Connolly and McElhinney Win Season Finale

Posted: March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

Monaghan Motor Club hosted the final rounds of both the National and Squealing Pig Border navigation championships on Friday night last. New Coc for this event was Barry Garvey and with his driver Kevin Keenan as assistant, this was sure to be a test of navigation skills around the north Monaghan countryside. Local man Damien Connolly used his knowledge of the area to full effect and recorded a 14-penalty win along with his Donegal driver Gary McElhinney. Prior to the event Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins were marginally in front for the over-all border championship honours and duly obliged by finishing 2nd here to lift the 2011/12 Squealing Pig Border navigation championship. Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes’ persistence paid off when their 3rd over-all result here ensured they were crowned 2011/12 National Night navigation champions. The Smithboro/Ballybay pairing put a bad start to the campaign behind them and knuckled down with a string of top three finishes’ to lift this years national title.

With 49 starters and an 11pm start hopes were high for all competitors of a good end to the season. From the off it was apparent that this event was going to be tricky as the leading crews departed into the unknown from time point 1, a maze of lanes behind McAree engineering in Ballinode! All but two crews drop time here as the event then headed towards Tydavnet and then back west towards Scotstown and the first of two visits to the farm lanes known locally as “yankees” with four time points here throughout the night. Early leaders Bob Moyna and Shane Maguire miss time point 8 altogether but results sheets suggest this local crew only drop one time penalty right up to time point 25. Bob obviously getting into the swing of handling the ex-Carbin Legacy! Carbin and Hughes took over as leaders from tp 8 where they remained until tp31 when a dropped minute relegated them to 2nd behind Andy and Liam.

Moving North to the very tip of Monaghan the lanes came thick and fast around the Glaslough area, another visit into Mac McKennas with every make of car, van and lorry making the exit very difficult to spot. Then it was south again nearer to Ballinode with 3 slots into time points around Kevin Keenan’s parish. The narrowest of turns into a slatted shed and twist left and right around girders then out around the machinery to a time point, almost impossible to make these times. Even the calves in Keenan’s farm were trying to make their escape! Noel Hall drops time like everyone else but had he not stopped to put two nice wee calves in the boot he may have avoided having to skip time points later on! The final four time points saw most crews forced to skip some, if not all of them in a bid to make the finish before going over maximum. Time point 43 and Control C were once again back in the maze of lanes around Moyna’s behind McAree Engineering in Ballinode. A serious test of man and machine and with final control outside “maggies” in Ballinode it was a welcomed sigh of relief from everyone. A great event to finish off the year and yet again many more new lanes to remember for the years ahead.

With Andy and Liam forced to skip tp 42 and take a wrong approach to 43 along with approximately 34 others as time simply evaded them it was Damien Connolly and Gary McElhinney who had just enough time to visit everything and claim the over-all win. The Connolly/McElhinney win promoted Mackarel and Higgins to expert class winners ahead of the newly crowned national champions Carbin and Hughes. Michael and Ciaran Tynan managed a better run this time out to take 3rd expert and 6th over-all. Competition was fierce once again in the semi-expert class but Sean McKenna and Gary Farrelly managed a slender 3-penalty win and 4th over-all ahead of Midland’s men Chris Kelly and Sam Johnston. Both these crews forced to miss tp 41 and 43 as they were over their maximum 15 minutes. Bob Moyna and Shane Maguire kept the pressure on throughout the night but they too were forced to skip but nevertheless 3rd in semi and 13th over-all a good run for these guys. Novice class winners Niall McKenna and Adrian Treanor had a tremendous run considering they only contest selected events and 8th over-all and the novice class win is a great return on this tricky event. Fintan Clerkin with Martin Tynan driving are moving up the leader board with every event and take 2nd novice and 10th over-all on this event. 3rd novice went to Arthur and Mac Kierans. On a tough night for any beginner it was Corks Matt Shinnors with Catherine Levis on the maps who took a 14 penalty win from Conor Meehan and Brendan Keenan. Aaron Duffy and Michael McCluskey topped off a good season with 3rd beginner.

So that’s it, another navigation season over and with many a story to be told from the past six months, the poti-lamps and romers are back in the cupboards until October at least. Well done to Barry and Kevin on an excellent testing event, thanks to all the marshals who turned out, not only on Friday night but also throughout the course of the season. Keep an eye on club web site and papers for updates on upcoming prizegiving nights for both championships. Well done to our new national navigation champions, Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes as well as new border champions Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins.

Monaghan MC March Navigation Top 12

1/ Gary McElhinney/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza) 35 marks

2/ Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins (Subaru Impreza) 49m

3/ Michael Carbin/Evin Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 58m

4/ Sean McKenna/Garry Farrelly (Subaru Impreza) 63m

5/ Chris Kelly/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 66m

6/ Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 76m

7/ Daniel McKenna/Stephen Hagan (Subaru Impreza) 77m

8/ Niall Kelly/Adrian Treanor (Toyota Celica) 82m

9/ Karl Reid/Aidan Friel (Subaru Impreza) 91m

10/ Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin (Subaru Impreza) 92m

11/ Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall (Subaru Impreza) 98m

12/ Darren Quinn/Nigel McCloughry (Subaru Legacy) 99m.


1/ Sean McKenna/Garry Farrelly

2/ Chris Kelly/Sam Johnston

3/ Bob Moyna/Shane Maguire 101m


1/ Niall Kelly/Adrian Treanor

2/ Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin

3/ Darren Quinn/Nigel McCloughry


1/ Shane Dalton/Michael Reilly (Subaru Impreza) 202m

2/ Matt Shinnors/Catherine Levis (Opel Kadett) 216m

3/ Conor Meehan/Brendan Keenan (Subaru Impreza) 230m

Squealing Pig Border Navigation Prize Giving

Keep free Friday 13th April for the annual Squealing Pig Bar & Restaurant Border Navigation Championship Prizegiving. Proceedings will kick off at 8.00pm sharp in the Squealing Pig with meal followed by prizegiving. Final border championship points will be available shortly so keep an eye out; you may just be a winner. If not come along anyway to support this popular championship with a guaranteed night of banter and reminisce about the season gone past.


Marshals Required

Monaghan MC are urgently looking for marshals for Midland Stages Rally on this Sunday 25th March & for the Circuit of Ireland on Easter weekend, particularly Easter Saturday. Anybody available and willing to help please contact 047-81139 after 7pm or e-mail Monaghan Motor Club at


Comments are closed.