McNulty & Kiely win in Cavan

Posted: June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Cavan Motor Club with main sponsor Hotel Kilmore played hosts to round 4 of the Dunlop National Rally Championship and Round 3 of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship on Sunday last 29th May. An excellent entry of 115 starters battled it out over 9 stages with valuable points up for grabs in both championships. Over night rain left the first loop of 3 stages treacherous with at least 6 cars visiting the scenery on the first stage alone. Unsurprisingly, it was the National championship leaders Tim McNulty and Paul Kiely who led from start to finish in their S12B Subaru. This was their forth win from four events, a perfect record mid-way through the National campaign. Dubliner Robert Barrable and Monaghan’s Damian Connolly made good their decision to rush home from the Jim Clark Rally in Scotland late on Friday evening, where they encountered alternator problems. They managed to make the start ramp in Cavan and didn’t disappoint as they finished 2nd overall, 24 seconds behind the leader and indeed they kept the pressure on McNulty and were never any more than 10 seconds adrift for most of the day. Ballinode’s Niall Maguire with regular navigator Enda Sherry had a steady run through the tricky stages to record 3rd overall, 49 seconds in arrears of the hard charging McNulty, albeit in an older spec Subaru. This result leaves Niall leading the Border rally championship but he may not make the trip to Newry this weekend for round 4 of this popular local championship. This series is wide open at the half way stage with three rounds remaining in Newry, Sligo and Donegal. Twenty-four Monaghan crews made the short journey west to Cavan for this popular event and it’s fair to say there were mixed fortunes encountered across the board. Conditions started off greasy from overnight rain but thankfully dried out after the first loop of 3 stages, which claimed 21 retirements before 1st service. Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally finished 4th overall, winning class 8 while Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly continued their good run of form with a measured drive to finish 7th overall and first in class 4. Paul Sheridan was navigating with Donegal’s Manus Kelly for the day but their run was short lived with alternator problems on the first stage. Shane Maguire and regular Clare navigator Charlie McEnery finished where he started at 11th overall. Shane is still learning the ways of his Subaru but set some good stage times and is getting closer to class rival Sam Moffett with every event, a good benchmark to go by. Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle’s great run of form of late continued through the Cavan countryside with a class win and a top ten finish to boot. Richard Moffett and Martin Connolly have surely come of age in recent events as they climb the leader board with every rally and finished 16th overall, missing out on a class award by 11seconds. Vincent and JP McAree’s return to the tarmac was un-rewarded as they encountered what seemed to be gearbox problems on the first stage. The Kierans brigade from Aghabog picked up where they left off in Monaghan with an excellent class 12 win in their immaculate 2-litre pinto Escort. Arthur and Macartan reported an enjoyable run and watching from the hedges, it was clear to be seen these men were on the pace and finished inside the top 20. Clontibret’s Josh Moffett with regular Ardee man Domhall Lennon on the notes debuted their new Evo 9 and their times improved with every stage as they came to terms with the new car. This a big step up from the Peugeot 106 and they finished 23rd overall. Kieran (Bilko) McCarra and Colm Murphy’s recent good form finally came to an end as a broken compression strut forced their retirement on stage 6. John Mc Quaid and Seamus O’Connor were within sight of the finish line on stage 9 when mechanical gremlins set in and called a halt to their day. David and Laura Moffett were also out in a now famous Moffett Starlet, one of three in the stable, but their day was not as straight forward with a bad stage time on SS5 dropping them down the leader board to 33rd overall but it could have been 2nd in class for this brother and sister crew. Martin McPhillips and Nicola McKenna encountered various problems as early as Parc Ferme on Sunday morning with throttle cable woes. This raised its ugly head again on SS1 as they had to stop for over 20minutes on the stage, running OTL. This meant they wouldn’t be on the results sheets but they battled on through the remaining stages nevertheless. Aaron McQuaid and Aidan Coyle took 2nd in class 10 and 34th overall leaving them in a healthy position in class 10 for the Border series. Justin Smyth with Gregory McQuillan on the notes made his maiden run on tarmac a memorable one with a class 9 win and 36th overall amongst some stiff opposition. Justin’s only other experience of stages rallying was the junior category where he finished 3rd so the omens are good for this team. Justin and Gregory also took the Sligo Pallets drive of the day with a fastest stage time on SS2 in class 9. This crew would like to thank all their service crew for their efforts on the day, too many to name! Gerard McQuaid and Garreth Quinlan had a steady run to 42nd overall. Threemilehouse man Damian Sherry with Tommy Boylan on the notes brought their twin cam Corolla home, unscathed to 43rd overall. Sean and Fintan Sherry started at 90 but didn’t make first service. Barry Treanor and Colm Connolly hit trouble on the first loop in their class 10 Peugeot, also not making first service. Monaghan Stages CoC Conor Maguire had Evin Hughes in the hot seat and they had a steady and enjoyable run in their immaculate class 11 Mark I Escort to finish a creditable 61st overall. Aaron Duffy and Keith McConnon in their RWD Fiesta were another to fall fowl of the Cavan stages and are missing from the result sheets from a starting place of 124. Their were two late Monaghan entries to the event as Cathal Sheridan and Declan Tynan brought their Nova home to 3rd in class 10, behind the Escort of Barney Greenan and Ciaran McPhillips. Cathal and Declan encountered two burst water pipes during the day and were glad to cross the finish ramp and still get crystal. Francie McKenna and Sean Craig finished 4th in class 10 and 65th overall in their class 10 Peugeot 205. All in all a good day for most travelling Monaghan crews and well done to our neighbouring Cavan Motor Club for a well run and enjoyable event. Also a big thank you to the Monaghan Motor Club marshals who turned up to man stage 2, this required over 50 marshals and ran without any hitches.

 Newry and Mourne Stages Rally

 Saturday next 4th June sees the running of the Newry and Mourne District Motor Club’s annual Stages Rally. Based in Newry, this event takes in 3 stages around the Slieve Gullion and Camlough mountain areas and is Round 4 of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally championship. With this popular championship now wide open all is to play for as a number of Monaghan crews make the trip in a bid for valuable class and overall points. On going to press no entry lists have been posted but Aaron McQuaid and Aidan Coyle will be looking for their 3rd class win of the campaign. Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle will also be making the annual pilgrimage to Newry where they will be hoping for a strong finish and a valuable points haul as they lead class 13 in the Border series. Raymond Conlon and Darren McCague also have an entry in and are sure to feature in the class awards should things go according to plan. Emyvale’s Mark Tierney is down to sit with Newry expert David Armstrong and could feature well inside the top 10.

 Limerick Circuit of Munster Stages.

 Ballinode’s Shane Maguire and Clare’s Charlie McEnery make the long trip south this weekend to compete in the Limerick Circuit of Munster Stages Rally. This is Round 3 of the West Coast Rally Championship and Shane is defending his title having won this prestigious championship last year. He starts the event at number 6. Gerard McQuaid and Gareth Quinlan are also on the entry list at 49 in their class 11 Escort. Best of luck to all.

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