Arthur and Mac Kierans retain Border Rally Championship

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

All roads led to Donegal town last weekend for the final rounds of the 2012 Dunlop National and Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championships. With both the National and Border Championships still up for grabs and a bumper entry list this was sure to be an action packed event. Gary Jennings and Neil Doherty were number one seeds, the first of nine WRC cars to start the event and lived up to their billing as they led from start to finish in their Subaru Impreza. Local cousins Declan and Brian Boyle finished in 2nd overall on their second event in a WRC spec machine and were almost two minutes ahead of their nearest rivals. Cork’s Brian O’Mahoney and John Higgins were 3rd overall and despite a few scares throughout the day this result mean’s they lifted the Dunlop National Rally title for 2012.   Niall Maguire and Enda Sherry were on a great pace all day and finished in 4th overall and won class 8. They also won the Sligo Pallets Drive of the day award for their efforts. Kerry men Thomas Fitzmaurice and Fionn Foley were the third crew in contention for the National title but had to settle for 5th overall in Donegal.

            Donegal man Declan Gallagher was first in the two wheel drive category in a class 13 starlet with Camillus Bradley 2nd twd in his class 14 escort. Dessie Keenan and James McCarville had a fantastic drive through the tricky Donegal Stages and were easily the entertainers of the day in a class 11 escort. Dessie hasn’t rallied competitvley on tarmac in over two years and to bring this class 11 escort home to 10th overall amongst strong opposition was a tremendous feat. Frank Kelly and Liam Brennan had a somewhat subdued day by their high standards and finished 12th overall and 2nd class 14. Frank and Liam were counting themselves lucky as they were in the scenery on stage 4, but got back on track with the help of spectators and went on to claim the 2012 two wheel drive title. Cavan’s Jonathan Pringle and Martin Byrne had another good run to finish 3rd in class 13 in their immaculate escort. Emmett Sherry was navigating for the ultra quick Damian McCarthey in a class 11 civic but despite their best efforts they simply couldn’t reel in the hard charging Keenan and McCarville and had to settle for 2nd in class and 15th overall.

            Arthur and Macartan Kierans claimed their second Border Rally Title in as many years with a measured drive to finish in 18th overall. Despite a few moments early on Arthur and Mac held their nerve through the narrow Donegal lanes and with three previous class wins under their belts a 2nd in class on this occasion ensured the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Trophey stays in Aghabog for another year.

            Michael Conlon and Darragh Mullan were on a steady pace throughout the day and finished in 24th overall in the MC Blinds escort. Class 10 was a tight battle throughout the day as Barry and Jonathan Treanor were early leaders on the opening loop but a big moment on stage 4 saw them drop back to 2nd in class, which they held on to for the remainder of the day. Cavan’s Patrick Kiernan and Darren O’Brien won class 10 as Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes were forced into retirement in their 205 while in contention for class honours. Maudabawns Damian O’Reilly and Damian McCabe were winners in the highly competitive class 9 ahead of Donegal men Barry McGill and Derek Heena who co-incidentally finished 2nd overall in the Border Championship. 3rd class 9 went to Justin Smyth and Gregory McQuillan who had a troubled day despite leading class 9 early on. The Lisnalong crew were forced to stop on stage as a fuel line became dislodged and had it not been for the help of fellow crews in lending them petrol for the final stage Justin and Gregory may have been forced into retirement. 

            Gary McPhillips was sporting the ex-Declan Boyle escort in Donegal and along with his Newbliss navigator Sean Mc Phillips finished 5th in class. They were forced to stop on stage with manifold issues, which cost them almost seven minutes dropping them well down the leaderboard. Sean was navigating for Gary by merit of buying the navigators seat at an auction in aid of the Jack and Jill foundation almost two years ago and enjoyed his day in Donegal despite their mechanical problems. Martin Donnolly and Paul Sheridan finished 6th in class 4 and may have encountered problems along the way. Michael Carroll and Martin Connolly finished 2nd in class 3 in a fiesta.

            Josh Moffatt and John Rowan continued their bad run of luck in recent events as they were forced into retirement as were Shane Maguire and Martin McGarrity with gearbox issues. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor’s day ended spectacurely with a visit to the scenery, whilst Seamus Connolly and Gary McCrudden’s good run of results came to an end with what sounded like a broken manifold. David Smyth and Mark Deery also failed to make the finish in their class 11 twin cam.

            The historic Rally was won by Donal Connolly in an escort with Philip Kibbon 2nd in a cortina and Andrew Harvey 3rd in a sunbeam. The junior rally was a titanic battle as Honda civic’s took the top 5 places. Bernard Foley had an 11 second winning margin from Kevin Mc Laughlin with Damien Boyle 3rd, 5 seconds further adrift.

            So that’s it for the National and Border Championships for 2012. Well done to Arthur and Mac on retaining the Border title. Also well done to Niall and Enda for pushing the National Championship to the wire and also congratulations to all local crews who picked up class awards in this years championships. Keep free Saturday 3rd November for Sligo Pallets Border Championship prize giving in Sligo Park Hotel and also the Dunlop National prize giving is on Saturday 17th November in Hudson Bay Hotel, Athlone.



1/ Garry Jennings/Neil Doherty (Impreza WRC) 78m 06s

2/ Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Impreza WRC) 78m 17s

3/ Brian O’Mahony/John Higgins (Impreza WRC) 80m 06s

4/ Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Impreza WRC) 80m 11s

5/ Thomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley (Impreza WRC) 80m 45s

6/ Kevin Kelleher/John McCafferty (Impreza WRC) 81m 32s

7/ Declan Gallagher/Ronan Murrin (Starlet) 82m 42s

8/ Martin Doherty/Damien McCauley (Lancer Evo 9 Gp N) 83m 25s

9/ Camillus Bradley/Crawford Henderson (Escort) 83m 50s

10/ Dessie Keenan/James McCarville (Escort) 83m 55s


GSMC Mini Stages Rally

Garda Siochana Motor Club hosted the final round of the Midlands East Rally Championship on Sunday last. The County Wicklow town of Baltinglass was a hub of activity with 75 starters crossing the start ramp for this popular six-stage event. Frank Kelly made the quick dash from Donegal where he competed the day before to take a memorable win with navigator Martin Brady.

The slippery Wicklow roads made Franks win all the more special, ahead of a trio of Evos as Eugene Meegan and Brian Sharkey finished 2nd overall, 53seconds adrift. Number 1 seed’s Danial Barry and Gordan Noble were aiming to make it three wins in a row but had to settle for 3rd overall on this occasion.

                 As always there were a number of local crews in contention as Damian Connolly navigated Liam Bowhan to 7th overall and a class 13 win in the ultra quick starlet. Incidentally Lloyd Hutchinson had an incredible run to finish in 6th overall in his now infamous class 9 Austin mini. Jonathan Treanor also made to overnight trip from Donegal to navigate for midlands east championship leader Adrian Cannon and they had a perfect run to finish 18th overall and take the class 2 victory in a civic. This result ensured Adrian Cannon lifted the Midlands East title for 2012.

                 Paddy O’Reilly and Jim Casey took their escort G5 to the slippey Wicklow roads and finished 4th in class 13 and 28th overall. Barry McKenna and Daragh Mullan were seeded 11th in the New Holland Agri Escort but unfortunately they left their luck at home with an off road excursion on stage 1 to end their day. Patrick Connolly and Stefan McCann also failed to finish in their class 4 impreza as did John Kelly and Niall Kelly in their class 10 twin cam.



Monaghan Motor Club wishes to express its deepest sympathy to the Hagan family, Threemilehouse on the recent passing of Vincent Hagan. Vincent is survived by his wife Madge and sons Damian, Paul and Stephen


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