Monaghan Motor Club hosted the first Navigation Trial of the season last Saturday night. The event was the final round of the club Gary Nesbitt Navigation Trial Championship and the penultimate round of the club Traders Championship. Local man Evin Hughes along with his Longford driver Pakie Duffy organised an 80 mile event based out of the Pearse Brothers GAA Centre and taking in the greater Ballybay area. Creeve man Aidan Keenan along with Corrybracken navigator Sean Marron earned their first ever overall win after a very compact and challenging route. They negotiated the 80 miles dropping just 7 minutes. Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock finished 2nd on 10 marks and Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor finished in 3rd place, also down 10 marks. Due to the Drumhowan vs Clones Junior Championship game taking place, the Navigation did not begin until 10pm. From Time Point 1 at Ballintra graveyard approaching from the Ballybay-Castleblaney road, it was turn right and out to the Lough Egish road turn left and head for the first farm lane of the night at Edenanay for TP2. After departing the time point it was down into the farm yard and in and around the sheds to reach Via1. The departure from the Via was directly across the public road and down another farm lane before heading to TP3 on a loop of a farm at Cornahoe. TP3 was the first place where most competitors dropped time due to the demanding nature of the route up to this point. The route to TP4 brought crews back up to Ballintra graveyard. A strategically placed TP1 left that anybody not being careful would overshoot the left hand turn off and end up receiving a double visit back at the start.
TPs 4 and 5 took the event through Corbrack and Corrybrannan to TP6 in Dixon’s farm at Drumhillagh. From here it was into Treanor’s farm at Corkeeran for a loop around the shed to Tp7 before continuing out the back lane to reach TP8. Treanor’s lane would spell the early demise of local radio DJ Sean McCaffery and his driver Richard Cassidy as the gearbox in their Vauxhall Vectra decided it didn’t get a long enough summer vacation and ultimately packed it in. Car 2 on the road Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan (joint leaders of both the club Navigation and Traders Championships) almost followed Cassidy/McCaffery into retirement as the alternator in the Subaru Impreza broke causing the battery to die. Amazingly, while getting a tow back to HQ they spotted Car 1, Arthur Kierans/Conor Maguire stopped (engine) so they robbed their alternator and after some quick repairs, they were able to rejoin the event at Control B. A herringbone tulip plot & bash was handed out at TP13 for Tp14 and Via3, however anybody who immediately followed the tulip would forget about the pre plotted Via2 at Creeve and head instead for TP14. A total of four crews would make this mistake. TP14 was in Keenan’s farm, also in the townland of Creeve before continuing the tulip down to the road island at Agheralane to get a very well hidden Via3. At Via3 another plot & bash was issued which brought competitors to TP15. The difficulty of this section was evident from the number of competitors that completely missed one or more checkpoints. TP16 and 17 were located on a farm at Carrickinare before heading up a long slippy and overgrown grey lane and turning right to the visit the midpoint Control back in the same farm and location of Via1. From the Control it was a short road section loop before once again traversing the long grey lane at Carrickinare and turning left to reach TP18 and 19 for the second relaxed section of the night. TP18 was very well placed to catch out any ‘sleeping’ navigator as after leaving TP17 it was very easy to forget about the Control and arrive at the relaxed section. In fact, many competitors were spotted reversing away from TP18 to head for the Control as failure to reach this Checkpoint would signify a very unfortunate exclusion. At the halfway mark, the event leaders were Martin Tynan/David McCrudden having a furthest cleanest tiebreak advantage over Keenan/Marron as both crews were down 5 marks. TP19 signified the beginning of the ITC route and this brought the event into new area just north of the Ballybay-Doohamlat road. More plot and bash was issued at TP22 at Cremartin for the location of TP23, whose approach was down another challenging farm lane at Dunfelimy. At TP23 a trace diagram was handed out. Unconventionally, navigators had to plot the trace backwards from TP25 to discover the location of TP24. Tynan/McCrudden would drop out of contention for the win here as they lost 7 minutes trying to figure out the difficult trace diagram. Unfortunately, Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan would pick up a wrong approach at this location, dropping them 15 marks. From TP25 at Corfinlough it was a straight forward route to the final control back in the Pearse Brothers GAA centre, signalling an end to a demanding but very enjoyable night’s sport.
At the end it was the Novice pair of Keenan/Marron who came out on top with a famous win beating all the seasoned Experts and dropping just two marks on the entire second half of the event. There were tiebreakers for 2nd,3rd and 4th OA as three crews all finished on 10 marks. Kelly/Sherlock got 2nd with a further cleanest tiebreak over Dalton/Treanor, who in turn got a further cleanest tiebreak over Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan. Michael and Ciaran were quite unfortunate, as they discovered a minor electrical problem in their car when leaving HQ causing them to arrive one minute late to the first Time Point. In the classes, it was Kelly/Sherlock 1st Expert, Dalton/Treanor 2nd and Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan 3rd. Semi-Expert was won by Damien Treanor/Christopher McMahon on 49 marks, 2nd was Garrett Collins/Patrick O’Sullivan on 53m and 3rd was Gary Cassidy/Killian McArdle on 132m. Ray O’Neill/Ryan Farrell were comfortable winners in the Novice class finishing on 20m, 2nd was Kieran McCarra/Aaron McElroy on 45m and 3rd was Mickey Conlon/Paul McPhillips finishing on 108m.
In the beginner class, Ballybay men Elijah Dixon/Marco Lennon once again stormed to victory and also finished an excellent 5th OA on 12m. 2nd in class went to Ciaran Duffy/Pauric Duffy on 42m and 3rd went to Shane Maguire/Ciaran Maguire who finished on 99m. Evin thanked Doohamlat Motors for providing an excellent scrutiny venue, the Pearse Brothers GAA for the top notch HQ and all the landowners and residents along the route for their continued support of the events, many of whom stood out to the early hours for to take in the spectacle of the navigation event. He also thanked all the marshals who assisted in the running of the trial, especially the ones who travelled from other counties to help out.
The first round of the National Navigation Championship’s takes place in Cork on Saturday the 15th October. CoC Aaron O’Regan has organised an 80 mile event based out of the west Cork village of Inchegeelagh. Regulations and entry are available now. The next Monaghan Navigation will take place on Saturday the 12th of November.
Top 10 Results:
1st Aidan Keenan/Sean Marron (Subaru Impreza) 7m,
2nd Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 10m,
3rd Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 10m,
4th Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 10m,
5th Elijah Dixon/Marco Lennon (Subaru Impreza) 12m,
6th Shane Farrell/James McCabe (Subaru Impreza) 12m,
7th Martin Tynan/David McCrudden (Subaru Impreza) 15m,
8th Ray O’Neill/Ryan Farrell (Subaru Impreza) 20m,
9th Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan (Ford Focus) 27m,
10th Ciaran Duffy/Pauric Duffy (Subaru Impreza) 42m.