Barrable and Connolly win in Sligo

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 Sligo Motor club hosted their annual stages rally on Saturday and was sure to show up some great battles across every class on this the 6th round of the National Rally Championship and round 5 of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship. National series leader Tim McNulty once again opted to sit out this event so confidence was high amongst the top seed’s for the outright win. Dublin native Robert Barrable with Monaghan’s Damien Connolly navigating were first car on the road and justified their seeding when they led from start to finish taking an 11 second win in his super quick Skoda Fabia S2000 from Cork’s Darragh O’Riordan with Kevin Barrett 3rd, both in WRC subaru’s. Wesley Patterson and Martin McGarritty took the two wheel drive honours ahead of Frank Kelly with Carlow’s Sam Smith 3rd. Conditions were greasy as the 121 strong entry headed off into the Sligo countryside. Balinode’s Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry were the first to encounter trouble with a flat wheel on the first stage forcing them to drive the final 2 miles of the stage on the rim. A bad stage time would mean they were playing catch up for the remainder of the day, Niall and Enda eventually had to settle for 5th over-all and a good points haul for the border championship. Sam Moffett admittedly found it hard to get his rhythm but when he did settle in he punched in some great stage times to feature inside the top 5 stage times towards the end of the day. Sam with regular navigator James O Reilly took 2nd in class 4 behind the hard charging Gary Jennings in a similar EVO. Shane Maguire and Conor Foley gave Sam a run for his money throughout the day a narrowly missed out by just 3 seconds after 9 tough stages to take 3rd group N and 7th overall. Shane getting ever closer to the high standards he has set himself and is sure to feature inside the top 5 shortly. Incidentally Shane claimed the honour of Sligo Pallets Border championship drive of the day for his efforts. John McQuaid with Seamus O’Connor navigating continued his good run of form of late to claim top Monaghan two-wheel drive competitor with a fine 14th overall and 3rd in class 14. Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle had featured inside the top 3 two wheel drive cars throughout the day but results sheets suggest they didn’t finish the final loop of three stages after setting some good stage times, trading places with Frank Kelly. Arthur and Macartan Kierans made a mends for their bad fortune in Donegal with a fine 21st overall and taking the class 12 honours. Arthur had a great battle with Meath’s James Cassidy but the latter slid his car off the road resulting in a full 10 points for Arthur and Mac towards their border campaign. With 3 class wins this crew are in with a shout of the title should things go their way on the Donegal harvest later in the year. Gerard McQuaid and Gareth Quinlan were next up at 24th and 3rd in class 11 to boot. Barry McKenna and Raymond Knox had a good run in their immaculate escort to finish 34th overall. David Smith and Austin Hamill took the class 6 honours in their trusty 106. Aaron McQuaid and Aidan Coyle had a god run, once again taking the class 10 award ahead of the hard charging Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes in there infamous 205. This result leaves Aaron and Aidan currently leading the border series with one round to go in Donegal but nothing is certain ion rallying and all is to play for with any one of five of six crews mathematically poised to take the title. Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry are in with a shout as are the aforementioned Arthur and Mac Kierans. Sean and Fintan Sherry plugged away all day and were eventually rewarded for their efforts, 3rd in the highly competitive class 10 for their troubles. But at the top it was Barrable and Damian Connolly who held their nerve to take the slender 11second victory from the hard charging Darragh O’Riordan who incidentally was suffering from flu symptoms and very nearly retired at first service. Kevin Barrett and Sean Mullally held on for 3rd over-all despite their Subaru being in the ditch’s a couple of times. Well done to all who finished and to any club members who volunteered to marshal on the day. Monaghan Grass Surface Autocross Yes its that time of year once again when on Sunday 24th July all roads lead to the shores of Hollyrood lake in Balinode for the annual Monaghan grass surface autocross, once again organised by CoC Shane Maguire and his band of merry men! This event promises to entertain both competitor and spectator alike around a specially designed track in the field adjacent to Shane’s (and Niall’s!) house. Entry forms are available on the club website at and anyone hoping to compete are kindly asked to send their entry as soon as possible. For the second year running Shane has taken on the challenge of CoC and once again will be donating the proceeds of this event to charity, This year Shane has picked the Co. Monaghan Branch of the Alzheimers Society, who are based at the Drumkill Day Care Centre in Threemilehouse. This is worthwhile charity that does unprecedented work to help these people and your support on the day would be greatly appreciated


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