Moffett and O’Reilly Claim Monaghan Double

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


A sun quenched morning greeted all competitors and supporters alike to the 2nd round of the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship at the idealic Hillgrove Hotel last Sunday for the running of Monaghan Motor Clubs annual Stages Rally. Sam Moffett and James O’Reilly recorded their second overall win in as many years in their Fiesta WRC. The local  Monaghan men recorded fastest stage times on all nine stages to make it a double on their home event with a two minute advantage from their nearest rivals Peadar Hurson and Damien Connolly in the unique Cosworth WRC. Daniel McKenna and Stephen Hagan took 3rd overall in their escort. Indeed the battle for two wheel drive honours was fierce with Daniel and Stephen locked in a battle with Gary McPhillips and Paul Sheridan with both crews sharing the stage wins count over the first two loops. Unfortunately for McPhillips/Sheridan their challenge came to an end at the end of stage 7 when there gearbox developed an oil leak which ultimately forced their retirement and allowed Daniel coast home for 3rd overall. Kevin Barrett finished 4th overall and lifted the class 8 honours while Josh Moffett and John Rowan rounded off the top 5 and claimed the group N production class.

            CoC for this prestigious event was Brendan Flynn and along with his team of stage commanders and chief marshals they set out a fabulous route of 3 fast flowing stages in the Sheetrim, Ballybay and Ardaghey areas of West Monaghan with centralised service in the towns main car park. With the sun beaming brightly all day, tyre choice was not an issue as the bumper entry of 131 cars crossed the start ramp to tackle the 9 stages. Many class battles emerged throughout the day as well as hard luck stories. Cavan’s Rodney Wilton and Conor Mc Mahon finally got the result they hoped for with a class 14 win and 6th overall. Monaghan’s John McQuaid and Seamus O’Connor had a great spin through the Monaghan countryside to claim 2nd in class 14 and 8th overall just ahead of Donegals Brian Brogan. Other locals to feature in class 14 included Jack Maguire in 12th overall and Thomas O’Connell and Emmet Sherry in 27th overall. The class 13 battle was fierce as ever with Richard Moffett and Martin Connolly having  the drive of their life to finish in 7th overall and class winners. Raymond Conlon and Darren McCague kept the pressure on Moffett all day to round off the top ten with 2nd in class in the twin cam corolla. Gerard McQuaid took 3rd in class, just 7 seconds ahead of Russell Woods. Damian Hagan and Ciaran McGorman also made the finish in class 13 to 29th overall.

            The class 12 battle was a two way affair for most of the day with Justin Smith and Sharon Clarke holding the advantage over Arthur and Mac Kierans with both crews setting blistering stage times which saw Smith/Clarke up to 16th overall after six stages but unfortunately a puncture on stage 7 put an end to their charge, leaving the Kierans duo

with the class 12 win ahead of Martin Toner in 2nd and Brian Armstrong/Mark Tierney in 3rd. Smith and Clarke eventually finished 4th in class. Class 11R was the biggest of the day with 17 entries. A fierce battle ensued throughout the day with David Moffett and Fintan Sherry coming up trumps with 19th overall and the class win. This rounded of a picture  perfect day for the whole Moffett cousins with 3 class wins and of course the overall win for Sam. 2nd in class 11R went to Kevin Bradley with Barry Treanor and Colm Connolly 3rd in the almost new escort. Martin McPhillips and Ciaran Tynan were 4th in class whilst Sean McCaul and Lorcan Kennedy dusted off the G3 for a days sport and finished 6th in class. Ryan and Nicola McKenna had numerous car issues pre-event but at least got a finish and 7th in class. Cathal McGlone and Mark Deery were 8th, Gerry and Aaron McIntyre 9th and Raymond Scott 10th. Christopher Brennan and Patrick Lyons finished 4th in the class 11 front wheel drive class.

            Class 10 also had another big local entry  with Cathal Sheridan and Evin Hughes enjoying their day in the sun with a class win in the newly built Nova. Ballybays David and Aaron Dixon were 2nd in class with Martin McGuigan and Ryan Brennan 3rd. Padraig Connolly and Padraig Corrigan were 5th in a Peugeot 106. Class 9 honours fell to Cootehills Gene McDonald with Kevin Reilly on the notes in the newly built escort, ahead of Declan Connolly and A Hughes in 2nd with Peter and Shane Farrell taking 3rd in the hired escort. Laurence Sherry and Mark Sheridan had a troubled day but finished the event in 4th. Rodger Kennedy and Wendy Blackledge were the sole finishers in class 7. Class 6 went the way of Darragh Kelly in a Citreon C2R2 with Paddy McDaid 2nd in a similar C2.

            Josh Moffetts 5th overall was more than enough for the class 4 win with Maurice Greaney in 2nd. Pat Kirk was 3rd in an EVO 9 with Martin and Declan Tynan 4th in group N in the EVO 8. Matthew McKenna was navigating for Liam McFall but encountered problems to eventually make the finish, 6th in class. Mark Ewing was the sole finished of class 3 with class 2 going the way of David Keller in a civic with Brian Quigley/Seamus McTigue in 2nd. Francie McKenna and Sean Craig kept up the fight in class 1 with the win in the MG ZR Rover. Class 20 went to David Leonard and Darragh Mullan who finished in 13th overall, followed by Michael Carbin and Emmet McCooey who finished in 23rd place. The junior class 16 was won by Shane Forde and Brian McLoughlin in a civic, followed by Stefen McCann in a 205 and Barry Gallagher 3rd in a civic.

            With dry weather conditions and fast stages their are always casualties and Sunday was no different. Jim McKenna and Thomas Treanor were on a real charge but there day ended with prop shaft failure. Enda McNulty and Stephen Thornton also retired at the end of stage 7 with mechanical gremlins. Johno and Padraig Doogan retired after the first loop in their hired class 13 escort. Paddy Boyle and Marty Sherlock re-joined the event under rally 2 guidance but still failed to make the finish, just not their day! Sean Agnew and Peter Deery retired on stage 4 whilst David Smith and Jason McKenna only managed to complete the first stage. Paddy O’Reilly and Loretta Kelly were up the their usual entertaining tricks but retired on stage 9. John and Niall Kelly were in the lead of class 10 in their twin cam but failed to make it out of stage 3 with mechanical issues. Stephen Rushe and Conor Hagan were in a battle for class 10 honours with eventual winners Cathal Sheridan and Evin Hughes but were cruelly forced into retirement on the last stage. Jonathan Treanor and Adrian Foley had a sudden end to the day over jumps on stage 3 in the newly built Nova.

            So that’s the ever popular Monaghan Stages Rally finished for another year. Well done to Sam and James on the outright win and good luck on the Killarney Rally of the lakes this weekend. CoC Brendan Flynn would like to convey his sincere thanks to our Main sponsor, The Hillgrove Hotel. He also wishes to express his thanks to all local business’s who took ad’s in the rally programme. To all residents and property owner’s along the route. To the Gardai and County Council for their continued support. To his stage commanders, chief marshal, event secretaries and assistant Coc’s without whose help this event could not have been the success it was. Finally to everyone else who helped out in any way, big or small.

            Monaghan Motor Club would also like to wish Daniel McKenna and Arthur Kierans  the very best of luck this weekend when they head to England to compete in the first round of the British Rally Championship in the Pirelli Citreon DS3 R3.


Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally Top 10

1 Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly (Fiesta WRC) 79m 53s

2 Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly (Escort WRC) 81m 53s

3 Daniel McKenna/Stephen Hagan (Escort) 82m 17s

4 Kevin Barrett/Sean Mullally (Impreza WRC) 84m 10s

5 Josh Moffett/John Rowan (Lancer Evo 9) 84m 15s

6 Rodney Wilton/Conor McMahon (Escort) 84m 41s

7 Richard Moffett/Martin Connolly (Starlet) 85m 35s

8 John McQuaid/Seamus O’Connor (Escort) 85m 37s

9 Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan (Escort) 85m 53s

10 Raymond Conlon/Darren McCague (Corolla) 86m 27s



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