Top-class racing at Milverton
Milverton Off Road Club held the first round of the Stubble Championship in Stamullen on Sunday, and it was a mixed day of weather that produced some of the best racing ever seen in the club's short history.
In all, 196 riders signed on to start racing - a record for the club - with the recently added Clubmans class having to be split into two different races, such was the amount of riders registering to race.
The day saw one red flag, with the rider taken to hospital for observation, and there was some controversy in the Grade "C" MX2 class, with the results not announced on the day as the club will have to make a decision on an incident that took place during one of the races.
The day started with plenty of rain that made the field quite mucky and tricky, but as the day went on the sun came out and the course dried, producing brilliant races.
The Autos started the day as usual, and it was Robijs Depers who scored a fine treble. In race one it was Kian Bruton who took second from John McCann Jnr, with Jade O'Connor 4th. In race two McCann got the better of a duel with Bruton, with Bruton reversing the role in the final race. Overall it was Depers from Bruton with McCann third and Jade O'Connor fending off all the rest of the field to take fourth.
Owen Everard was in fine form in the Youth 125 class taking two wins in race one and three, with Bradley Andrews denying him of a treble in race two. Thi Fanning was third in the first two races, with Jack Thompson taking third in the final race. Overall it was Everard from Andrews, with Fanning third and Thompson fourth.
As usual the 250 Youth class provided some cracking and close racing. In race one Sean Whelan got the verdict over his arch rival Jack Whearty, with Ben O'Brien taking third after a great battle with Dylan Cummins. Race two saw Whelan and Whearty once more locked together, but on lap three they touched, and Whelan went down, uninjured, and Whearty had to go wide to avoid him, leaving Gerard Dullaghan in to take a deserving win. Whearty fought hard to get back to second, with O'Brien once more third and Whelan taking a hard fought fourth.
The final race saw Whelan lead from the start, and despite the hard riding of Whearty he could not get past the Rush teenager, and finished second ahead of O'Brien who squeezed out Dylan Cummins for the final podium position. Overall it was a tie between Whelan and Whearty, with Whelan getting the verdict by having the two wins. Whearty was second, O'Brien third, and Gerard Dullaghan fourth.
The first of the Clubman's races saw the club have one race for odd numbers and the other for even numbers. The odd number race was first, and it was Gary Scott who took the flag ahead of John Bradley, with Niall Monaghan third and Stephen Power fourth. Race two saw Power take a cracking win from Bradley, with Eddie Devlin third and Jamie Breen fourth. Loughshinny teenager Adam Corr took his first ever win in the final race after leading from the drop of the gates, with Niall Monaghan taking his best result of the day. John Bradley was third and Gary Scott fourth. Overall it was John Bradley from Gary Scott, with Stephen Power third and Adam Corr fourth.
The Twinshock class saw Aiden McGarrity take all three wins from the reigning champion Ryan McMaster who was runner up in all three races. Grant Lyons had two third places and a fourth with Ollie Hughes two fourths and a third. Overall it was McGarrity from McMaster, with Lyons third and Hughes fourth.
Brendan Ryan took the first two race wins in the Grade "C" MX1 class after two cracking race duels with Ciaran Coyle. The pair were locked together for the best part on the races, but in the final race Ryan got a terrible start and Coyle was the early leader. Ryan rode with true class to cut his way through the large field, and he was up to second as they went out on their last lap. He tried on three occasions to get past Coyle, but Coyle wasn't to be denied his win, and there was only the length of a bike between them at the finish. There was great scrapping behind the pair for the lower placing, and overall it was Ryan from Coyle, with Robert O'Brien third and Chris Keogh fourth.
The Evo class had another full field, and in race one it was Balbriggan rider Edward Russell who took the win after passing Francis Fanning on the penultimate lap, with Jason Floody third and Benny Whearty fourth. Francis Fanning again led in race two, and the chasing Russell crashed out, but remounted uninjured, to finish well down the field. Jason Cash was a faller in race one, and like Russell he remounted to finish sixth, but he took the wins in races tow and three. Russell took second in the final race with Fanning third. Overall it was Fanning from Cash, with Jason Floody third and Edward Russell fourth.
Gabriel Golturenko has been unbeaten for the past two years in the 65 class, and despite a broken wrist that he suffered at a recent Moto X he was back racing with his arm in plaster, and once more gave a master class in the first two races, leaving Michael McCullough in second. In the final race Golturenko was leading McCullough as they rounded the final turn, and then suddenly his bike stopped feet from the line with the braked seized, and this allowed McCullough to take the win, with Gabriel getting the bike across the line to finish second. Overall Gabriel took the win from McCullough, with Alex Whearty third and Markns Pelaks fourth.
Tom Garry was back in flying form in the 85 Big Wheel class taking all three wins from Shane Valentine. Reece Coyne had his best results of the season on the class, taking third overall, with Jake Wall fourth.
The Grade "C" MX2 race one ended in controversy, and while the last two races were run, the club have decided not to announce the overall results, as they will have a special meeting to decide where the points will go, and announce the result after the meeting.
The 85 Small Wheel class saw three different winners. In race one it was Craig Sinnott from Jamie Whelan, with Shane Organ third and Sam Thompson fourth. Race two saw Whelan take the win from Organ, with Sinnott third and Sam Thompson fourth.
The final race was a another cracker, with Organ finally getting the verdict from Whelan, Craig Sinnott and Fehin Sinnott getting his best result in his new class. Overall it was Whelan from Organ, with Craig Sinnott third and Sam Thompson fourth.
The Over 40s class provided three more cracking races, with Wayne Kirwan coming from behind in race one with some fantastic cornering speed to beat Alan Dennis, with David Byrne close behind in third, and Edward Russell fourth. Race two saw Skerries rider David Byrne fend off Kirwan for the full race. Kirwan tried all he knew to get past on the last lap, but Byrne held court to take the win, with Kirwan second, Ian Kelly third and Alan Dennis fourth.
Kirwan and Dennis were locked together in the final race, but Kirwan tried to go the long way around Dennis in a brave passing manoeuvre, only to lose traction and spin out.
He rejoined the race to finish fourth, with Byrne taking second and Edward Russell third. Overall it was Byrne, with Dennis and Kirwan joint second, and Russell taking fourth.
The second Clubman class for the "Even Numbers" saw James Allen take all three wins, but it was the battle behind that had the good crowd entertained. In race one it was James Dillon who just squeezed out David Masterson, with Michael Hopkins fourth. Race two and three saw Masterson fight really hard to finish second, with Hopkins third and John McCabe fourth. John McCabe finally got on to the podium in the last race finishing third with David Chambers fourth. Overall it was Allen from Masterson, with McCabe third and Patrick Carroll fourth.
Mervyn Griffin once more dominated the Grade "A" class taking all three wins. In race one it was road racer James Kelly who finished second with Jonathan Merryman third and Andrew Whearty fourth. Race two saw Paddy Dunne come from behind to take second, with Kelly third and Whearty fourth. Whearty rode a brilliant final race to take second from Neil Devlin, with Paddy Dunne fourth.
Overall it was Griffin from Whearty, with Dunne third and Merryman fourth.
The Grade "B" MX1 class provided more cracking entertainment with three different winners. Race one saw Paul Rock take the win from Jason Cash, Francis Fanning and Ryan McMaster. The second race was red flagged just after the start after Paul Rock took a nasty-looking toss. He was assessed by the paramedics and taken to hospital for observation. Eoghan Dunne took the restart from Lusk rider Leo Skelly, with Shane Kelly third and Ryan McMaster fourth. Francis Fanning took the final race win from McMaster, with Dunne third and Peter O'Flaherty fourth. Overall it was Fanning from McMaster, with Dunne third and O'Flaherty fourth.
The Grade "B" MX2 class was no different from the grade 1, with Martin Whearty taking the win in race one, from Conor Plant, Brian Barron and Chris Maypother. Race two and three saw Barron take the chequered flag, but the battles behind saw Richard Cummins take second in race two from Martin Whearty and Conor Plant. In race three it was Whearty who was second, Cummins third and Maypother fourth.
A most enjoyable day's racing, and well run despite the massive entry, with 39 races held as well as the 13 practice sessions.
Round two of the championship will take place in the same field on Sunday 12th August, on a different course.