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2004 Border Rally Championship

Posted: October 18, 2004 5:24 PM - 10341 Hits

Quinn Group Border Rally Championship

by Padraic Boylan

  • Second Overall in Donegal secures Maguire & Mc Loughlin Border Championship for 2004
  • Championship Positions after Final Round - Donegal Harvest
  • Prizegiving
A second place finish for both Niall Maguire and Paul Mc Loughlin was enough to confirm their outright win in the Quinn Group Border Rally Championship at the concluding round on the Donegal Harvest Rally.

Driver Navigator

1st Niall Maguire 40 Paul Mc Loughlin 40
2nd David Leonard 40 Jim Mc Grath 39
3rd Shane Feely 39 Jason Mc Kenna 38

Posted: October 18, 2004 5:24 PM

Entering round six with four maximum scores under their belt a championship win looked relatively secure, but as class 10 leader , David Leonard , had three maximum’s in the bag entering Donegal , a further one being a definite possibility, putting them on matched scores from the four counting rounds , it would then require that the remaining dropped scores come into play to determine an outcome. As Leonard had secured a seven points on his home event in Sligo and should he have another class win in Donegal ,it was necessary for the class 8 leaders Maguire and Mc Loughlin to finish within the top three to hold the championship lead.

As the days events unfolded the advantage was going Leonards way , with National championship leader ,Maguire slipping back to fourth place , confidence building after his ‘offs’ in Waterford and Clonmel, but following the succession of time lost by Harrison by a series of incidents certainly helped his campaign. Contrasting this with some serious times by Cahal Arthurs , Maguire was not having it easy but never failed to plug away, eventually coming home with a five second margin on the Hyunda at the finish ramp to take second overall , behind Paul Harris ,which was also helped in no small way by the demise of pace setter Tim Mc Nulty who retired on the final stage.

The mirrored second place in class 8 by Monaghan’s Niall Maguire and the ‘adopted’ Mayo man Paul Mc Loughlin secured the duo 9 points in the Border Championship, enough to take overall title in the Quinn Group Championship for 2004.Even though the Sligo man David Leonard in a Class 10 Nova did claim another class win ,his dropped score of 7 points achieved at the previous round was only enough to award him second overall in the clubman’s championship. Class 6 leaders Shane Feely and Jim Mc Grath had for the second year dominance in their Peugeot 106 awarding Shane third overall on the drivers table while Jim was placed second on the Navigator table . Jason Mc Kenna is poised to take third in the Navigator league calling the notes with Maurice Moffitt but also gaining valuable points teaming up with Enda Keenan on the Newry round.

With minimal competitive upheavals on class leads on the final round of the championship , it was though the opportunity of those on the main field to capitalize on the demand for places on the ever popular Donegal event and gain valuable points.

This was not the case though in class 1 as Trevor Graham and Niall Mc Calliog both dominated their class , dropping only two rounds to emerge with a comfortable 14 points margin on the driver table and twenty points on the navigator table .For Peter Wilson and Chris Farrelly , a second in class at the concluding round was adequate to maintain the class lead as their nearest rivals failed to make it into the main field, following a year which saw numerous changes in the leaderboard .

Longfords John Kelly took full advantage of the absence from Donegal of Thomas O Rourke to pick up seven points , enough to grasp the class three award in the championship even though John Mc Grath did maintain his place for the efforts of the Wexford crew all year.

In Group N Willie Fannin with a second class place in the ‘Harvest’ not alone confirmed his class 4 win in the Border series but also consolidated his position in the National as second place Adrian Quinn’s navigator Alan Moran will pick up the navigator title.

It was Andrew Mullen and Elaine Doherty who were to emerge out on top after the six round championship in class 6 as fellow Sligo crew Peter Devaney and Stella Cunningham failed to make it off reserve inhibiting any competitive rivalry on the closing round.Boyle crew Shane Feely and Jim Mc Grath once again shone in class 6 reflected in Shane being placed Third Overall while Jim picked off a second Overall as Navigator.

Donegal had no impact on class 7 as both Ian Mc Donnell and John Paul Ruth had joint scores of 33 points in advance of the final round similar to that of navigator Tom O Dwyer.

Keith Mc Fadden and Pat Mc Sharry in the class 9 Nova ‘off in Donegal was to have no impact on their Border campaign as the approached round six with a comfortable margin, but with Ken O Neill taking the class will possible put their National scene at risk. Picking up third on their home event for Bernard Mc Ginley and Raymond Scott was just enough to regain their class lead following two consecutive wins at the opening rounds earlier this year and with Kieran Mc Carra having a reserve placing on round six , the defense of his lead was not possible.

Trevor Lancashire and Noel Hall ,2003 class winners, once again top the modified 2 litre class but with pressure coming from Arthur Kierans and Brian Armstrong at every round this year , Donegal was to be the determining factor.

In the 2 litre 16 valve category , Pat Donegan and Damien Garvey , winning the class in Cavan and Newry converted into valuable points to top the table , while both Domnic Mc Laughlin and Mac Mc Kenna had a disappointing season.The entertainment of the season would have to have been in Class 14 between fellow Monaghan men , 2003 Overall title holder Enda Keenan and the Starlet of Maurice Moffatt , the closest of margins separating them on occasions, 13 seconds in Monaghan , 10 seconds in Sligo, with Jason Mc Kenna sharing the experience to finish third overall in the navigator table.

In the four wheel drive class 15 David Mc Nulty lead right from the start of season in Mayo .


Class 1 Trevor Graham 36 Niall Mc Calliog 36
Class 2 Peter Wilson 35 Chris Farrelly 28
Class 3 John Kelly 30 John Mc Grath 25
Class 4 Willie Fannin 37 Alan Moran 25
Class 5 Andrew Mullen 30 Elaine Doherty 30
Class 6 Eamon Mc Elvaney 22 Lorraine Mc Mahon 17
Class 7 Ian Mc Donnell 33 Tom O Dwyer 33 
Class 8 Kevin Lynch 26 Francis Regan 26
Class 9 Keith Mc Fadden 33 Pat Mc Sharry 25
Class 10 Adrian Foley 32 Patrick Herity 37
Class 11 Bernard Mc Ginley 29 Raymond Scott 29
Class 12 Trevor Lancashire 38 Noel Hall 38
Class 13 Pat Donegan 27 Damien Garvey 27
Class 14 Enda Kennan 36 Sean Moriarty 26
Class 15 David Mc Nulty 35 Keefe Kilcoyne 35
Prizegiving for the Quinn Group Border Rally Championship 2004 takes place in the Hotel Kilmore , Cavan , on Friday November 26th.
  • Maguire Powers Ahead
    Another podium finish for Niall Maguire on the Sligo Stages Rally brings to four , his number of outright wins in the Quinn Group Border Rally Championship culminating in four maximum scores in Class 8, the only class contender to be placed in this comfortable position with one round remaining . Navigator Paul Mc Loughlin having accompanied Niall on all rounds mirrors his points scoring leaving the now adopted Mayo man in sight of the 2004 Overall Border title also.

    It all began well for the current championship leader on the Tom Hunt Motors / Sligo Park Hotel – Sligo Stages Rally opening stage when the Monaghan man set fastest across the classic Ladies Brae stage some eight seconds ahead of Kevin Lynch under extremely wet and slippery conditions. Maguire’s lead was short lived as Lynch took ten seconds back on stage two entering service and looked destined to repeat his Ravens Rock performance but while struggling with gearchange problems over the remainder of the first loop his lead dropped . While challenging to recover his second stage gains , entering the loop for the second time Lynch got caught out cutting the verge on a right which consequently threw him to the left leaving him stranded in the shrubbery unable to make it back on the road forcing his retirement .

    With further retirements from Cahal Arthurs , who was on the pace early in the the day while enduring recurring turbo problems , opting out after stage 5 , George Tracy in the WRC 206 experiencing problems with locking up on the wet conditions, Sean Gallagher in the ex-Elliott Subaru suffering clutch slip and David Armstrong retiring the ex- Melvyn Evans Subaru while sitting in third spot,a further win for Maguire looked on the cards.
    The closing loop of stages was a close battle with Cavan’s Patrick Elliott closing that gap on the Championship leaders setting fastest over the final two stages , eventually finishing only only two seconds off the finish time of the winning duo of Niall Maguire and Paul Mc Loughlin.

    The final round of the Quinn Group Border Rally Championship takes place on October 9th at the Donegal Harvest and with margins extremely tight across many classes , results from round six could cause a number of upsets on the class tables. One of the few exceptions is in Class 1 as Trevor Graham and Niall Mc Calliog dominate their class with none of their fellow Susuki crews in a position to topple their lead. Within Class two its destined to be a closer battle with the lead going into the final round being held by Peter Wilson contesting only three rounds while second place Wesley Roberts contested and finished every of the five rounds to date placing Navigator Fergal Ferron top of the Class 2 table.With former table leader Eddie Donaghy currently lying third and should either Andrew Casey or Frank Wray contest Donegal an outcome could develop from any of the top three. Class three looks destined to be a repeat of 2003 as Thomas O Rourke and John Mc Grath navigator this year have the slight edge but Lonford’s John Kelly cannot be ruled out. Group N class while extremely well contested has over the border series seen wins from James Cairns , Gabriel Martin and Wiilie Fannin and with the latter picking up a further two second place class finishes a class title looks on the cards while his navigator Richard Price abstained himself in Sligo leading to a closer situation on the Navigator table.The Donegal result will be the final determination in Class 5 as Sligo’s Peter Devaney and Andrew Mullen are both in contention , Devaney currently having the slight edge while their respective Navigators Stella Cunningham and Elaine Doherty are on equal points .For the Boyle crew Shane Feely and Jim Mc Grath it also looks like a repeat of 2003 when they picked up the class 6 title but an early disappointing off at their home event in Sligo will necessitate them going to Donegal.The close battle between the Peugeots of Ian Mc Donnell and John Paul Ruth is displayed with matching scores on the points table which will only be determined with the final round on October 9th.

    For Keith Mc Fadden and Pat Mc Sharry , a class 9 championship title is in safe but for second and third spot it will take the final round to determine. With three class wins under their belt going into their home event ,David Leonard and Patrick Herity looked confident of wrapping up the Class in Sligo and being in sight of the overall title , an unfortunate amount of time lost over stage four cost them the class and now requires them contest Donegal to hold off the emerging attack from Adrian Foley and Trevor Cassidy. Even though Kieran Mc Carra tops the Class 11 table the advantage would have to lie with Bernard Mc Ginley in second spot , two class wins to date , and the final round on his home turf as his navigator also lies in second place to James O Reilly. In class 12 it a battle between the Monaghan crews of Trevor Lancashire and Navigator Noel Hall and Arthur Kierans and Garreth Beegan with only a point separating them and a class by Kierans in Donegal would call into play the first and second dropped scores .With three serious crews topping the 2 litre modified class , Pat Donegan, Domnic Mc Loughlin and Mc Mc Kenna , only seven points separating them it will be down to the outcome of Donegal to determine a winner. Another Monaghan battle rages in class 14 among the 2003 championship title holder and Maurice Moffitt in the RWD Starlet with Moffitt’s navigator Jason Mc Kenna topping the table contributed to by a class win in Newry while sitting with Keenan. Even with the best efforts of Moffitt in Donegal it will not be possible to surpass the 2003 title holders margin .Maintaining their domination throughout the year David Mc Nulty and Keeffe Kilkoyne are destined to lift the Class 15 award but no doubt on contesting Donegal we may see a repeat of Sligo when only a second pushed them into second place behind Joe and Dermot Mc Hugh.

    From an Overall prospective Niall Maguire and Paul Mc Loughlin are in the comfortable position to have already secured four maximum scores but with Leonard and Herity in Class 10 the only crew to have three maximums and should they secure another in Donegal it would then be down to the second an third dropped scores and this is where Maguires result in Donegal would be crucial. Third place in the Championship is within the grasp of a number of crews , favorites being Trevor Lancashire, Shane Feely and indeed Enda Keenan and a poor finish by Leonard would also improve their placings .
    Class 1 Trevor Graham   27    Niall Mc Calliog  27
    Class 2  Peter Wilson   26   Fergal Ferron  24
    Class 3  Thomas O Rourke  25   John Mc Grath  25
    Class 4 Willie Fannin   28   Richard Price  19
    Class 5 Peter Devaney  28   Stella Cunningham 22
    Elaine Doherty  22
    Class 6 Shane Feely  30   Jim Mc Grath  30
    Class 7  John Paul Ruth  33   Tom O Dwyer  33
      Ian Mc Donnell  33   
    Class 8 Niall Maguire   40   Paul Mc Loughlin  40
    Class 9 Keith Mc Fadden   33   Pat Mc Sharry  25
    Class 10 David Leonard    37   Patrick Herity  37
    Class 11 Kieran Mc Carra      25   James O Reilly  26
    Class 12  Trevor Lancashire   38   Noel Hall   38
    Class 13  Pat Donegan   27   Damien Garvey  26
    Class 14 Enda Kennan   36   Jason Mc Kenna  35
    Class 15 David Mc Nulty   35   Keefe Kilcoyne    35

    Lynch - King of the Forest / King of the Hills
    The Gass Brothers Newry & Mourne- Round 4

    A loop of well known classic stages around Newry , the opener being Camlough , a short warm up stage , the second Slieve Gullion run in reverse to previous years and the final stage in the loop , Cooley a real sting in the tail before returning to service was round four of the Quinn Group Border Rally Championship.

    It was ‘ king of the forest ‘ Kevin Lynch who was to lead the field away from the Mourne Country Hotel , with sponsor Maurice Gass also in a Subaru running second on the road . Lynch set the pace clocking up a 2.24 with both David Armstrong and Mevyn Evans on matched time of 2.27 on the first stage of the morning , increasing his lead further on Gullion by an additional seven seconds on former event winner David Armstrong as Evans was a further four seconds off. It was a brave attack over Cooley which saw Melvyn carry a one second advantage on Lynch as they returned to service first time round the loop. With the exception of the final stage of the day Kevin Lynch with Francis Regan on the notes set fastest on the remainder giving them a further victory to add to their recent Tour of the Sperrins win.

    None of the Class 1 regulars Trevor Graham or Paddy Walker made it to Newry so we would expect to see a number entered in Sligo. Even though gearbox problems once again forced the Donaghy brothers into retirement on the Cooley stage their lead still stands in Class 2 , with a margin of three points on Wesley Roberts /Fergal Fearon entering the home event of both crews as Andrew Casey , Peter Wilson and Frank Wray still have the ability to recover ground.John Kelly and Alan Kenna comfortably took the combined class 3&7 to finish up on matched points with Thomas O Rourke who must pick up points on the two remaining rounds in order to capture the class three title.The Group N brigade was unaffected in Newry as Wiilie Fannin holds his own in class 4, but with both of the remaining rounds overlapping with the National a large field would be expected so anything could happen over the final two rounds.Even though class five and six were combined in Newry, from a championship prospective , Peter Devaney/ Stella Cunningham lifted seven points , enough to edge them ahead of their fellow Sligo crew Andrew Mullen/ Elaine Doherty in the drivers title,while Elaine holds the navigator lead, recipe for a showdown in Sligo.Another Class 6 win for the Boyle crew Shane Feely/Jim Mc Grath consolidates their lead ,positioning them comfortably with only two rounds to go, a repeat of 2003.While Ian Mc Donnell picked up only six points to put on equal with John Paul Ruth the two remaining rounds will be crucial in separating this class 7 battle which lies within the grasp of either. The overall win by Kevin Lynch/ Francis Regan narrowed the gap substantially in class 8 with Niall Maguire having only a four point advantage with Sligo and Donegal Harvest to go.Keith Mc Fadden’s gap also narrowed when he failed to finish the Mourne event and this was capitalized on by Andrae Roberts who has slipped into second spot , nine points adrift.An almost unblemished record , the only exception being, Cavan, when being forced off the road by a blockage on the stage, but with three maximums under his belt David Leonard would appear in sight of the title, but with both Adrian Fox and Adrian Foley on the fringes there is no room to be complacent. While Kieran Mc Carra picked eight points in Newry and Mourne to move him to the class table top ,Bernard Mc Ginley will be determined to dominate the class on his home event , the Harvest, and indeed in the forthcoming round in Sligo.It was an extremely tight battle among the 2litre eight valve category between Brian Armstrong and Trevor Lancashire with Brian sneaking home with a nine second advantage as they both shared four fastest stage times and matched times on stage six .The dramatic 2litre 16 valve performer Pat Donagan repeated his Cavan result claiming the class placing him in a seven point advantage on Mac Mc Kenna in the class 13 table

    Enda Keenan our reigning 2003 Border Champion had a comfortable four second advantage , recovered his class lead but fellow Monaghan crew Maurice Moffitt could still be in the running .Class 15 is in the safe hands of David Mc Nulty particularly as his old rival Sean Gallagher has moved to the Class 8 WRC category in his recently acquired ex-Elliott Impreza.

    Class Leader Points after Round 4 (Newry)

    Class 1 Trevor Graham 17 Niall Mc Calliog 17
    Class 2 Eddie Donaghy 21Charlie Donaghy 21
    Class 3 Thomas O Rourke 17 John Mc Grath 17
    John Kelly 17
    Class 4 Willie Fannin 19 Richard Price 19
    Class 5 Peter Devaney 21 Elaine Doherty 16
    Class 6 Shane Feely 30 Jim Mc Grath 30
    Class 7 John Paul Ruth 25 Brian Maher 25
    Ian Mc Donnell 25 Tom O Dwyer 25
    Class 8 Niall Maguire 30 Paul Mc Loughlin 30
    Class 9 Keith Mc Fadden 27 Pat Mc Sharry 19
    Class 10 David Leonard 31 Patrick Herity 31
    Class 11 Kieran Mc Carra 25 Raymond Scott 21
    Class 12 Trevor Lancashire 37 Noel Hall 37
    Class 13 Pat Donegan 26 Damien Garvey 26
    Class 14 Enda Kennan 28 Jason Mc Kenna 29
    Class 15 David Mc Nulty 26 Keefe Kilcoyne 26

    Round 1 Mayo & District Stages Rally March 7th
    Round 2 Monaghan Stages Rally 25th April
    Round 3 Cavan Stages Rally 30th May
    Round 4 Newry & Mourne Stages Rally 12th June
    Round 5 Sligo Stages Rally 11th July
    Round 6 Donegal Harvest Rally 9th October

    The best four out of six rounds to count

    11/06/04 Midway Niall Maguire holds the lead. Showery conditions in Cavan causes some Class upsets Cavan town was a hive of activity ,for the last weekend in May , accommodating two major sporting events on the same day , an Ulster championship decider and of course the Hotel Kilmore Stages Rally with stages set in the Ballyjamesduff area. Once again it was Niall Maguire and Paul Mc Loughlin who was to lead the 131 strong field out the N3 as competitors grappled with tyre choices at the short service in Ballyjamesduff Mart before undertaking the opening three stage loop. With the leading field all braving it on slicks , and conditions very slippy on SS1 , it was not a time for heroics , but Willie Fannin /Richard Price in a Group N Impreza did just that and set fastest 8.47, two seconds ahead of joint time set by Arthurs WRC Accent and Elliotts Impreza WRC. With continuing intermittent showers it was a lottery for every competitor and joint times set by Maguire , Elliott and Arthurs on stage two was the result . Niall Maguire then began his attack on stage three destined for a hatrick in Cavan and set fastest to complete the first loop returning to Ballyjamesduff Service .

    This was not going to come easy as both Jim Harrison and Cahal Arthurs matched Nialls time over the Crosserlough stage second time round with a time of 8.26 some 21 seconds faster than the fastest time first time over it in the morning set by Willie Fannin.Stage five was captured by Patrick Elliott , clawing back two seconds on Niall Maguires lead as he became relaxed with the RHD Impreza WRC.For the following three stages ,current leaders of both National and Border Champion , Niall and Paul , set the pace clocking fastest on SS 6,7,and 8 only to spin on the final stage , presenting Kevin Lynch with his first fastest for the day, but the number one seeds returned to the Hotel Kilmore with a comfortable one minute lead , ahead of Patrick Elliott and David Moynahan and the English crew James Harrison and Harvey Bell who incurred a thirty second chicane penalty costing him second place.

    Apart from overall winners of the Cavan Stages 2004 ,the remaining two crews who shared the Quinn Group Border Championship lead entering round three had a disappointing day even though they still hold their lead in their relevant classes ,each picking up only one point for starting. David Leonard and Navigator Patrick Herity entered Cavan with two maximum scores in Class 10 under their belt but had to retire when, on coming on a previous competitor car overturned on the stage with no warning , impacted and forced them off the road causing some suspension damage. Bernard Mc Ginley and Raymond Scott , while still topping the class 11 table also retired ,which now probably will persuade them to add Newry to their championship attack , when they had planned to do the notes for their home International.

    In second place on the Border leadership table following Cavan on 28 points are former title holders Trevor Lancashire and Noel Hall who once again took class 12 honours holding off the challenges from fellow Escort performers Aurther Kierans and Brian Armstrong. Consistently picking up points and awards at all rounds to date Keith Mc Fadden with Pat Mc Sharry on the notes have a total of 26 helped by disappointing retirements by Noel Lappin at both Monaghan and Cavan . On joint 26 points David Mc Nulty accompanied by Keefe Kilcoyne in the Village Autos Cosworth holds the Class 15 lead comfortably placed with the departure of Sean Gallagher to the Class 8 ranks in his acquiring of Patrick Elliotts Subaru.While Mac Mc Kenna and John Loughlran hold the Class 13 lead , their still lies many contenders within the 16 valve class, none more so than Pat Donnagan who came home highest two wheel drive to finish in Cavan.The battle of the Monaghan men dominate class 14 as reigning 2003 title holder Enda Keenan carrying a 30 second penalty from a water barrier on SS3, trailed Maurice Moffatt but on the retirement of the Cosworth powered Starlet , Keenan took the Class award placing him just one point adrift of his comrade in the Championship.While getting caught up in a number of stage blockages John Paul Ruth made the trip from Killkenny to Cavan worthwhile when he picked up a second in Class 7 placing him comfortably at the top of the Group A table.The hot favorites for Class 6 honours , 2003 class title holder Shane Feely and young Eamon Mc Elvaney both failed to finish but it was Niall Taffee who did the family honours to take ten points but the Boyle crew still remain untoppled.Andrew Mullen slipped into Class five lead as Peter Devaney lost out on second place when forced to retire on stage seven .The hero of the highly subscribed Group N class 4 would have to be Willie Fannin for his fastest time over the Cavan opener , now positioned top of his table but with a host of possible contenders waiting on the wings. A 21st Overall finish for Class 3 table topper Thomas O Rourke from New Ross was well deserved , with the only other class contender on the day Thomas Taffee in the Civic Type R being off the pace before retiring at the first service.The ever more popular Class 2 ,saw brothers Eddie and Charlie Donaghy move to the top of the table even while losing out on a further maximum score by a mere four seconds , while incurring a 45 second penalty for late out of service. With absolutely no change in the class one order at Cavan Trevor Graham still remains on top .

    Round 4 of the Quinn Group Border Championship heads to Newry on Saturday June 12th when competitors have a further opportunity to pick up some valuable points over shorter but challenging classic stages of Slieve Gullion , Camlough and Cooley Mountains .Newry and Mourne Motor Club has once again attracted a number of the top seeds including Derek Mc Garrity , Kevin Lynch, Maurice Gass and Melvyn Evans.
    Class 1 Trevor Graham   17    Niall Mc Calliog  17
    Class 2  Eddie Donaghy   20   Charlie Donaghy  20
    Class 3  Thomas O Rourke  17   John Mc Grath  17
    Class 4 Willie Fannin   19   Richard Price  19
    Class 5 Andrew Mullen  16   Elaine Doherty  16
    Class 6 Shane Feely   20   Jim Mc Grath  20
    Class 7  John Paul Ruth  25   Brian Maher   25
    Class 8 Niall Maguire   30   Paul Mc Loughlin  30
    Class 9 Keith Mc Fadden   26   Pat Mc Sharry  18
    Class 10 David Leonard    21   Patrick Herity  21
    Class 11 Bernard Mc Ginley  21   Raymond Scott  21
    Class 12  Trevor Lancashire   28   Noel Hall   28
    Class 13  Mac Mc Kenna   19   John Loughran  19
    Class 14 Maurice Moffitt   19   Jason Mc Kenna  19
    Class 15 David Mc Nulty   26   Keefe Kilcoyne 26

    Sun Shines on Hillgrove Stages
    by Padraic Boylan

    Full Positions available to download

    Maguire , Leonard and Mc Ginley share Championship lead entering round 3.

    As a complete contrast to 2003 when torrential rain blanketed the Monaghan stages , it was a the hot and sunny conditions which did justice to the 2004 three stage loop circling the hometown of C.O.C. Michael Mc Mahon . With number one seed Eugene Donnelly opting out , focusing on his Tarmac campaign , it was local hero and four times winner of the event , Niall Maguire who was to lead the field away from the Hilgrove Hotel , followed by James Harrison who ironically both got caught out on the wet conditions last year.

    While it was an equal time of 8.02 set on the opening Doogary stage by both Subaru’s , this consistency was short lived as Harrison got caught out very early in stage 2 sliding off at a cautioned location and forcing his retirement once again in Monaghan. With a retirement also by Kevin Lynch on stage 3 , the main leadership challenge to Maguire came from fellow Monaghan businessman Adrian Mc Elvanney , but with his best efforts Niall continued to widen the gap , eventually crossing the finish ramp with almost a minute to spare. The battle for third and fourth spot between Cathal Arthurs and Ray Breen was much tighter one , with Arthurs in the WRC Accent finishing with a mere five seconds advantage on Breen due to a few costly overshoots on the final stage. Monaghan stages being the second round of the Quinn Border championship , was also the opportunity for 2003 champion , Enda Keenan , to open the defense of his title , but after overcoming intercom problems entering the first stage forcing him to run late on the road , he eventually took control of Class 14 , as his neighbour Maurice Moffitt made every effort to repeat his Mayo form but was hampered when the back box broke making hearing the notes extremely difficult eventually finishing second in Class 14 on the day delivering him the class lead in the championship on 18 points having contested two rounds.

    Maguire’s class 8 win also puts both himself and Navigator , Paul Mc Loughlin in the comfortable position also of being only one of thee crews entering round three on maximum points having lifted ten points at each round to date. Dunfanaghy crew Bernard Mc Ginley and Raymond Scott have also accrued maximum at the two opening rounds entering the competitive Class 11this year in their rear wheel drive Starlet. A similar record has been achieved in the 8 valve Class 10 by North Sligo crew David Leonard and Patrick Herity in their 1600 Nova on twenty points entering the half way point in the Championship.

    With just one point deficit , in Class 12 are Arthur Kierans and Garreth Beegan who have had a great start to their Border campaign coming second to former title holders Trevor Lancashire and Noel Hall in Mayo, and capitalizing on the Drum crews misfortune to take the class in Monaghan placing them on 19 points in the championship. Class 6 title holders for 2003 , Shane Feely and Jim Mc Grath once again set a great opener to the defense of their class title coming home with a one minute cushion on their nearest rival.

    Trevor Graham in the Class 1 Susuki Swift mirrors his 2003 results having taken a second in Mayo and a first in Monaghan placing him and Navigator Niall Mc Calliog on seventeen points , a seven point advantage on class rival Paddy Walker entering round three. With a number of new entrants in Class 2 , its Andrew and Stephen Casey who hold the lead after Monaghan which has every possibility of being upset over the coming rounds by either the Donaghy brothers from Sligo or the Strabane crew of Frank Wray and Joe Mc Nulty , both suffering retirements on round two. Raymond Gilleese , opting to contest Class 3 this year currently holds the lead , but it would be expected that he will come under pressure from reigning class title holder , Thomas O Rourke who commenced the defense of his title in Monaghan and took the Class or indeed the Type R Civics of Thomas Taffee and Shane Orr. The highly contested Group N Class 4 championship table would indeed be very difficult to call , with two rounds gone the Strabane crew , John and James Cairns hold the lead on 17 points , but with a list of registered entrants including Gavin Harris , Danny Mc Bride , Pat Mc Daid , Willie Fannin , Pat Price among many more , most also contesting the National series , a class title could be within the grasp of a number of crews. Peter Devaney , in the ex-Niall Mc Shae Micra, having two second in class finishes under his belt tops the Class 5 table on 13 points. Roscommon crew Ian Mc Donnell and Tom O Dwyer top the Class 7 table , lifting the class award in Monaghan , which was somewhat assisted by the retirements of both Brian Pat Doherty and Rodger Kennedy who picked up valuable points in Mayo. Keith Mc Fadden from Mayo has a six point advantage on regular class 9 contender Noel Lappin who failed to finish in Monaghan but with Ashley Mc Adoo who sailing home to take the class award at his home event, putting him third on the table , it could be anyone’s title at the end of the season. Two second place finishes by Mac Mc Kenna put him on top of the 2 litre modified table but with both Domnic Mc Loughlin and Paddy Boyle both having shared the class wins to date , a lot rests with the outcome of Cavan and the possibility of a second maximum by Mac’s rivals. David Mc Nulty , picking up points at both opening rounds leads class 15 as Sean Gallagher took the class in Monaghan focuses on the national series.

    As we approach midway in the Quinn Group Border Championship in Cavan on May 30th , it is still possible for any crew to dominate their relevant class and be within the shakedown for the overall title , but with three crews standing on twenty points it leaves those in the comfortable position of still dropping a future round as the best four out of six rounds count.

    Border Championship Class Leaders after Monaghan ( Round 2)

    Driver Navigator
    Class 1 Trevor Graham 17 Niall Mc Calliog 17
    Class 2 Andrew Casey 14 Stephen Casey 14
    Class 3 Raymond Gilleese 15 James Gallagher 10
    Class 4 John Cairns 17 James Cairns 17
    Class 5 Peter Devaney 13 Elaine Doherty 8
    Class 6 Shane Feely 19 Jim Mc Grath 19
    Class 7 Ian Mc Donnell 18 Tom O Dwyer 18
    Class 8 Niall Maguire 20 Paul Mc Loughlin 20
    Class 9 Keith Mc Fadden 17 Seamus Cooke 11
    Class 10 David Leonard 20 Patrick Herity 20
    Class 11 Bernard Mc Ginley 20 Raymond Scott 20
    Class 12 Arthur Kierans 19 Garreth Beagan 19
    Class 13 Mac Mc Kenna 18 John Loughran 18
    Class 14 Maurice Moffitt 18 Jason Mc Kenna 18
    Class 15 David Mc Nulty 16 Keefe Kilcoyne 16

    Quinn Group sponsors Border Rally Championship
    Thanks to Padraic Boylan

    Once again the Organizing Committee from the six participant clubs are delighted to announce details of the 2004 BORDER RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP which, for the second year is sponsored by the Quinn Group

    The clubs, Mayo & District , Monaghan , Cavan , Newry & Mourne , Connacht and Donegal who host the Border Rally Championship series are honoured to be associated with the Quinn Group who , from modest beginnings back in 1973 have grown today into one of Irelands top companies involved in diverse industries including , Financial Services , Manufacturing , Glass and Hospitality .One of the groups hotels in the hospitality sector, Hotel Kilmore in Cavan, played host to over three hundred guests on November 28th last for the Championship Prizegiving Dinner bringing together both organizers, competitors and their supporters for what was an enjoyable and entertaining night.

    As in previous years the six round championship is class based with emphasis on consistent results within one’s own class with the possibility of an overall result achievable by any competitor, which has on numerous occasions created quite a cliffhanger right up to the concluding round.

    This was defiantly the case in 2003 when entering the concluding round in the Donegal Harvest , the overall championship award was well within the grasp of four drivers , Danny Mc Bride , Enda Kennan , Daniel Connnaghan and Adrian Fox who each had three maximum scores under their belt with one round to go. Following the demise of Danny Mc Bride on the first loop on his home event, the battle lay with the remaining three, who each did the honours in their relevant classes, each achieving another maximum score producing a tie break situation, ultimately to be determined by the first tie break score in accordance with championship regulations , giving Enda Kennan the advantage to claim the Derryveigh Perpetual Trophy for 2003.

    The 2004 season is set for plenty of action with the Mayo Stages on March 7th getting the ball rolling as Sean Mc Hugh and his team run their event this year out of the TF ROYAL in Castlebar when its expected large numbers will sign up for the championship. Registered competitors are also encouraged to participate in the team award involving three crews coming together to combine their score over the championship.

    Championship Registrar ; John Duffy 087 - 9583240

    Round 1 Mayo & District Stages Rally March 7th
    Round 2 Monaghan Stages Rally 25th April
    Round 3 Cavan Stages Rally 30th May
    Round 4 Newry & Mourne Stages Rally 12th June
    Round 5 Sligo Stages Rally 11th July
    Round 6 Donegal Harvest Rally 9th October

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