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There was mixed success for Monaghan crews on last weekend’s Donegal Harvest Rally.

The event was the final round of the 2018 Triton National Rally Championship as well as the Sligo Pallets Border Rally Championship.

Josh Moffett was attempting to emulate his brother Sam by completing a hat-trick of championships in the one season after his Tarmac & Forestry title successes. However he faced an up battle as Donegal’s Declan Boyle with Scotstown’s James O’Reilly only needed a top 8 finish to deny Moffett the title.

2017 Champion Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson set the early pace in very tricky wet conditions. The weather suited their R5 specification Fiesta particularly on stage three where they 10 seconds quicker than anyone else despite a moment on a bank. Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty were in 2nd despite having to drive most of stage three with two wheel drive only. He trailed his brother by 29 seconds. Title rival Boyle was suffering from a serious head cold and wasn’t taking any chances. He was as low as 20th before a 2nd fastest time on stage three saw him climb to 12th by service.

The Donegal/Monaghan pairing of Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley occupied 3rd place but were already 46 seconds off the lead.
Josh Moffett set fastest times over the second loop of stages to close to 17.7 seconds behind Moffett/Atkinson. There was little that Josh could do as Boyle/O’Reilly had now climbed to 6th place. In the end, Boyle/O’Reilly would finish in 8th place to secure the National title. Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty had to settle for 2nd place in the rally and the championship. Overall honours went to the ongoing champion Sam Moffett & Karl Atkinson.
Conor Foley guided Donagh Kelly to 3rd overall in their Focus WRC. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron finished 30th overall. Paul Kelly guided Tim Enright to 40th overall. Aisling McArdle guided Des Lyons to 60th overall. John Kelly & Niall Kelly took victory in class 10 and 72nd overall. Nigel Brennan/Rebecca Brown finished 75th overall and Christopher Brennan/Martin Hughes took 77th overall.

Monaghan Motor Club Awards Night

The Club’s 2018 Annual Prizegiving and Dinner Dance takes place this Saturday 20th October at the Four Seasons Hotel. It was another stunning season for club members with Josh Moffett winning the Irish Tarmac, Forestry & Celtic Trophy Championships. James O’Reilly won the National Rally Championship, Derek Mackarel won the National & Munster Navigation Championships with Arthur Kierans & Conor Maguire taking the Border Title. The Overall Club Champion of 2018 is Martin Tynan who takes the Trader’s Trophy for the third year in succession.

Tickets are available from committee members.


Mac Kierans and Conor “Bobo” Boylan emerged victorious after a very challenging Monaghan Motor Club Navigation Trial on Saturday night last based in Scotstown. The Aghabog/Scotstown pair had 19 marks to spare over 2nd placed Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin. This was enough to clinch a 3rd successive Traders Trophy for Martin and the club Navigation Champions titles for Martin and Fintan. Josh Moffett and Stephen Thornton were a further 23 marks adrift in 3rd.

If the competitors thought this was going to be a gentle introduction to the new navigation season, they were in for a rude awakening! Clerk of the Course Oisin Sherlock really excelled with his trickery. Navigators needed to be switched on right from the start and those that were not (and there were many) were going to accrue significant penalties. By not following the instructions given, the three top seeded crews had wrong departures at TP1. Then, the start of the tulip to Via 1 was given with a grid reference catching out almost all crews, with knock-on effects for Via 2.

There were two parallel lanes on the approach to TP2, one was a dead end and the correct one was overgrown resulting in double visit penalties for a plethora of crews here. TP10 featured a previously unused lane that was difficult to spot, with most crews failing to find it. At the much needed relaxed section into Control B, it was Kierans/Boylan out in front but only by 2 marks from the Semi-Expert pair of Jack McKenna/Emmett Sherry, with Moffett/Thornton in 3rd.

The second half started with straightforward navigation but there was more trickery in store at TP 27 with a hard-to-spot entrance to a narrow yard. A piece of trace was used to find TP29 where further “Plot & Bash” instructions were issued for TP30, but if the shortest route was not taken here, competitors would visit Via 8 out of sequence. So it went on with a final sting in the tail at TP 39 and the final control where the survivors were glad to take stock of their losses.

Apart from the winners, the stand out performance of the night was that of Aaron Dixon and Dylan Lennon who finished 10th overall and won the Beginners class ‘by a mile.’ Of the 41 starters, there were 18 Beginners crews who battled gamely to the end. While this was a baptism of fire, they will have gained valuable experience for the events ahead. Donal and Killian McArdle won the Novice class, with Jack McKenna/Emmett Sherry taking the honours in the Semi-Expert class.

Well done to Oisin Sherlock and his team for organising one of the most challenging navigation events for some time. At the prizegiving, Oisin thanked all who helped including the marshals and especially the residents and landowners along the route, Scotstown GAA and the team of caterers who provided very welcome refreshments in the early hours.

1 Mac Kierans/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 26 marks,
2 Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin (Subaru Impreza) 45m,
3 Josh Moffett/Stephen Thornton (Nissan Almera) 68m,
4 Mickey Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 80m,
5 Jack McKenna/Emmet Sherry (Subaru Impreza) 86m,
6 Peter Deery/David McCrudden (Subaru Impreza) 90m,
7 Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes (Subaru Impreza) 95m,
8 Donal McArdle/Killian McArdle (Subaru Impreza) 122m,
9 Arthur Kierans/Conor Maguire (Subaru Impreza) 130m,
10 Aaron Dixon/Dylan Lennon (Subaru Impreza) 146m.

The Monaghan pairing of Josh Moffett with Stephen Thornton on the notes – took a convincing win on last weekend’s Bushwhacker Forest Rally. The Combilift Ford Fiesta stayed in 1st position all day over the 11 demanding stages which were held around the Castlederg and Omagh region.

Moffett and Thornton held off many attempts at their lead and managed to stay ahead and take the win by 19secs from Vivian Hamill and Andrew Grennan in a Ford Fiesta R5+. Desi Henry and Liam Moynihan in a Skoda Fabia R5 were 3rd but none could match the pace of Moffett/Thornton on the loose surface event.

This event was also the final round of the Irish Forest Championship and for the second consecutive year – this winning crew claimed the overall title again for 2018! A superb finish to the season for Moffett/Thornton as it went right down to the wire on this final event. Another Monaghan Motor Club crew of Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan started the Bushwhacker with an equal chance of championship victory but it was not to be their year, as they slipped off the road and eventual out of the event.

Corcaghans Kaine Treanor was also hot favourite as navigator for the title but 17th overall and along with Stephen McCann in the Bushwhacker was not enough to keep him in the running.

Ciaran McPhillips is National 2WD Navigator Forest Champion 2018!
Scoststowns Ciaran McPhillips was crowned the winner of the Two Wheel Drive (2WD) Navigators title after finishing 2nd in class along with long-time partner/driver Mickey Conlon. Mickey just missed out on top spot after their result in the Bushwhacker but this crew are always on full attack and a treat to watch through the tight forest lanes.

The Billy Coleman award nominee Derek Mackarel with Corks Muireann Hayes in the hot seat were lying 4th in class when their car succumbed to mechanical problems after SS8. It’s been good year for Derek and he is fast becoming the entertainer of these forest events as he hurtles the Nova around at top speed.

Mac Kierans was partner with Alan Smyth but they failed to finish while lying in 13th spot overall in the Mitsubishi. Father Arthur, teamed up with Paul McCann in a Skoda Fabia and finished the day in 27th place overall. Another Monaghan man who failed to finish was navigator Paul Kelly for David Condell – their event ended after SS6 while in 28th spot overall.

October Navigation Trail kicks off the year!
The first navigation trail of the new season kicks off this week end from Scotstown GAA complex with first car away at 9.01pm. New event COC is local son and father team of Oisin and Paddy Sherlock who have planned a demanding and challenging route for this – the final round of Monaghan Motor Clubs championships. Marshals as always are require so please offer your support and register to help from 7pm on Saturday evening.

Annual Diner Dance 

Keep free the October 20th for our annual presentation of awards and prize giving. Held earlier in the year than in the past, this event is not to be missed as we celebrate our successes of 2018 with plenty of fun, refreshments and dancing in the Four Seasons Hotel.

Moffett Clinches Irish Forestry Titl


Josh Moffett has won the 2018 Irish Forestry Championship at the penultimate round of the series, the Lakelands Forestry Rally. Josh and co-driver, Stephen Thornton, secured the overall win and with title rivals Andrew Purcell & Barry McKenna failing to finish, Moffett is now uncatchable with one round remaining.


There was drama right from the off as McKenna & Leon Jordan retired on the opening test. Moffett/Thornton stormed straight into the lead and after the opening loop of stages, they were 12 seconds clear of Vivian Hamill with Scotshouse’s Andrew Grennan in the navigator’s seat. The Championship was turned on its head as Purcell & co-driver Mark Wiley, retired on stage three leaving Moffett with a chance of securing the title with a win.


Moffett/Thornton continued to push on to secure the championship. They gradually increased their lead over Hamill/Grennan. There was late drama as Hamill/Grennan dropped back to third on the final stage. Moffett/Thornton finished the final test 41 seconds clear of Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan. However, there was even more drama as their Fiesta developed mechanical issues and they occurred 40 seconds of road penalties, but they held on to the win by just 1 second and secure the 2018 Forestry Title! This is Josh’s 2nd championship success taking over from his brother Sam who was champion last year.


Vivian Hamill/Andrew Grennan secured 3rd overall after a fine drive. Mac Kiernas guided Alan Smyth to 7th overall and 1st in class 8. Kaine Treanor guided Stephen McCann to 9th overall in a R5 Fiesta. Derek Mackarel/Muireann Hayes secured 19th overall and 2nd in class in their Nova. Derek remains part of a three way fight for the Junior Championship going into the Bushwhacker Rally in three weeks time. Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips had a difficult day at the office and finished down in 65th place after losing over three minutes on stage two.  


Sam’s Sligo Success


Sam Moffett & Noel O’Sullivan profited from mistakes of others to clinch overall victory on the Sligo Stages Rally, Round 5 of the National Rally Championship. Sam was competing in his R5 Fiesta and inherited the lead after previous leaders Josh Moffett & Declan Boyle crashed out.


Fresh from his win the previous day in Enniskillen, Josh Moffett switched to his WRC Fiesta with navigator Keith Moriarty. The pair led from the off and had pulled 27 seconds clear when they were caught out in wet conditions on Stage 6, putting a serious dent in the championship bid. Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly inherited the lead but slipped off the road in Stage 7 and the damage was too significant to continue. This left Sam Moffett/Noel O’Sullivan in a comfortable lead which they held to the end.


John McQuaid/Thomas Treanor took a fine 8th overall and 3rd in class in their Escort. Jack Maguire/Seamus O’Grady finished 35th overall and 4th in class. Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden, Christopher Brennan/Martin Hughes & Anthony McDonald/Oisin Sherlock failed to finish. Jason Black/Jack McKenna took another dominant win in the Junior class in their Starlet. Gareth Black/Calum Maguire finished 4th in the same class.

Despite their retirements, Declan Boyle/James O’Reilly are firm favourites for the National title and needs just 25 points in the final two rounds to secure the series. The Championship continues with the Clare Stages Rally in a fortnight’s time.


Navigation Trial Classes 2018


The night navigation trial season is fast approaching and Monaghan Motor Club is gearing up for that all important kick start with the annual navigation classes. If you have a motor sport interest of any kind the Navigation Trials are the best form of obtaining the correct ‘foundation’ for this sport. The scheduled classes will cover the full range of topics including map reading, timing, car regulations and pace notes for stages rallies.

The classes will continue on Friday 7th September at 8pm sharp in the excellent facilities of the Sean Mac Diarmada complex in Threemilehouse. All those interested should contact Shane 0862616120 to book your place for the classes. Registration will also include club membership, maps, romer and all necessary paperwork to complete the 6 week course.

McKenna Masters Mucky Monaghan

Posted: August 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

Jack McKenna & Christopher McMahon took an impressive overall win on the 2018 Monaghan Endurance Trial. The Emyvale pair had been competing separately in the Navigation scene for the past few years and teamed up for the first time to contest the event. After 18 selectives, the pair emerged victorious ahead of 2018 Endurance Championship leader, Peter Barrable & the experienced Damien Connolly. The team of Kieran McCarra & Kate Lynch claimed 3rd overall.

COC Fintan Keenan laid out a challenging event which had condensed road miles as all the selectives were based in North Monaghan. With a record entry of 55 crews, the event was shaping up to be a classic. The opening loop featured some selectives used in previous years, finishing with a new selective at the old Combilift plant. The lanes & fields were particularly tricky thanks to the extended wet weather and traction was at a premium. Despite this, the battle for honours was intense.

The opening test near Ballinode was a mixture of gravel & concrete. Such is the even competition in this form of motorsport only 4 seconds covered the top 10! After the first loop of five selectives, Championship front runners Peter Barrable/Damien Connolly held the lead by 7 seconds with Karl O’Donoghue/Evin Hughes in 2nd. A host of local drivers were chasing hard behind led by Kieran McCarra/Kate Lynch with Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin, Jack McKenna/Christopher McMahon, Gary Cassidy/Calum Maguire & Kevin McCormick/David McCrudden all figuring strongly.

Drama ensued on Selective 8 as the deteriorating road conditions resulted in multiple crews getting stuck and recording maximum times with O’Donoghue/Hughes and McCarra/Lynch dropping back. By the halfway mark, Barrable/Connolly were out in front despite a close call on a looped section in Comblift. Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin were now in 2nd place with Jack McKenna/Christopher McMahon in 3rd. Kieran McCarra/Kate Lynch had recovered to 4th place with Kevin McCormick/David McCrudden in 5th.

A mixture of Tarmac, Loose & Grass selectives featured in the afternoon. Oneselective had to be cancelled due to the weather softening the ground but the others ran without incident. Barrable’s lead was gradually being eroded but a major turning point occurred on Selective 14 as he lost significant time whilst McKenna/McMahon blitzed the entire field to jump from 3rd to 1st. After another test they were now 9 seconds clear with Tynan/Clerkin in 2nd and Barrable/Connolly having dropped to 3rd. A missed code board would drop Tynan/Clerkin down the leaderboard leaving McKenna/McMahon 14 seconds clear of Barrable/Connolly.

The leaderboard remained fairly static over the final repeated loop and in the end it was Jack McKenna/Christopher McMahon who emerged victorious after a fine display in their Starlet. Peter Barrable/Damien Connolly took 2nd overall. Kieran McCarra/Kate Lynch were left rueing their early maximum as it cost them overall honours. Nevertheless, it was a fine recovery to 3rd overall.

Midland duo, Robert Howard/Claire Murtagh recovered from a slow start to claim 4th overall. Martin Tynan/Fintan Clerkin finished 5th edging out Trader’s trophy rivals Kevin McCormick/David McCrudden on the final test. Gary Cassidy/Calum Maguire took 7th and but for road penalties they would have had the overall win. Sam Moffett/Ciaran Duffy enjoyed their first experience of Endurance Trials to claim 8th overall with Derek Butler/Ruadhri Nash and Karl O’Donoghue/Evin Hughes making up the top 10.

Damien & Thomas Treanor took victory in class B (Navigation cars up to 1400cc) with David Forde/Patrick O’Leary and Darren Boyle/Garry Farrelly completing the podium. Nigel & Ryan Brennan took class honours in class C (Navigation cars up to 2000cc) with Noel & Aiden Sherry in 2nd and Samuel Patterson/Shane Maguire in 3rd. Class A1 (Endurance cars up to 1000cc went to Peter & Aaron Cummins. Nicole Drought/Aaron McElroy & Adam Montgomery/Andrew Hamilton completed the top three.

At the prizegiving, COC Fintan Keenan extended a big thank you to all the residents and landowners who provided the use of their properties for the event. He also thanked the Four Seasons Hotel for hosting the event and all the marshals and timekeepers who stood out in the inclement weather to ensure the safe running of the event.


Mackarel wins Birr Autocross

Derek Mackarel took overall victory on the Birr Grass Surface Autocross at the weekend. Derek posted the best of the time of the day in his Berrisford Suzuki. Derek has been competing on both grass and loose surface autocross events as well as the Irish Forestry Championship this year and his exploits have earned him a Billy Coleman Award nomination.


Navigation Trial Classes 2018

The night navigation trial season is fast approaching and Monaghan Motor Club is gearing up for that all important kick start with the annual navigation classes. If you have a motor sport interest of any kind the Navigation Trials are the best form of obtaining the correct ‘foundation’ for this sport. The scheduled classes will cover the full range of topics including map reading, timing, car regulations and pace notes for stages rallies.

The classes will continue on Friday 31st August at 8pm sharp in the excellent facilities of the Sean Mac Diarmada complex in Threemilehouse. All those interested should contact Shane 0862616120 to book your place for the classes. Registration will also include club membership, maps, romer and all necessary paperwork to complete the 6 week course.