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Hurson lands Summer Rally after setting a winning pace

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At the finish of the 4x4 Exporter Galway Summer Rally, the penultimate round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship were, left to right: Peadar Hurson, winning driver, Mark Parsons, Clerk of the Course, Damien Connolly, co-driver, and Stephen Greaney, 4x4 Exporter, sponsor. Photo: Martin Walsh.

FORMER National rally champion Peadar Hurson (Subaru WRC) took a start to finish victory in the 4×4 Exporter Galway Summer Rally, the penultimate round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship.

The Warrenpoint driver and his Monaghan co-driver Damien Connolly finished the nine-stage event with a winning margin of one minute and 9.1 seconds. Monaghan’s Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry (Subaru WRC) took second spot with Donegal’s Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore (Toyota Starlet) a fraction of a second behind in third.

The top local crew was that of Tom Flaherty/Patrick Curley (Escort), they finished 16th overall and fourth in Class 14.  Another local crew, Paul Curley/Jason Ollerenshaw (Subaru WRC) were five places further behind in general classification.

Outgoing national rally champion Declan Boyle crashed out on the opening stage, his Ford Fiesta WRC slid off and the impact with the Galway scenery damaged the front right wheel and suspension. Meanwhile, Peadar Hurson set the pace and led the Subaru WRC of Alan Ring by 14.6 seconds.

The Warrenpoint driver also dominated the remaining stages of the loop and arrived at the Athenry service with a lead of 32.5 with Maguire into second place – 1.8 seconds ahead of the Subaru of Steve Wood. Rally leader Hurson admitted he was cautious through the second stage where he clipped a bale and knocked off the left hand wing mirror. Maguire was untroubled in second while Wood admitted he found it difficult to find the braking points.

Fourth placed Roy White had an issue with the brakes during the second stage, but it was sorted prior to the start of the final stage of the loop. Gallagher led the two-wheel drive category in fifth spot with Alan Ring, having chosen the wrong tyres, completing the top six.

Meanwhile, Ed O’Callaghan punched in a strong time on S.S. 3 and occupied seventh in a top ten that featured the Fiesta R5 of Daniel McKenna and the Escorts of Chris Armstrong and Jonathan Pringle.

Paddy McVeigh in the ex-Patrick Elliott Subaru WRC was 11th. In Group N, following the demise of Aidan Wray with a clutch problem, Gary Cairns (Mitsubishi) led the way from Trevor Bustard and Paul Barrett. Meanwhile, Kevin Barrett withdrew his Subaru at the service due to suspension problems, earlier, smoke filled the cockpit of the car on the third stage.

On the second loop of stages, Hurson extended his lead to 51.8 seconds: “I’m taking it steady, not taking any chances,” he said at the Athenry service as he marvelled at the performance of Declan Gallagher, quickest through S.S. 5, who slotted his Toyota Starlet into second spot – 2.8 seconds ahead of the Subaru of Niall Maguire.  A 7.7 second margin covered Gallagher, Maguire and Ring with the latter gaining slightly on Maguire.

White was trouble free in fifth with Ed O’Callaghan (Escort) posting the second fastest time on S.S. 6, a fraction of a second behind Hurson, completing the top six. Wood lost between 15 and 20 seconds when he spun his Subaru as he exited a right hand junction near Attymon, he dropped from third to seventh. The remaining places in the top ten were annexed by Daniel McKenna (Fiesta R5) and the Escorts of Chris Armstrong and Jonathan Pringle, who spun on S.S. 5.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Wootton weaves his magic in vital bonus point victory

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Connacht winger Alex Wootton breaches the Cardiff cover on his way to scoring a second try in Saturday's PRO14 encounter at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 32

Cardiff 17

Rob Murphy at the Sportsground

THE Cardiff players were strewn across the pitch, faces buried in the Sporstground soil. Alex Wootton had just made their lives a misery for a second time in a blistering five minute spell and a game that was very much within their grasp had suddenly disappeared off into the distance. That was the scene in first-half injury time on Saturday evening as Connacht cut loose with a burst of brilliance.

Wootton now has ten tries in 13 appearances, an astonishing return from his first season in the green of Connacht. Munster’s loss is very much Andy Friend’s gain it seems. It helps too that there’s a backline orchestrator in the shape of Jack Carty who is playing at the very top of his game with one all encompassing display after another in recent months. The Irish door isn’t opening, but he keeps on knocking away.

But back to those Cardiff defenders, they were crestfallen at half time and positively dejected by full time. For most of the contest their team seemed to be in the ascendency in terms of possession and territory, but Connacht held all the aces when it came to the level of additional quality needed to be a serious contender in this competition. There’s no shame in being second best but the Welsh regions do struggle with the concept.

The Connacht coach has injuries to concern him but nothing overwhelming, Tom Farrell is probably the first choice centre for example and he’s out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury, Quinn Roux would start most big games but we learned this week a neck injury will keep him out until April, while Denis Buckley started this game on the bench. So this was pretty much a full strength side.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway keeping all options open for 2021 summer racing festival

John McIntyre

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A lone racegoer follows the action at last year's Galway Summer Racing Festival which was held behind closed doors at Ballybrit.

MICHAEL Moloney is a pragmatist. He’s not a hostage to pipedreams or fanciful thoughts ignoring reality. He doesn’t build up false hope and plays a straight bat.

The Galway Racecourse General Manager knows the odds are currently against punters flocking through the Ballybrit turnstiles for this summer’s annual seven-day racing festival, but he is not without hope that circumstances may change.

“As it stands, the only public health guidelines we are working off is that there will be no gatherings of over 50 people before September. That’s what the Tániste Leo Varadkar said a couple of weeks ago.”

That conclusion gives Galway little wriggle room at present, but with the 2021 festival still five months away – it starts on Monday, July 26 – local stakeholders are keeping their fingers crossed that the overall Covid-19 picture will be much better by then.

Whatever way the cards fall in relation to mass gatherings at sporting events by late summer, Moloney emphasises that Galway Racecourse will be ready to respond quickly to any improved scenario.

Ahead of last year’s festival, Moloney admitted that Galway was heading into the unknown with the meeting being staged behind closed doors and Ballybrit set to be devoid of the atmosphere it has become famous for.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Saddling up for a battle with cancer

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Susan Kennelly says wearing her cycling gear, like above in Salthill, and getting on her bike gives her a boost in her battle with cancer.

A city-based doctor has become the second person in the country to be named as a Bike Like Me advocate as part of a campaign by Cycling Ireland to inspire more women and girls to discover cycling and feel confident on their bikes.

Susan Kennelly (42), who lives in the city centre, is a member of Galway Bay Cycling Club and is the second of six Bike Like Me advocates to be announced as part of the campaign.

Currently battling breast cancer, she says she has found solace in being able to jump on her bike and take to the roads, saying that putting on her cycling helmet and cycling gear allowed her to feel the same as everyone else and boosted her morale in her own health battle.

“Particularly this year I really appreciated how normalising cycling could be. I had no hair because of chemo, no eyebrows or eyelashes and had lost weight but hopping on a bike with my helmet and cycling clothes meant I really looked no different to anyone else,” she says.

Why did you start cycling?

After stepping down from competitive rowing after several years I wanted something that would keep me physically active but without the same training commitment as rowing.

A friend suggested I join Galway Bay Cycling Club and I instantly knew this was right for me! I loved getting out in the open air and the sense of comradery and security with group cycling but at the same time I didn’t have to worry about letting a crew down if I couldn’t make a spin.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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