Mc Phillips/Sheridan reap the rewards of Harvest Victory.

Posted: October 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

 

Gary McPhillips and Paul Sheridan made it a Monaghan double in Donegal this year, winning the Donegal Harvest Stages Rally last Saturday.

This followed on from Sam Moffett and James O’Reillys empathic win on the Donegal International Rally earlier in the year. Mc Phillips/Sheridan were made to work for their win on the narrow and bumpy roadways of Northwest Donegal around the Gweedore and Dungloe regions of the picturesque Donegal Gealtacht area. Number 2 seeds and local men, Declan and Brian Boyle crossed the start ramp as favourites and held the early lead but Gary McPhillips and Paul Sheridan took over at the front on stage 3 as the Boyle cousins succumbed to the tricky conditions. The iconic red escort of McPhillips/Sheridan never looked back and increased their lead with every stage to take a well deserved win by a minute and fifteen seconds from Donegal men Patrick McHugh and Padraic O’Donnell. 3rd overall went to another Donegal crew who were on a blistering pace in a class 11 twin cam, Patrick Boyle and Donal Cole. Gary and Paul would like to thank their service team of Cathal and Francis and all who help in their quest for the overall win.

            This event was also the final round of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship and with four crews still in contention pre-event it was all to play for. Cavan man Gary Kiernan with Monaghan’s Niall Tierney on the notes had held a one point advantage over their rivals and a class 10 win on the day ensured the 2103 Sligo Pallets Border Championship was headed for Cavan. A fitting tribute to Gary’s older brother Paddy who passed away earlier this year.

            Raymond Conlon and Darren McCague also made the trip to Donegal and it paid dividends with a superb 5th overall and 1st in class in the Conlon travel backed twin cam. This result left Raymond 2nd in class 13 in this years border championship. Double Border champions, Arthur and Mac Kierans did all they could to make it a treble this year with a class 12 win on the day but it wasn’t to be as they fell short by a point to Kiernan/Tierney. Indeed the Aghabog men were made to work hard all day with only a second separating them and James Cassidy going into the final loop of 3 stages but in true Kierans fashion the KES escort steamed to a class win and 11th overall. Cavan’s Damian O’Reilly and Damien McCabe took the class 9 spoils and 14th overall after a hard fought battle with Justin Smyth and Gregory McQuillan but the Lisnalong men retired on stage 5. Justin and Gregory finished 2nd in class 9 in this years championship.

            Barry Treanor and Colm Connolly were another crew to excel in the tricky Donegal terrain with 2nd in class 11 and 16th overall in an escort. David Smyth and Mark Deery finish their border campaign with 26th overall and 5th in class but more importantly their consistency paid off with a class win in the border championship. John and Niall Kelly were another Monaghan crew to reap the rewards of consistency with 2nd in class 10 on the day but also lifting the class 10 crown in this years championship. Seamus Connolly and Gary McCrudden had a troubled day in the Donegal hills to eventually finish 42nd overall in an escort and were 3rd in class 11R in this years championship. Francie McKenna and Sean Craig finished off their year on a high in the unique Rover MG with a class win on the day and a class win in the championship.

            As always there must be losers and non finishers and the Donegal countryside was to claim over half of the starting 127 in the main field! Class 4 which is the group N production category threw up some great results for Monaghan crews this year but unfortunately Donegal was to bite back. Josh Moffett and James O’Reilly were lying in 3rd overall before a bad stage time on 3 dropped them back to 17th overall. Nevertheless they punched in some great time over the next 5 stages and were back up to joint 4th overall but they disappeared off the leader board on the final stage and into retirement. However Josh still did enough to claim 1st in class 4 in the border championship. Shane Maguire and Enda Sherry also made the start ramp and were giving a good account, lying 4th overall after the sixth stage but they two were to encounter mechanical woes which forced them into retirement. Shane finished 2nd in class 4 in the border championship. 

 

Moffett and Connolly take the win in Baltinglass

Richard Moffett and Martin Connolly made their trip south to Baltinglass last Sunday very worthwhile, coming away with the overall win in their trusty class 13 starlet amongst some very stiff competition.  The Monaghan men laid down the gauntlet to their rivals early on, pulling out a 10 second lead on the opening stage but with four different drivers destined to share the lead over the next five stages it was to be a battle to the wire for the Moffett Engineering backed starlet. Fortunately Richard and Martin turned a one second deficit into a three second win through the final stage to take a well deserved first overall win of their short rallying career, the first of many hopefully. Mike Quinn finished 2nd overall in a class 14 escort, followed by Shay Power and Paul Collins in 3rd, also in an escort.

            Barry and Darren McKenna made their trip worthwhile also with a 12th overall finish and 2nd in class 13 in the McKenna Agri/New Holland backed escort. Unfortunately David Moffett and Fintan Sherry’s day was short lived with retirement on the opening loop, but with the overall win going to big brother Richard they still had something to celebrate!

 

Rallye Sunseeker

Best wishes to Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans who travel to Dorset this weekend to compete in the final round of the British Rally Championship. Daniel and Arthur are currently leading the R2 category in the championship, but need a top 5 class finish to ensure that they take the title back to Monaghan. Full report next week.

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