Monaghan Crews secure 2014 title wins in Donegal

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

MOFFETT and SHERRY are Border Rally Champions

It was a great weekend for local crew David Moffett and Fintan Sherry as they were crowned the 2014 Sligo Pallets Border Rally Champions at the Donegal Harvest Rally on Saturday in their Toyota Starlet, bringing the title back to Monaghan for the third year in a row. Having won their class in three of the four previous rounds the crew knew that victory in class 11R would guarantee them the title but they wee going to have to fight for it. While a good run of form over the course season plus victory in the Junior Rally of the Donegal International earlier in the year inspired confidence it would count for nothing today if things went wrong.

Stage one saw Moffett and Sherry set the second fastest time sitting just 1.8 seconds behind Paul Carron and Andrew Browne in a Toyota Corolla. On stage two the action really kicked off as Donegal’s Paul and Patrick Gallagher set fastest time in their Mk1 Escort by almost twenty seconds to lead the class as Moffett and Sherry slipped to third 8.3 seconds off the lead. But on stage three things changed again as the Monaghan crew won the stage setting a time over ten seconds faster than anyone else to shoot into the lead, they now led the class by just 2.2 seconds heading into the first service stop.

After the break the pair extended their lead on the fourth test until an impressive time form the Gallaghers saw them share the lead of the class with Moffett and Sherry with an equal overall time of 46:54.6 setting things up for a cracking battle going into the afternoon. Stage six saw the Monaghan crew really put the power down and ended the stage 8.5 seconds ahead of the Gallaghers who held second heading into the final service stop.

Moffett and Sherry extended their lead of stage 7 but a lightning time from their Donegal rivals saw Paul and Patrick Gallagher take the lead by 11 seconds heading into the final stage. The lads responded magnificently and set fastest time on stage 9 by 12.2 seconds to win class 11R by a mere 1.2 seconds. A fantastic performance to back up a deserving victory in the championship. Well done lads!


Maguire and Thornton take the Group N National Title in Donegal

It’s a weekend to remember for Monaghan’s Shane Maguire and Stephen Thornton as they wrapped up the Dunlop National Group N title on the Donegal Harvest Rally. With championship rival Josh Moffett not starting the event things were made a lot easier for Maguire who came into the rally with a commanding lead in the championship.

Stage one went to Border Rally Championship regulars Martin Doherty and Conor Foley who

led Maguire and Thornton by ten seconds with Trevor Bustard and John McCafferty in third.

By the first service Maguire had dropped to fifth in the standings almost 44 seconds off the class lead. Doherty led a hard charging Gary Cairns and Justin Coyle by 28.7 seconds with Bustard in third and Aidan Wray and Kieran McGrath in fourth,

The second loop of stages saw the demise of Cairns retiring on stage 5. Doherty was in a commanding lead at this point and led Bustard by almost 76 seconds with Maguire in Third.

Positions remained unchanged over the final loop and Martin Doherty crossed the finish line to win Group N 1:40 but it was Shane Maguire and Stephen Thornton that were in celebration mood as the lifted the trophy to win the National Group N championship bringing the title to Monaghan along with the Irish Tarmac Group N title won by Josh Moffett.

Elsewhere in the rally it was a mixed day for other Monaghan crews. Niall Maguire continued his comeback from injury in his Subaru S11 with Paul Goodman on the notes finishing eight overall and second in class eight. Michael Carbin and Emmett McCooey had a good run to second in class 20 in their Subaru Impreza N12. Richard Moffett and Eamon Hayes finished third in class 13. Dessie Keenan had an eye catching return to rallying in class 13 with Enda Sherry on the notes, he led the modified section and held fourth overall at one point until a puncture dropped him down the order where he eventually finished 19th overall and sixth in class. Raymond Conlon and Gary McKenna finished fifth in class 13. John and Niall Kelly performed brilliantly to win class 10 in their Corolla. Lawrence Sherry and Mark Sheridan finished fourth in class 9 while Arron Duffy and Keith McConnon finished behind them in fifth. Cathal Sheridan and Peter Deery finished third in class 10, enough to claim the class 10 title in this years Sligo Pallets Border Championship.  while Declan Connolly and Alison Hughes finished eight in class 9. There were retirements for Sa Moffett and James O’Reilly, Brendan and JP McAree and Barry Treanor and Colm Connolly.

The event was won by Donegal’s Declan and Brian Boyle who were crowned Dunlop National Rally Champions


Moffett and McKenna Take Maiden Forestry Win In Carrick On Suir

To round off yet another fantastic weekend of results for Monaghan Motor Club members, Josh Moffett and Jason McKenna claimed their first outright victory on the Willie Loughman Memorial Carrick Forest Rally. Based in the Suir Valley, the six stage event was the penultimate round of the Valvoline Irish Forestry Championship and what a battle it turned out to be.

Stage one saw Andrew Purcell and John Rafter set the pace with a time of 8:01.0 over the 13km test which was 2.3 seconds faster than forestry regular Owen Murphy and James O’Reilly. Moffett and McKenna sat a further 7.5 seconds behind in third with Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan 2.1 seconds adrift in fourth. Shane McGirr and Jackie Elliot held the lead in the modifieds 1.9 seconds ahead of Mickey Conlon and Ciaran McPhillips.

Andrew Purcell lost approximately 13 seconds on stage 2 due to an overshoot and stall at a hairpin dropping him to third. Josh Moffett set the fastest time on the test to hold second overall. Owen Murphy was third fastest but did enough to move into a 3.5 second lead. Desi Henry was second fastest to hold station in fourth. Stage three saw Purcell set the fastest time to leave the top four separated by 7.7 seconds. In Group N it was Sam Moffett who led the way while McGirr had extended his modified lead to 16.5 seconds over Conlon.

Josh Moffett and Desi Henry tied on stage 4 with a time of 7.46, the pace had gone up a gear as times were 15 secs quicker than the first run. Moffett took the lead as Murphy dropped to second, the Cork man was 4.6 seconds off the pace and now trailed the Monaghan man by 2 secs. Henry moved up one place to third 5.3 seconds off Murphy while Andrew Purcell slipped to fourth a further 2.3 secs back. On stage five things got really tight as Murphy set the second fastest time to close within a second of Moffett and with Purcell winning the stage the top four were now separated by just 5.7 seconds heading into the final test. Moffett knew what he had to do on the final stage and set the fastest time to win the rally by five seconds over Desi Henry who leapfrogged Owen Murphy on the last test. Murphy ended the rally 7.8 seconds off the lead with Andrew Purcell a further 5.7 seconds behind in fourth.

Sam Moffett took fifth overall and the Group N win to make up for the disappointment of the Donegal Harvest the day before. In the modified section Shane McGirr won by 30.7 seconds from Mickey Conlon. Martin and Declan Tynan made a return to the gravel stages in their EVO 8 after a few years absence and quickly git back into the swing of things, finishing 12th overall and take the class 6 win.


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