Mackarel & Higgins off to Winning Start

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins got their 2012 navigation campaign off to the best possible start on Saturday night last with a 3 penalty winning margin on Monaghan Motor clubs January navigation trial. Headquarters for the trial was Ardaghey Community Centre with Monaghan Town man Martin McGuigan taking on the role of CoC ably assisted by Brendan Treanor. Ideal weather conditions coupled with a compact 75-mile route made for a great start to the 2012 Gary Nesbitt club navigation championship with 42 cars crossing the start ramp.

Event winners Mackarel and Higgins were pushed all the way on the night as no fewer than 12 crews managed to keep a clean sheet up to time point 21 of the 27-time point route. As the trial traversed through the north Monaghan countryside from its base in Ardaghey towards Clontibret and Castleshane and then Northwards to the scenic village of Glaslough the competition was fierce in all classes. It was evident from the map that there was always going to be a sting in the tail as 3 of the last 6 time points were plot and bash sections, all located in the infamous Brianlitter area of Clontibret. Indeed Mackarel and Higgins only took over the lead at the fourth last time point when trial leaders Garreth Beagan and Stephen Thornton dropped a massive 4 penalties but still held on for 2nd over-all. An eventful night could be a good way of describing the Drumlin organiser’s night as they were forced to call on the services of Janice Mackarel’s car for the night at the twelfth hour. 2011-club champion Michael Carbin with regular navigator Evin Hughes on the maps were 3rd on the night and sure to be in the hunt on every round of the new campaign.

The new pairing of Stephen Wright and Damian Connolly took 3rd place in the expert class and a creditable 5th over-all. Michael and Ciaran Tynan’s hope’s of going one better in this years championship were dealt a serious blow on the way to time point 16 as their gearbox threw in the towel while on a clean sheet also. Jonathan McGovern was on the maps for Damien Treanor and took a fine win in the semi-expert class, ahead of the Balinode brigade of Bob Moyna and Shane Maguire. It could have been a much better result for Moyna/Maguire in the ex-Carbin Legacy except for a fault with the breaking system which saw them pick up a 50 for a stop sign! Indeed they were not alone as 15 crews were caught out at a deceptive stop sign junction. New pairing of Donal McArdle with Richard Cassidy on the map were 3rd semi-expert.

The Christmas lay-off didn’t do the dynamic duo of Arthur and Mac Kierans any harm as they took the novice class and an excellent 4th over-all ahead of Cootehills Damien O’Reilly and Thomas Wedlock who were 6th over-all. Think its fair to say both of these young navigators are sure to come out on top sometime in the near future. Darren Babbington was back in the drivers seat for this event and steered Laurence Keenan to 3rd in novice and 10th over-all. Girl power shone through in the beginners class as Susan McGuinness guided Enda McMahon to a class win and 9th over-all ahead of the Cootehill father and son team of Gerry and Aaron McIntyre who are climbing the leader board with every event. Aaron Duffy and Michael McCluskey rounded off the top three in beginners.

So that’s the navigation season back up and running, well done to first time CoC Martin McGuigan and his team for a challenging event with an ideal venue. Next up is Midlands and Westmeath co-promoting the 4th round of the Squealing Pig border navigation championship on 11th February with Donegal running their round of the border the following weekend, 18th February.


Monaghan January Navigation Trial Top 12

1 Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins (Subaru Impreza) 3 marks

2 Garreth Beagan/Stephen Thornton (Subaru Impreza) 6m

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

4 Arthur Kierans/Macartan Kierans (Subaru Impreza) 25m

5 Stephen Wright/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza) 36m

6 Damien O’Reilly/Thomas Wedlock (Honda Civic) 46m

7 Damien Treanor/Jonathan McGovern (Subaru Impreza) 54m

8 Daniel McKenna/Stephen Hagan (Subaru Impreza) 60m

9 Enda McMahon/Susan McGuinness (Toyota Corolla) 64m

10 Darren Babbington/Laurence Keenan (Subaru Impreza) 72m

11 Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall (Subaru Impreza) 73m

12 Cathal McGlone/John Hetherington (Subaru Impreza) 77m


Celebration Night for Arthur & Mac Kierans

A celebration night for Aghabog locals – and indeed father and Son team of Arthur and Mac Kierans, was held recently in the Aghabog clubhouse. It was a community-focused celebration for the lads as they were recently crowned the 2011 Border Rally Champions. A fun night was had by all with excellent entertainment from local drama experts Patrick McArdle and Brendan Finan followed with music from top DJ Sean McCaffery. Such was the success on the night; the many contributions resulted in additional funds being collected. To this effect, the organizing committee has donated the remaining funds of €1200 to the local Aghabog Defibrillator fund. Furthermore, a celebration DVD of the night has been produced by Richard Cassidy and Gerard McCarron and is now on sale in local shops in the area. All proceeds from this DVD will again go towards the De-Fib fund.

Arthur and Mac would like to take the opportunity to thank the organising committee of this night as well as the Aghabog GFC club who laid on a fabulous spread of food and to everyone who helped in any way. Arthur would also like to thank all of his past drivers and navigators who turned up on the night, too many to mention.


Monaghan Motor Club Ltd AGM

Monaghan Motor Club will hold their annual general meeting this Friday night, 20th January in Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan starting at 8.30 sharp. All members are asked to attend as this is your chance to contribute to the running of the club and all new ideas and suggestions would be greatly welcomed.


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