Errigal CC 2012 CHAMPIONS! – P.McGee

Last Thursday night the 16th of August seen the final round of the inter club league unfold in the beautiful surroundings of Ballyliffin seaside resort. Once again North Pole CC laid on a great circuit. Errigal CC were in the driving seat before the evening got under way as they picked up valuable points on their own home event in Dore and then also they travelled well to new club host’s Strabane Lifford CC. Their main opposition was going to come from the Four Masters riders, surprisingly however very few of the later signed on for the final round.

Peter McBride, Brian McBride and Charlie Gallagher were arguably ECC’s strongest riders to sign on in Ballyliffin. They were to come up against strong opposition from North Poles’ Rory Devlin and Foyle’s Aaron Deane to name but a few if they were to bag any points for the men in yellow!

The race got underway shortly after 7pm with Group 1 away first. Errigal’s Sandra Devine and North Pole’s Willie John were the early pacesetters with Foyle keeping a close eye on any potential attacks. Group 1 was slow to get going with no team prepared to work.

As Group 1 entered the junction at the North Pole Bar, Foyle CC launched an attack as the hit the ascent. Paul McGee chased down immediately and Pat Kelly, Roger McGlynn and Sean Sweeney Jnr followed suit. The front group now consisted of 5 Errigal riders, 1 Foyle, 2 Strabane Lifford and 2 North Pole men. As the ascent got shorter the riders too dwindled off the front pack as it reached the summit.

With the group now approaching  Carndonagh it certainly looked like group 1 were not going to be caught  - after a slow start but with the pace really hotting up from the North Pole Bar. As the men in yellow hit the final climb before the metropolis of downtown Carndonagh Sean Sweeney Jnr went off the front in a solo attack. Good work from Roger McGlynn and Pat Kelly at the front of the pursuing pack meant Sweeney opened up an  8” gap.

As the pack began the descent to Carndonagh Sweeney was away but suddenly out of nowhere ECC group 2 rider Neil McBride came round the Group 1 pack and attacked Sweeney. He was on a mission. McBride having raced very little this year certainly looked like a man possessed… (4 weeks of Secret Training in Australia with Cadel Evans was paying dividends!!).  As Sweeney turned left in Carndonagh the UCC student must surely have thought he was away until McBride blitzed him and was out of sight!

Things really started to heat up now with McBride away – Roger McGlynn and Pat Kelly moved fast to protect Sweeney. A Strabane Lifford rider plus two North Pole men then attacked. With approximately 3 miles to go Neil McBride had opened up a 15″second lead and then came the scratch men which included Errigal Rider Peter McBride, Aaron Deane and Rory Devlin. All three riders looked strong and it was inevitable that Peter was going to reel in his brother Neil or would he?… that was the question! Peter has really come into form this year and his dedication has paid off. With a mile to go the four men out front eased the pace as the mental games started with the four riders starting to snake from right to left.

The Group 1 men then increased the pace and they had their own battles to win! Great riding from Pat Kelly, Roger McGlynn and Sean Sweeney Jnr ensured that no other attacks ensued as Errigal had two men away in the top 4.  These three Group 1 riders worked their socks off from the minute they turned left at the North Pole bar.

As the riders attacked the final ascent in Ballyliffin the top 4 were out of sight and the 3 lads in Group 1 attacked again and Sean Sweeney Jnr got the better of his elders as he finished in 6th  o/a with Roger McGlynn 8th o/a and Pat Kelly 9th o/a.

However there was a timing technicality with the scratch group and there finish times were removed from the overall GC moving each rider up 3 places.

Finally, in Group 2 strong riding from Christopher Orr  seen him finish 14th o/a and most importantly he bagged a few extra points for the men in yellow leaving them with 6 places in the top 15 GC, thus retaining the Inter Club Shield for 2012.

Well done everyone! Great performance on the night despite ECC missing a lot of our ‘stronger’ riders!!…and the inter club motivator… Troy Hegarty!

A big well done to Neil McBride on his win! (A few more months of secret training down under  and A3 Beckons!!)


Finally thanks to all the club’s that participated this year, well done to Strabane Lifford on their debut season, thanks to Kieran Eccles and all at North Pole CC for a very enjoyable final event and until next year…..Will it be 3 in a row?!  Safe riding everyone! 

 Results of Round 5 of Inter-club League

  1. Neil McBride……………..Errigal CC
  2. Ryan Reilly………………. Foyle CC
  3. Seán Sweeney Jnr……….Errigal CC
  4. John Doherty Toner……North Pole CC
  5. Roger McGlynn………….Errigal CC
  6. Pat Kelly……………………Errigal CC
  7. Paul McGee……………….Errigal CC
  8. Simon McCarron………..Strabane-Lifford CC
  9. Bunny Hopper……………Foyle CC    
  10. Raymond Doherty(D)…..North Pole CC
  11. Foyle green socks……….Foyle CC
  12. Foyle Cube…………………Foyle CC
  13. Willie John McLaughlin..North Pole CC
  14. Christopher Orr…………..Errigal CC
  15. Frank Togher……………    North Pole CC

Club points.

  1. Errigal 60 rider points=5 club points
  2. Foyle 30 rider points=4 club points
  3. North Pole 22rider points=3 club points
  4. Strabane Lifford 8 rider points=2 club points