A great Saturday was spent at Tandragee MX Track for Round 5 of the GR7 Championship and the Paul Spratt Memorial. There was a great turnout of riders so we were in for a good days racing. Friday night seen a heavy downfall of rain mixed with thunder and lightening. If I’m honest I didn’t expect the track to be in good shape after that, but how wrong was I?! Practice seen the big bikes head out first to help clear any surface water and make way for the smaller bikes. The only puddle on the track was the start straight which I did see a few people go for a swim in but the rest of the track was in great condition. The rain was definitely needed to keep down any dust.
It was a great days racing for Ethan Gawley who set a fast pace in all races and came away a happy boy with 3 race wins. Nathan Austin wasn’t going to make it an easy win for Gawley though, first race there was a 6 second lead but race three Austin’s determination paid off and shortened the gap down to 1.5 seconds. Race one Kyle Graham was hot on Austins heels rounding off top three and taking two 4th positions in race two and three. Race two Hayden Gibson came back fighting after a fourth in race one and took 2nd position in race two and a 3rd in race three. Overall results for the Autos were Ethan Gawley 1st, Nathan Austin 2nd, Hayden Gibson 3rd and Kyle Graham 4th.
Young Ben McConville was on fire on Saturday, he was unstoppable coming away with three very well deserved wins. McConville wasn’t taking any prisoners round the track in any of his three races. Race one was a 30 second lead on Nathan Donnelly who passed the chequered flag with 13 seconds to spare and Lewis Spratt rounded off the top three. Race two and three Spratt took 2nd with a 16.5 and 20 second lead on Donnelly who took third in both races. Overall results for the day were 1st Ben McConville, 2nd Lewis Spratt, 3rd Nathan Donnelly and 4th Cameron Woods.
Next up is the SW & BW 885s. Race one in the SW Alex Henderson past the chequered flag with a very comfortable 34 second lead on Lennox Dickinson followed 8 seconds later by Ross Martin. Again race two Henderson dominated this time Aaron Potterton took second with a lead of 13 seconds on Ross Martin who rounded out top three. Race three Potterton took the win with Dickinson back up in second and Martin third. Overall results in the SW Alex Henderson 1st, Aaron Potterton 2nd, Lennox Dickinson 3rd and Ross Martin 4th. Jay Sherry was on top form taking the win in all three races. Matthew Beattie was out to chase the lead taking a second in both race one and three and a third in race two. Charley Irwin didn’t make it easy for Beattie in the race one only missing out on second position by 0.4 seconds. It was a good steady day for Reece Ross too coming away way with 2-3. Finishing off the day on a high for the BWs were Jay Sherry 1st, Matthew Beattie 2nd, Reece Ross 3rd and Charlie Irwin 4th.
It was a good day for Niall Cregan who took all three wins, Nathan Green who took three 2nd positions and Jack Moore who took 3rd position in all races. Race one for Cregan was a comfortable win with a 12 second lead on Green but race two and three were so easy with only a 2-3 second gap between them in each races. Overall results were Niall Cregan 1st, Nathan Green 2nd, Jack Moore 3rd and Ruairi Deegan 4th.
Grade C Jeff Rainey and Cori Dillon battled it out all day to see who could come out on top. Race one Rainey just passed the chequered flag with only 1.5 seconds to spare as Dillon was hot on his heels. Again in race two Rainey showed Dillon he meant business and took the win. Unfortunately it wasn’t a clean sweep for Rainey, Dillon took the win and passed the chequered flag only 1.4 seconds before Rainey. It was a great day for James Kearney coming away with 3-3-3. The day ended with Jeff Rainey 1st, Cori Dillon 2nd, James Kearney 3rd and Jordan McMullan 4th.
Next up is Grade B. it was a close call between Dylan McCaughey, Luke Dunlop and Kyle Hamilton with less than two seconds between these three riders in race one. McCaughey took the win, Dunlop second and Hamilton third. Race two Hamilton took a comfortable win followed by Stephen Gabbey with 7 seconds to spare Dunlop rounded out top three. Race three seen Callum Hemphill and Gabbey battled it out for top position, unfortunately for Gabbey it was Hemphill who took the win and McCaughey back at the top taking third. Overall results for the day were Dylan McCaughey 1st, Kyle Hamilton 2nd, Stephen Gabbey 3rd and Callum Hemphill 4th.
A2 race one was dominated by Nathan Green who had a 32 second lead on Aaron Wilson followed by John Robb. It was Gary Andrews who came out on top in race two and three with a 4 second gap between him and Wilson in race two and 6 seconds ahead of Green in race three. Jack Moore had 3-3 in race two and three so a good steady days riding for him. Overall results for the day Gary Andrews 1st, Nathan Green 2nd, Aaron Wilson 3rd and Jack Moore 4th.
Last but by no means least Jay McCrum showed us all how it’s done in the A1 class. Taking the win in race one by 10.5 second. Lindsay Newell flew pasted the chequered flag taking 2nd position followed by Phil Harris 28 seconds later. Stephen Kelly meant business in race two and give Jay McCrum a run for his money but unfortunately for Kelly, McCrum just past the chequered flag first with 4 seconds to spare. Final race of the day and McCrum made it look all too easy taking another win, Kelly’s determination paid off giving him a second and Phil Harris 3rd. Top four overall results for the day were Jay McCrum 1st, Stephen Kelly 2nd, Lindsay Newell 3rd and Phil Harris 4th.
The MCCNI would like to take this opportunity to thank Shirley and her family for taking the time to come and present the Paul Spratt Memorial trophies. It’s always a pleasure to see them. We hope you had a lovely day. Thank you again to everyone that makes a race day happen! Without the help and supports from the flag marshals, medical team, committee members, riders, club members and spectators. Without you all there wouldn’t be any races so please accept our sincere thanks. A special thank you to Avril who has everything organised down to a ‘T’ so there is no delays on race days and she keeps us all right. And just remember folks nothing gets past our Avril!
Words by Cathy Graham
Photos by Ian Cairns