Josh victorious in Moffett Podium 1-2, Hillgrove Hotel Stages Rally

Posted: April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

Josh Moffett got the better of older brother Sam, in a superb 1-2 for the Combilift rally team on last Sunday’s Monaghan Stages Rally. After a scintillating battle between the two brothers and National Championship leader Donagh Kelly, it was Josh & co-driver Jason McKenna who emerged victorious by just 5.1 seconds. Josh & Jason said it was a dream come true to win their home event. Sam Moffett & James O’Reilly missed out on completing a hat-trick of Monaghan wins but were full of praise for the winners and were the first to congratulate them at the finish. Donagh Kelly & Kevin Flanagan maintained their lead in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship after a strong drive to 3rd overall just 12.9 seconds behind the event winners.

It was Sam Moffett who set the pace on the opening Lisnalee stage where only 1.3 seconds separated the top four crews. Donagh Kelly took the lead on the shortened stage two, but fastest time on stage 3 promoted Josh Moffett & Jason McKenna into a lead they wouldn’t lose for the rest of the event. Sam Moffett reported losing time on stage two with an overshoot which would be a major factor in the outcome of the event. Peader Hurson/Damien Connolly were a strong 4th overall and were within touch of the leaders with Stephen Wright/Mickie Galvin and Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry completing the top six. Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan led the two wheel drive battle in 7th overall with Donegal’s Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore nine seconds adrift. Shane Maguire/Paul Kelly dropped out of the Group N lead following a stage two accident which left Pat Kirk/John McElhinney in the lead from Martin Doherty/Conor Foley.

Josh Moffett turned in a blinder on stage four where he took five seconds out of everyone to move nearly ten seconds clear and despite a massive moment on stage six which damaged his front wing he maintained the lead at 8.8 seconds. Fastest time on stage six, helped Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly into 2nd place, 1.6 seconds ahead of Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan. Hurson/Connolly maintained a steady 4th and Peader was happier with his performance after stiffening his suspension. Wright/Galvin and Maguire/Sherry continued untroubled in 5th and 6th respectively. McPhillips/Sheridan retained the two-wheel drive lead from Gallagher/Moore with Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne 3rd. Doherty/Foley moved into the Group N lead and were now 3.2 seconds ahead of Kirk/McElhinney with the top four in this class separated by only eight seconds.

The fight for honours intensified as Sam slashed the deficit to Josh to just 3.8 seconds going into the final stage at Ardaghey. Josh held it all together on the final stage taking 1.3 seconds out of Sam to clinch victory by 5.1 seconds! Kelly/Flanagan retained their lead in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship with third overall. Peader Hurson/Damien Connolly brought their ten-year old Subaru to a superb 4th overall which was a great result considering it was the first stages event in the car. Stephen Wright/Mickie Galvin were delighted with 5th overall in their Fiesta R5 with five times winner Niall Maguire & four times winner Enda Sherry securing 6th overall to maintain 2nd overall in the National Championship. Their was late drama in the two wheel drive battle as Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan were sidelined with engine problems just 500 yards from the finish of the last stage. The pair’s rotten luck in Monaghan in recent years continued. Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore finished 1st two-wheel drive car and 7th overall. Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne were 8th overall and won class 14 with Roy White/James O’Brien 9th in their MG and David Moffett/Fintan Sherry 10th overall and third two wheel drive car. Martin Doherty/Conor Foley secured Group N honours from Trevor Bustard/John McCafferty.

Class results:


Pauric McGee/Shane Barry dominated class 1 in their Honda Civic taking the win by over a minute from Declan McShane/Emmet Brosnan. Martin O’Donnell/Eamon Gillespie led home Shane Forde/Seamus McTigue in class two whilst Eoin Neville/Billy Collins took class 3.

Tydavnet’s Conor Foley guided Donegal’s Martin Doherty to 25th overall and 1st in class 4 with Trevor Bustard/John McCafferty 2nd and Pat Kirk/John McElhinney 3rd. Graham & Tom Scallon were the sole finishers in class 5 while Lloyd Hutchinson/Willie Fitzpatrick took class 9 honours in their rapid Mini. Brendan O’Reilly/Mark Hamill took 2nd in class with Declan Connolly/Alison Hughes in 3rd. John & Niall Kelly took a dominate class 10 win while Sam Johnston/Nigel McCloughry took victory in class 11F. Dessie Keenan/James McCarville took a start to finish win class 11R after holding off the challenge of Barry Treanor/Gregory McQuillan. Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan, Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden and Anthony Hand/Peter Deery made it an all Monaghan top five in this class.

Martin Toner/Sharon Clarke won class 12 in their Sunbeam from Border rivals, Brian Armstrong/Mark Tierney. Alan Atchenson/Thomas Wedlock held off Arthur & Mac Kierans for 3rd in class. Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore led home David Moffett/Fintan Sherry in a Starlet 1-2 in class 13. Chris Armstrong/James Fulton were 3rd. Cavan’s Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne took class 14 from Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan and Frank Kelly/Sean Ferris. Martin Donnelly/Brian Doherty won class 15 in their Corolla from the similar car of Eddie Power/Mark Wiley. Stephen Wright/Mickie Galvin won class 20 from Roy White/James O’Brien and Monaghan’s Michael Carbin/Emmet McCooey. Malcolm Pedlow/Ivor Ferguson won the historic class while Wexford’s James Bradley/Maria Kehoe led home Gary McNamee/Breen McNamee and Richard Moore/Brian Halligan in an all Honda top three in the Junior class.

Local crews:


In addition to the crews already mentioned, the following also finished their home event. Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips switched from the forests back to tarmac and came home 21st overall and 6th in class 13. Raymond Conlon/Darren McCague finished 23rd overall and 7th in the same class. Jim McKenna/Thomas Treanor took 29th overall and 6th in class 14. Gerard McQuaid/Gary Quinlan were 33rd overall and 9th in class 13 while Barry McKenna/Padraig Doogan were 42nd and 11th in class 13. Vincent McAree/Martin Connolly continue to find their feet in their new Escort which they brought home in 13th in class and 51st overall. Peter Farrell guided Declan Smith to 59th overall and 14th in class. Paddy O’Reilly & Loretta Kelly were 66th overall and 9th in class. Jack Maguire/Andy Hayes had a troubled run to 74th overall whilst Cathal McGlone/Michael Sheridan also had dramas en route to 77th overall and 5th in class. Sean McCaul/Frank Clerkin took 85th overall and 13th in class 11R. Andy Mackarel/Derek Mackarel were 87th overall and 6th in class in their Lancer. Kevin Treanor guided Gerard Corey to 88th overall and 11th in class 12. Brendan McAree/JP McAree brought their gorgeous Porsche 911 home 96th overall and 11th in class 14. Martin McGuigan/Mark Slowey were 102nd overall and 5th in class 10. Ryan & Nicola McKenna and Pauric Duffy/John Higgins both rejoined under Rally 2 to take 107th and 108th overall respectively. Martin Swinburne/Gretchen Fegan had a good run to 4th in the Junior class with Stefan McCann/Stephen McElroy 11th in the same class.

John McQuaid/Stephen Hagan had been holding 2nd in class and 9th overall but went off over the finish line of stage five. Justin Smyth/Lindsay Boyd also failed to make to finish after holding 4th in class 12. Declan Tynan & driver, Enda McLaughlin dropped out on stage seven. Stephen Reynolds/Jason Gillespie made it as far as stage two before their event came to an

end. Damien McGauren/Michaela McGinn dropped out on stage eight while David & Robert Smyth retired on stage three. Donal Crossan/Damien McCabe didn’t make it through the last loop as did Paddy Connolly/Paul Maguire. Gary McKenna/Aiden Coyle and Johnny Treanor/Adrian Foley both failed to finish in the Junior class.

Congratulations to CoC Brendan Flynn and his team on running a safe and enjoyable event for both competitor and spectator. Brendan thanked everyone for their dedicated efforts and assistance in making the event such a great success. He thanked Monaghan County Council and Monaghan Municipal District who have helped the club to promote and facilitate the rally, which has continued to grow in stature; An Garda Siochana for their help and assistance over the course of the weekend. Their presence was very evident in ensuring that traffic continued to flow despite the heavy volume. Brendan also thanked the residents along the route for their welcome, co-operation and support. Over 200 marshals lined the rally route during the course of the day and they deserve a special note of thanks a well as the Civil Defence personnel who worked long hours during the event. There was a final word of thanks to the team at the Hillgrove Hotel for their on-going support, once again ensuring that the Monaghan Stages Rally was another resounding success this year.


Foley grabs glory on Border Hopper Rally


Maiden City Motor Club hosted a single stage rally in Donegal last Saturday where many crews went on to compete on the Monaghan Stages the next day. Conor Foley guided Donagh Kelly to victory on the event before swapping seats with Kevin Flanagan for Monaghan the next day. Arthur Kierans guided Derek McGeehan to 3rd overall. Pauric Duffy/John Higgins were 5th overall in their Fiesta. Mac Kierans guided Brendan McDaid to 15th overall & Paul Sheridan guided Enda McNulty to 18th. Barry McKenna/Padraig Doogan finished 23rd overall.



Monaghan Motor Club extends its condolences to the family of the late Mrs Nancy Duffy, Rausker, Ballybay, who passed away on Thursday 23rd April. The rally was re-routed as a mark of respect.


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