Beagan/Thornton win Navigation Opener

Posted: October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized


Monaghan Motor club kicked off the night navigation season in earnest last Saturday night around the Corduff area of South Monaghan. This was a counting round of the trader’s club championship and Gary Nesbitt navigation championship. 45 crews started the event with 30 of these accounting for novices and beginners; such is the popularity of the sport in this region at present. Francis Keenan was Coc and laid on a tremendous route that included 34 time points and 2 via’s which straddled the borders of South Monaghan and Cavan. Number 2 seeds Garreth Beagan and Stephen Thornton were on the ball from the start and led from time point 10 to the end. Last years border champions Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes were 2nd, despite finishing on the same penalties as Beagan/Thornton with the furthest cleanest rule applied. Michael and Ciaran Tynan were 3rd with Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins 4th.

            Straight forward plots for the first 9 time points allowed all crews to settle back into a routine after a 6 month lay-off. Tp 10 and 11 were plot and bash with all crews dropping time through tp10 to 16. Beagan and Thornton took the lead as the event became very tricky to navigate with numerous farm lanes to every time point. Kevin Keenan and Barry Garvey were having a good run in the semi-expert class and lead by mid point. Sean McKenna and Gary Farrelly picked up where they left off last year and were in front in the novice section. Macartan Kierans seems to have been studying the maps over the summer as he had a great run in the beginner’s class over the first half, lying 9th over-all at mid-point.

            The second half of the event saw most crews hold fort in the class positions. Time points 17 to 23 were around the very southern tip of county Monaghan where the lanes were no less plentiful. Out in front Beagan/Thornton were not relinquishing their lead at any cost and held their nerve over the final 10 tp’s, only dropping 3 minutes through the 2nd half. Carbin and Hughes went on to take 2nd over-all, also on 8 minutes in their new Subaru Impreza and were the only crew to clean the second half of the trial. Michael’s old Subaru legacy is now in the unsafe hands of Bob Moyna and Shane Maguire as it bared a few scares after Saturday’s event! Michael and Ciaran Tynan held on for 3rd after dropping 4 minutes at tp10 but still keep their title chances alive, as did Andy and Liam in 4th. Richard Cassidy and Paul Phelan were lying 2nd over-all at mid point but a rare mistake sees them clock in early and get a massive 50 penalties to undo all their good work. Keenan and Garvey took the semi class ahead of Midlands men Chris Kelly and Sam Johnson. This crew missed tp17 and could have been as high as 5th over-all. No doubt Sam will set the record straight before the end of the season.

            Sean McKenna and Gary Farrelly are surely climbing the navigation ranks and it probably won’t be long before they are pushing for a win. They finished 6th o/a and took a novice class win on this occasion, a wrong approach being their downfall to tp 28. Damian Ward and Laurence Keenan had a fabulous night to finish 7th over-all and 2nd novice ahead of Michael Conlon and Thomas Wedlock in 3rd. Dermot Keenan and Martin Swinburne shone through in the beginners class, two missed time points and a wrong approach costing them dearly. Damian Hagan and Macartan Kierans took a double visit at tp23 and picked up 30 penalties to relegate them to 2nd beginner. They could easily have been as high as 6th over-all.

So that’s the first event of the new navigation season done and dusted with the cobwebs surely blown off after a tough but fair event. Well done to Francis Kennan, Darren Babbington, Ashley McAdoo and all who helped them run a successful event. The top four over-all results of this event are made more interesting by the fact that any one of these crews can claim the navigation championship on the Drumlin in mid November. The traders championship couldn’t be any closer either as Michael Carbin and Michael Tynan are now tied for the lead with Andy Mackarel only 2 points in arrears. This years Drumlin navigation is looking like a battle royale! Next event is Cavan Motor Club on 15/16th October. This is the first round of the Squealing Pig Border Navigation championship and reg’s are available on  Points for traders and club navigation championships are available on


Monaghan Night Navigation Top 12

1/ Garreth Beagan/Stephen Thornton (Subaru Impreza) 8 marks

2/ Michael Carbin/Evin Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 8m

3/ Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 11m

4/ Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins (Subaru Impreza) 12m

5/ Kevin Keenan/Barry Garvey (Subaru Impreza) 32m

6/ Chris Kelly/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 33m

7/ Sean McKenna/Garry Farrelly (Subaru Impreza) 38m

8/ Damien Ward/Laurence Keenan (Toyota Sprinter) 41m

9/ Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall (Subaru Impreza) 45m

10/ Rory Coyle/Ciaran Coyle (Subaru Impreza) 47m

11/ Michael Conlon/Thomas Wedlock (Subaru Impreza) 60m

12/ Dermot Keenan/Martin Swinburne (Honda Accord) 64m.


Cork 20 International Rally

Tim Mc Nulty and Paul Kiely clinched the Irish tarmac title last weekend in Cork to add to his already impressive trophy cabinet, which includes the 2011 Dunlop national title. Tim did enough to finish 2nd behind the hard charging Darragh O’Riordan, also in a WRC Impreza. Gary Jennings took a convincing 3rd place in his Group N Evo 9. In the national rally it was Jason Ryan in a civic who stormed home over the last few stages to take a memorable win from David Armstrong in an escort. Alan Tracey was 3rd over-all in a corolla.

            Unfortunately there were sad stories for all the Monaghan men who made the long trip South. Robert Barrable and Damian Connolly were seeded at 4 but their rally got off to the worst possible. The lamp pod on their Skoda became unattached through the night stages on Saturday and they were forced to stop and take it off. They did continue in the rally and set some top 5 times but withdrew after stage 6 as the car had to be re-prepared to leave for Rally Scotland on Wednesday. Sam Moffatt and James O’Reilly retired their Evo 9 after the Saturday stages while lying a creditable 4th over-all. Raymond Conlon and Darren McCague were top seeds in the national category and were revelling in the night stages but were caught out as heavy fog descended. Raymond slid off the road for a period of time as visibility in the thick fog was at a minimum. Indeed the poor weather conditions meant the organisers were forced to cancel 4 stages but thankfully it lifted and the rally re-commenced after stage 8 which paved the way for O’Riordan to take a memorable win.

Donegal Harvest Stages Rally

Best of luck to all the local crews making the short trip Northwest to Redcastle in County Donegal for this weekends final round of the Sligo Pallets border Rally Championship. With many class battles and indeed the top 3 over-all awards to be decided around the Inishowen Peninsula it’s sure to be a competitive weekend. Enniskillen’s Gary Jennings in a Subaru WRC will lead off 125 entrants ahead of Maynooth’s Kevin Barrett at 2 with Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry heading the Monaghan brigade at 3. Gary McPhillips and Gary McNern are top two-wheel drive seeds at 4 ahead of Rodney Wilton. Shane Maguire and Conor Foley lead off the group N class at 11 with Michael Conlon and Aidan Boyle at 15 in their black escort. John McQuaid and Seamus O’Connor are at 24 with Arthur and Macartan Kierans at 33 in their pinto powered escort. Darren and Gary McKenna are at 36 in their corolla just ahead of Martin McPhillips with Ciaran Tynan on the notes, also in a twin cam. Barry and Jonathan McKenna are at 45 in their class 13 escort. Once again James McCarville is on the notes for Ryan Loughran at 55 with Sean Agnew and Seamus Connolly at 72 in their C2R2. Aaron McQuaid and Aidan Coyle lead off the class 10 challengers at 84 with David Smith seeded at 86 in his 106. Sean and Fintan Sheery are also set to make the trip to Donegal and start at 101 with Christopher and Michael Brennan at 123 in their civic. David Moffatt and Patrick Brides head the junior rally in the starlet ahead of Johno and Padraig Duggan at 2 in their escort. As things stand before the final round Aaron McQuaid and Aidan Coyle lead the series ahead of Cootehill’s Damian Reilly with Enda Sherry 2nd navigator. Niall Maguire holds 3rd place in the driver standings but with dropped scores to be counted following this weekends results a host of other crews are in with a shout. Arthur and Mac Kierans will be chasing a class win, which could also see them take the championship win amongst others. Once again best of luck to all and full report next week.


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