Monaghan’s former Young Rally Driver of the Year Sam Moffett dominated yesterday’s opening round of the Triton Showers National Rally Championship, with his Fiesta WRC leading the Birr MC’s Abbey Court Hotel event at Nenagh from start to finish in treacherous conditions.

Moffett and his co-driver James Fulton headed the high class field on the opening stage by eleven seconds and extended their lead to half a minute by the mid-point of the eight stage rally. Double champions Declan and Brian Boyle lay second with defending title holders Roy White/James O’Brien in third place.

Despite easing off over the closing stages, the Monaghan driver almost doubled his advantage by the finish, ending the day 59 seconds ahead of Boyle, with another previous champion, Donagh Kelly, getting ahead of White’s Fiesta to take third position in his older Focus by just four seconds.

Gary McPhillips scored a narrow win over Adrian Hetherington in the two wheel drive category, with their Escorts finishing eighth and ninth overall, while Michael Boyle, the 19 year old son of Declan, was the clear winner of the Junior Rally.

There was lots of family rivalry in the Monaghan Navigation Trial at Clones, with no fewer than three Tynans sharing top position at the finish. Mickey, navigated by his nephew Ciaran, tied with son Martin and his navigator Fintan Clerkin after a tough 100 mile route.

Both pairings had the same penalty at the same place on the route, and both were in similar cars, so they could not be split on the tie-deciding rules and were declared joint winners. Ashley McAdoo and Laurence Keenan took third place ahead of National champions Pakie Duffy and Evin Hughes.

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