gerry McGivney in their trusty Mark II Escort on stages events. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him for his sheer enthusiasm and no matter what their result would be on an event, Brian was sure to have a story or two to share! Brian’s funeral took place last Sunday at 1 o’clock in Bawn, where the club held a Guard of Honour. May he rest in peace.

Autotest As a mark of respect for the late Brian Ruth, Monaghan Motor Club’s annual autotest which was due to take place last Sunday in Wrights Quarry, Swann’s Cross was postponed and will be re-scheduled for a date to be confirmed in the coming weeks. Watch this space for further details.

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