Tuesday 21 November 2017

Micko's the main man ... again

MICKO Sweeney kept up his successful form at the Walderstown Road Races, where he took his second Man of the Meeting award of 2014, following on from his Kells success.

Dan Kneen maintained his fine start to the year when he took another great win in the Grand Final, while there was more local success as David 'Howy' Howard took his third win in a row in the 400 class and Andy Farrell made a rare and successful appearance on a classic bike.

Neil Lyons took his second successive victory in the Senior Support class, where he followed on from Skerries, beating Brendan Merrigan by more than five seconds. Merrigan had his best result of the season so far, and he just pipped Noel Carroll by .569 of a second for second place, with Graham Kennedy taking a close fourth. Balbriggan rider Wayne Hall finished in ninth place on Willie Wilson's 600, while Aaron Hatch was 12th, just ahead of Derek Costello, and Derek Scuffil was back in 20th.

There was a great scrap in the Supertwin race between Derek McGee, Conor Behan and Micko Sweeney. McGee, on his local track, was keen to get a good result after his crash at Skerries, and the trio were entertaining the large crowd in the beautiful sunshine. Behan had to break the lap record on lap six of eight, pushing it to 96.442 to take the win by just 1.076 seconds from Sweeney, with McGee 0.320 of a second behind the Skerries rider. Another Skerries rider, Andy Farrell, finished fourth, with Wayne Hall eighth. Derek Costello finished in 10th, with Noel Bertram 12th and Mark Sheils 14th.

Barry Davidson returned to winning ways in the 350 Classic class, beating Nigel Moore for the first time this season, and it was a solid win for the Cullybackey rider, with almost eight seconds to spare at the flag and a new lap record on lap four of 81.326mph. Herbie Ronan finished in third, but Sean Leonard retired. Philip Shaw took the honours in the 250 class, beating Richard Ford and Gary Hutton.

Robert McCrumb took another easy win in the 1,000 Classic Class, beating Richard Ford by almost 16 seconds. Andy Farrell made a rare Classic appearance on Gerry O'Sullivan's 500 Honda and took a fantastic win, beating championship leader Tony Willis by just 0.224 of a second, with Gary Jamison third.

As usual the Supersport 600 race provided plenty of entertainment and a new lap record for William Dunlop. The Ballymoney rider gave the Southern 100 a miss, after feeling a little stiff on his return to racing at Skerries following his TT crash.

Winning at Skerries gave him a platform to get his confidence back , but local rider Derek McGee, who took the win at this event last year, pushed Dunlop all the way. The lap record was broken four times in this titanic race, with Dunlop having the final say on lap 6 with a speed of 103.841mph. He finished 1.042 seconds ahead of McGee, with Manx rider Dan Kneen edging out Micko Sweeney, who was fourth. Derek Sheils finished ahead of Andy Farrell, who was sixth, with Alan Connor 11th.

Micko Sweeney continued on his winning ways in the 250 class, following his crash at Skerries while dicing for the lead. There was a new contender for Sweeney to worry about, with James Kelly getting a loan of a bike from Ed Manly, but the experienced Sweeney finished seven seconds ahead, with Kelly just ahead of Paul Robinson.

Another Skerries rider, David Howard, continued his domination of the 400 class when he took a seven-second win over Mark Sheils, with Ian Morrell third. Derek Scuffil took his Kawasaki to a fine fifth place.

Derek Sheils was back to fine form in the Open Superbike race and he really pushed William Dunlop all the way over the eight laps of the two-mile course. Dunlop took the win, but only just, with the margin at the flag 0.679, with Micko Sweeney keeping Dan Kneen at bay to take third. Andy Farrell finished 10th, just ahead of Duleek's Alan Connor.

Neil Kernohan took his second win of the season in the Junior Support class, beating Melvin Hollingsworth by more than seven seconds, with William Hara just pipping Tommy Henry for third. Wayne Hall finished fifth, just ahead of championship leader Derek Costello, with Naul rider Noel Bertram seventh. Aaron Hatch was back in 16th.

The combined Moto 3 and 125 class saw Seamus Elliott take overall victory on his Moto 3 machine, but the real battle was behind in the 125 class, with Sam Dunlop taking the win from Nigel Moore by 0.241 of a second and William Cowden third. Sean Leonard took sixth place.

The Senior Support non-championship race saw Graham Kennedy take a brilliant win from Neil Lyons by 0.526 of a second, with Noel Carroll third. Aaron Hatch finished in fifth place.

With four wins already under his belt this year, Manx rider Dan Kneen continued his domination in Grand Final races when he took the lead from William Dunlop at the first corner.

Dunlop and Derek Sheils were having their own battle, like they did in the Open Superbike race, but Kneen set the fastest lap of the day of 107.569 on lap four and he was never in trouble, finishing 6.534 seconds in front of William Dunlop, with Sheils 1.254 seconds back in third.

Andy Farrell was ninth, with Alan Connor 11th and Micko Sweeney a disappointing 13th.

Fingal Independent

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