McElhinney and Connolly win Navigation Opener

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 Saturday night last saw Monaghan Motor Club run the first of this years night navigations. Coc for the event Shane Maguire and his team laid on a magnificent route and with 40 starters it was sure to be a test of man and machine. Local man Damien Connolly with Donegal’s Gary McElhinney behind the wheel led the event from start to finish to take a narrow 1 penalty win from Michael and Ciaran Tynan in 2nd with midland’s men Colin Duffy and Sam Johnston 3rd.

            As the event left Bellanode and headed south along the Clones/Monaghan road the lane’s came thick and fast with some expert crews dropping penalties as early as time point 5. Tp6 was a grassy lane alongside Shane’s own house as the event moved northwards towards the Bragan Mountain area. Time point 11 and 12 were located in the same place, which caused difficulties further down the field as most semi and novice crews dropped time or missed them completely. Time points 18 to 22 were once again located in the Bragan Mountain’s with fast flowing gravel lanes and the odd tight farmyard ensuring there was no let up as the plot and bash sections were very well laid out and tricky. By mid way Connolly and McElhinney were on a clean sheet with Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins 2nd on 1 penalty with the novice pairing of Martin Tynan and Fintan Clerkin a creditable 3rd on 2 penalties.

            A quick petrol halt in the Killylough area just north of Tydavnet was a welcomed break for all competitors as more of the same lay ahead through the second half. Timepoints 26-30 were also plot and bash and once again their locations were set out in such a way that any small navigator error resulted in missing time points or worse still, double visits. Nineteen of the 37 crews still in the hunt missed time points 28 and 29 altogether as they failed to negotiate a tulip diagram correctly, leading them straight to time point 30. The last 5 timepoints led crews back to the Bellanode/Tydavnet areas as the overall result was ultimately decided on the last lane of the night with all crews dropping time. McElhinney/Connolly did drop 3 minutes on this last lane but they had done enough to secure the over-all win. This result leaves this years club navigation championship going to the wire and will be decided on the Drumlin on 10th November. Provisionally Damian Connolly now has a 2 point advantage over Liam Higgins for the navigators award while Andy Mackarel and Michael Carbin are head to head for the drivers award.

            McElhinney/Connolly’s win left three crews tied on 5 penalties for the expert class win but the furthest cleanest rule mean’t Michael and Ciaran Tynan took the expert class win and 2nd overall ahead of Colin Duffy and Sam Johnston with the Monaghan/Donegal pairing of Damian Hagan and Aidan Friel 3rd. Sean McKenna and Gary Farrelly picked up where they left off last season with another semi-expert class win. It was a close battle for 2nd but it was the midlands men Packie Duffy and Nigel McCloughery who scraped through for 2nd on 54pens ahead of Michael McCluskey and Francis Keenan on 56pens. Fintan Clerkin put his recent navigation classes to good use and came out with a novice class win along with driver Martin Tynan. Double visit penalties, their biggest downfall of the night as 2nd overall was within their reach. 2nd novice went to Mark Donnelly and Martin Connolly who also had double visit penalties. 3rd novice home was Eoghan Corr and Brendan Treanor. This crew weren’t down much time but five missed time points dropped them down the overall standings. In the beginners class it was an excellent result for Derek Mackarel, driven by Richard Cassidy in the trusty vectra. This was Derek’s first time navigating and only missed two timepoints along the way. 2nd beginner went to Michael Conlon and Paul Mulholland who was also out for he first time. Andrew Stewart and Robert Howard were 3rd beginner on a testing night for their immaculate Peugeot 205.

            So a great event to kick-start the new navigation season. Well done to Shane as first time CoC, and he would like to thank Michael Carbin, Evin Hughes, Fintan Sherry and Bart along with the many others who helped PR and aid in the successful running of this event. Shane would also like to thank residents along the route, especially those who granted permission for use of private lanes, to the many marshals who turned out on the night, Bellanode community centre, Maggies Bar and the women who looked after the soup and sambo’s, Maguire International for scrutiny facilities, results teams and anyone else who helped out in any way. The upcoming Drumlin on 10th November with Mr. Northern Sound himself, Sean McCaffery as Coc will be the decider for all club navigation classes and is sure to live up to its reputation as a demanding event. Also keep free Saturday 1st December for Monaghan Motor Clubs annual Dinner Dance and awards ceremony where all club navigation awards will be presented.       



Co. Monaghan MC Navigation Top 12:

1/ Gary McElhinney/Damien Connolly (Subaru Impreza) 4 marks

2/ Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 5m

3/ Colin Duffy/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 5m

4/ Damien Hagan/Aidan Friel (Subaru Impreza) 5m

5/ Sean McKenna/Garry Farrelly (Subaru Impreza) 32m

6/ Andy Mackarel/Liam Higgins (Subaru Impreza) 42m

7/ Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin (Subaru Impreza) 46m

8/ Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall (Subaru Impreza) 48m

9/ Justin Smyth/Conor Maguire (Subaru Impreza) 50m

10/ Packie Duffy/Nigel McCloughry (Subaru Impreza) 54m

11/ Micheal McCluskey/Francis Keenan (Subaru Impreza) 56m

12/ Ray O’Neill/Stephen O’Neill (Ford Mondeo) 56m


‘CORK 20’ International Rally

It was another successful weekend for Monaghan crews on the Cork 20 International Rally last weekend. Monaghan’s Enda Sherry was navigating for Darren Gass on this the final round of this years Tarmac Championship. Although they didn’t finish the event they had still done enough to be crowned 2012 Tarmac Champions. (See full report elsewhere)

            It was a double success as Sam Moffatt and James O’Reilly brought their EVO9 home to 5th overall and in doing so they were crowned Group N champions for 2012. A magnificent feat for the Monaghan men. Monaghan Motor Club would like to congratulate both crews on their achievements, the first time Monaghan club members have won both the overall and Group N awards in the Tarmac Championship.


Donegal Harvest Stages Rally

Best of luck to all local competitors heading for Donegal this weekend to contest the final round of both the National and Border Championships. The Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town is the place to be this Saturday and with both the National and Border Championships still undecided its all to play for on the narrow Donegal roads with Monaghan crews in the hunt for both titles. Full report next week.


Comments are closed.