Josh Moffett got the better of older brother Sam, in a superb 1-2 for the Combilift rally team on last Sunday’s Monaghan Stages Rally.
After a scintillating battle between the two brothers and National Championship leader Donagh Kelly, it was Josh & co-driver Jason McKenna who emerged victorious by just 5.1 seconds.
Josh & Jason said it was a dream come true to win their home event.
Sam Moffett & James O’Reilly missed out on completing a hat-trick of Monaghan wins but were full of praise for the winners and were the first to congratulate them at the finish.
Donagh Kelly & Kevin Flanagan maintained their lead in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship after a strong drive to 3rd overall just 12.9 seconds behind the event winners.
It was Sam Moffett who set the pace on the opening Lisnalee stage where only 1.3 seconds separated the top four crews.
Donagh Kelly took the lead on the shortened stage two, but fastest time on stage 3 promoted Josh Moffett & Jason McKenna into a lead they wouldn’t lose for the rest of the event.
Sam Moffett reported losing time on stage two with an overshoot which would be a major factor in the outcome of the event.
Peader Hurson/Damien Connolly were a strong 4th overall and were within touch of the leaders with Stephen Wright/Mickie Galvin and Niall Maguire/Enda Sherry completing the top six.
Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan led the two wheel drive battle in 7th overall with Donegal’s Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore nine seconds adrift.
Shane Maguire/Paul Kelly dropped out of the Group N lead following a stage two accident which left Pat Kirk/John McElhinney in the lead from Martin Doherty/Conor Foley.
Josh Moffett turned in a blinder on stage four where he took five seconds out of everyone to move nearly ten seconds clear and despite a massive moment on stage six which damaged his front wing he maintained the lead at 8.8 seconds. Fastest time on stage six, helped Sam Moffett/James O’Reilly into 2nd place, 1.6 seconds ahead of Donagh Kelly/Kevin Flanagan.
Hurson/Connolly maintained a steady 4th and Peader was happier with his performance after stiffening his suspension.
Wright/Galvin and Maguire/Sherry continued untroubled in 5th and 6th respectively.
McPhillips/Sheridan retained the two-wheel drive lead from Gallagher/Moore with Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne 3rd.
Doherty/Foley moved into the Group N lead and were now 3.2 seconds ahead of Kirk/McElhinney with the top four in this class separated by only eight seconds.
The fight for honours intensified as Sam slashed the deficit to Josh to just 3.8 seconds going into the final stage at Ardaghey.
Josh held it all together on the final stage taking 1.3 seconds out of Sam to clinch victory by 5.1 seconds
Kelly/Flanagan retained their lead in the Triton Showers National Rally Championship with third overall.
Peader Hurson/Damien Connolly brought their ten-year old Subaru to a superb 4th overall which was a great result considering it was the first stages event in the car.
Stephen Wright/Mickie Galvin were delighted with 5th overall in their Fiesta R5 with five times winner Niall Maguire & four times winner Enda Sherry securing 6th overall to maintain 2nd overall in the National Championship.
There was late drama in the two wheel drive battle as Gary McPhillips/Paul Sheridan were sidelined with engine problems just 500 yards from the finish of the last stage.
The pair’s rotten luck in Monaghan in recent years continued.
Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore finished 1st two-wheel drive car and 7th overall. Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne were 8th overall and won class 14 with Roy White/James O’Brien 9th in their MG and David Moffett/Fintan Sherry 10th overall and third two wheel drive car.
Martin Doherty/Conor Foley secured Group N honours from Trevor Bustard/John McCafferty.
Pauric McGee/Shane Barry dominated class 1 in their Honda Civic taking the win by over a minute from Declan McShane/Emmet Brosnan.
Martin O’Donnell/Eamon Gillespie led home Shane Forde/Seamus McTigue in class two whilst Eoin Neville/Billy Collins took class 3.
Conor Foley guided Donegal’s Martin Doherty to 25th overall and 1st in class 4 with Trevor Bustard/John McCafferty 2nd and Pat Kirk/John McElhinney 3rd. Graham & Tom Scallon were the sole finishers in class 5 while Lloyd Hutchinson/Willie Fitzpatrick took class 9 honours in their rapid Mini.
John & Niall Kelly took a dominate class 10 win while Sam Johnston/Nigel McCloughry took victory in class 11F.
Dessie Keenan/James McCarville took a start to finish win class 11R after holding off the challenge of Barry Treanor/Gregory McQuillan.
Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan, Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden and Anthony Hand/Peter Deery made it an all Monaghan top five in this class.
Martin Toner/Sharon Clarke won class 12 in their Sunbeam from Border rivals, Brian Armstrong/Mark Tierney.
Alan Atchenson/Thomas Wedlock held off Arthur & Mac Kierans for 3rd in class. Declan Gallagher/Ryan Moore led home David Moffett/Fintan Sherry in a Starlet 1-2 in class 13. Chris Armstrong/James Fulton were 3rd.
Cavan’s Jonathan Pringle/Martin Byrne took class 14 from Brian Brogan/Damien McGettigan and Frank Kelly/Sean Ferris.
Martin Donnelly/Brian Doherty won class 15 in their Corolla from the similar car of Eddie Power/Mark Wiley.
Stephen Wright/Mickie Galvin won class 20 from Roy White/James O’Brien and Monaghan’s Michael Carbin/Emmet McCooey.
Malcolm Pedlow/Ivor Ferguson won the historic class.
Wexford’s James Bradley/Maria Kehoe led home Gary McNamee/Breen McNamee and Richard Moore/Brian Halligan in an all Honda top three in the Junior class.