Moffett & McKenna are Irish Forestry Champions

Posted: November 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


Josh Moffett & Jason McKenna became the first Monaghan crew since 1991 to win the Valvoline Irish Forestry Championship, clinching the title at the final round, the Glens Forestry Rally on Saturday last. The Limavady-based event was the conclusion of the battle between the Monaghan crew and Michael O’Brien/Liam Brennan. Former champion O’Brien in his Ford Focus WRC led on points starting the rally but Moffett/McKenna were in pole position on dropped scores in their Evo 9.

The Glens rally comprised two classic stages run 3 times each. Needing to win the rally to secure the title, O’Brien through down the gauntlet with a great run through the opening stage to take 2nd overall behind last year’s Glens winner Desi Henry. Josh and Jason were languishing in 8th, partly due no doubt to Josh not being on the pace, having attended his grandmother’s funeral on the previous day. However, the Monaghan pair eventually recovered to slot into 4th place overall, despite a puncture four miles from the end of stage 4. By the start of the final stage, O’Brien was in 2nd with the Combilift crew in 4th, it was going to be a straight shoot-out between them. With nothing to lose, O’Brien went for it but ran wide on a corner and retired his Focus on a bank. Josh and Jason finished in a steady 4th place overall to secure the title.

The Monaghan pair have been at the forefront of the Forestry championship for the last couple of years, narrowly losing out to Owen Murphy last year. They follow in the footsteps of Clones men Andy Mackarel & Damien Courtney who won the championship in its first year.

Michael Carbin & Darragh Kelly put in an impressive drive to take 6th overall and 2nd in class. Emmet Sherry guided Tommy O’Connell to 32nd overall. James O’Reilly was navigating for Martin McCormack as a shakedown for next weekend’s Rally GB.  Their event came to an end on stage 3. Michael Conlon & Ciaran McPhillips retired on the final loop, but still finished 4th overall in the championship. Derek Mackarel/Daire Hayes also retired but were 3rd in the Junior category in the championship. Alan Atchenson/Mac Kierans, Damien McGuaren/Michaela McGinn, and Paul Clarke/James McCarville all failed to finish on what was a tough event for man and machine.

Tynans Triumph on the Drumlin

Michael and Ciaran Tynan claimed back to back drumlin night navigation victories last Saturday night on the infamous Monaghan Motor Club event based in Ballybay. COC Evin Hughes and his team laid on a mammoth route which saw 60 time controls over a 110 mile route through the rolling drumlins of mid-Monaghan. Hardly a lane or by-road was missed from Swans Cross to the outskirts of Castleblaney and beyond. This event was the first round of the National & Squealing Pig Border Navigation Championship and the last counting round of the Gary Nesbitt Club Navigation Championship.

The first of 32 starters left Pearse Bros GAA complex, Ballybay at 9.01pm in dry weather conditions. As early as time point 2 all crews were under pressure, dropping minutes as only two expert crews of Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall and Rory Coyle/Ciaran Coyle managed to keep a clean sheet to time point 6. Some tricky plot and bash sections from tp 17-20 saw all crews drop time with Derek Mackarel and Cork woman, Muireann Hayes taking over the lead, dropping only 1 penalty through this passage of the event. The latter time points of the first half also saw all crews drop time as the event moved swiftly through some great farm lanes in the Nart, Swans Cross area before a well earned petrol halt in Rockcorry. Donegal brothers, Rory and Ciaran Coyle were having a good night, holding the lead at the petrol halt with a 2 penalty advantage over Mackarel/Hayes (8pens) with the Tynans in 3rd place on 10pens.

The second half picked up where the first had left off with any little mistakes sure to be punished. The event move eastwards through Latton and Aghnamullen before winding its way back towards Ballybay after almost 5 hours of competition. Time points 45-48 ultimately turned out to decide the winners as some very tricky plot and bash proved difficult to negotiate. Event leaders Rory and Ciaran Coyle missed two time points through this section which knocked them off top spot. Michael and Ciaran Tynan dropped 6 minutes through these time points to move into the lead where they would remain until the end. This result ensured the Clones/Newbliss pairing also lifted the 2015 Gary Nesbitt Club Navigation Championship for the first time.

Novice pairing of Keith McConnon and Michael McCluskey had a great run to 2nd overall on what was a very difficult night for novice and beginner crews. Trevor Farrell and Noel Hall also upped the ante on the night to take 3rd place and the expert class win ahead of Fintan Larmer and Sean McCaffery in 2nd with Donegal brothers Rory and Ciaran Coyle 3rd. John Kelly and Jonathan McGovern gave a great account of themselves in the semi-expert category with a class win and a fine 5th overall finish. Michael Carbin and Darragh Kelly were 2nd in the semi class ahead of Peter Farrell and Arthur Kierans. Arthur decided to try the navigator’s seat for the night and proved he is not just a good navigator on the stages but can also read a map! McConnon/McCluskey took the novice award with their 2nd place overall which left Colm and Conor Mohan in 2nd Novice and Emmet McCooey and Conor Boylan 3rd. On a tough night for beginners it was Patrick Connolly and Stephen McElroy who just pipped Mark Sheridan and Craig McPhillips for class honours by a mere 4 penalties. 3rd beginner went to Caolan and Ryan Treanor.

So that’s the Drumlin Navigation over for another year and the National and Squealing Pig Border Navigation Championships up and running. Well done to Evin Hughes and his assistant Packie Duffy and their many helpers for a great event. Evin would like to thank the many residents and land owners along the route for their support. He also extends a big thank you to the huge numbers of marshals who turned out, the results teams, Ballybay GAA complex, PR teams and everyone else who helped out in any way, big or small.


Drumlin Navigation Trial Top 10

1/ Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 21 marks 2/ Keith McConnon/Micheal McCluskey (Subaru Impreza) 40m 3/ Trevor Farrell/Noel Hall (Subaru Impreza) 64m 4/ Fintan Larmer/Sean McCaffrey (Subaru Impreza) 67m 5/ John Kelly/Jonathan McGovern (Subaru Impreza) 71m 6/ Rory Coyle/Ciaran Coyle (Subaru Impreza) 77m 7/ Gregory McQuillan/Conor Maguire (Subaru Impreza) 91m 8/ Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes (Subaru Impreza) 93m 9/ Mickey Carbin/Darragh Kelly (Subaru Impreza) 111m 10/ Dermot Whelton/Mark McCarthy (Subaru Impreza) 155m 11/ Colm Mohan/Conor Mohan (Subaru Impreza) 160m 12/ Emmet McCooey/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 169m


Maguire clinches West Coast Championship

Shane Maguire clinched the West Coast Rally Championship for a third time. The Banna Beach-based Kerry Mini Stages Rally last Sunday was the final round of the championship. Shane adopted a steady approach needing a decent finish to secure the title. He and co-driver Paul McLaughlin made steady progress from 20th place after stage 1 to 11th overall and 1st in Group N by the day’s end. This was enough to secure Shane’s 3rd West Coast Championship success, a championship that his father Niall is also a previous winner of.

Elsewhere, Paul Kelly teamed up with Limerick’s Paul Purtill and they finished 8th overall and 3rd in class 13. . Martin Connolly guided Liam Bowhan to 14th overall and 5th in class 13. Anthony Hand with Ella Ryan on the notes secured 18th overall and 1st in class 11R.


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