Saturday 3rd January saw Moto Trial NI host the 3rd round of our winter series at John White's Farm in Newtownards.
An absolutely fabulous day it turned out to be, there were 158 competitors who turned up and the weather was as good as you can expect in winter with bright sunshine all day!
Of the 158 riders there were 45 youth competitors which was very heartening as it shows trials are starting to generate new competitors into the sport. There was also a very healthy amount of older bikes from air cooled monos, through 70/80s twinshocks right back to a beautiful Matchless, and at the other end lots of new bikes and the ultra modern electric bikes for the kids!!!
In the A grade there was a bigger than usual entry of 34 riders! And there were quite a few in with a shout of the win!
At the halfway point a slack two mark penalty dropped Ken Perry down to second only one mark behind former GP MX star, Newtownards' own Gordon Crockard!! Four riders finished the first card within three marks of Crockstar, so the battle and pressure was clearly on for the final two laps!
Crockard held his nerve though to post a faultless second card to finish the trial on only one mark lost!! This give him the win over Ken Perry by one mark who beat Sam Hampshire by a further one mark! In fact both Ken and Sam matched Crockstars clear second card, so it was a real nail biting finish!! Phillip Morrison was next a further point back while Gareth Mackey was fifth on five marks lost.
In the grade A aircooled group Aaron Smyth ran out winner, while in the grade A twinshock group Kyle Turner ran out a clear winner from Stuart Hanlon.
Onto Grade B, and again there was a healthy entry of 35 riders.
At the halfway stage there was a three way tie for the lead, Paul Harvey, Ray Adamson and Alan Young all on three marks lost!! Again the pressure was on for the final two laps and Paul showed the experience gained over many years to post a faultless card for the final two laps to give him the win on three marks lost! Ray was second three marks further back, Alan took third one mark away from Ray with Johnny Russell forth on eleven, one better than John Tweedie in fifth!
In the twinshock group Geoff Hillis came home in first place and in the Pre 65 group Chris Hampshire made the trip from over the border worthwhile by winning on his BSA Bantam.
The largest grade of the day was Grade C with 45 competitors, three riders posted faultless first cards with numerous riders within reach of them a few marks further back!! Davy Mulholland held his nerve and returned a faultless second card to end the four laps of ten sections without any marks lost all day!! A fantastic ride!! Next home was Ray Harper on one mark, Ray Mason was third on two marks one ahead of Eric Davidson in forth with Tom Conlon fifth on five marks lost!
In the twinshock grade David McGaughey was the winner on his Ossa!
Onto the youth grades and in youth A Josh Hanlon fought off all the others to take the win. At the halfway mark he only had a narrow lead from Alexander Lennox but Josh held his nerve to post a faultless second card to extend his lead and take the win on four marks. Alexander had to ride well to hold off Ross Pyper for second, while Ross in turn just held off George Taylor by one mark for third! Jack Waring took fifth place.
In youth B Robbie Dugan showed how well he has progressed recently by taking the win on five marks lost from Campbell Baillie who posted a score of ten, next was Jordan Nixon on twenty, with Matthew White a further three marks further back in forth. Callum McAllister was fifth home on thirty six marks.
Grade C youth is separated in two, one group riding the adult course and one on a smaller course.
On the big course Ryan Thompson and Peter Molloy tied on ten marks lost, but Ryan took the win having gone further than Peter before losing any marks! Next was Morgan Steele on nineteen, followed in forth by Tim Davidson on twenty four with Aaron Lappin fifth on twenty six.
On the smaller course Dylan Smyth was first, Matthew Lockhead was second with Ross Allen third.
In youth D Stuart Lappin was first closely followed by Shannon Smyth.
There were two grades for electric bikes and in the E1 class Harry Smith won while in the E2 grade Ben McCosh was the winner!!
Speaking immediately after the event the winner Gordon Crockard said "I would like to thank Moto Trial NI for putting on such a wonderful event, it was a great day! The best thing though is having an event within 800 yards of my front door!!!!"
Moto Trial NI would like to thank John White, John O'Hara, Andy McCracken, Leslie and David Wright for the use of their land, we would also thank the residents for their patience in having us there and Phillip Hanlon for the photographs and lastly but as important thanks too to the observers Brian, Blossom and Kenny, Phillip, Gordon, Davy, Dougie, Clive, Mervyn, Emily and Nikkie for giving their day to allow us to put on such a great event!!
Photo credits to Philip Hanlon.
Finally thanks to all the riders for turning up in such numbers to compete!!
1. Gordon Crockard 1
2. Ken Perry 2
3. Sam Hampshire 3
4. Phillip Morrison 4
5. Gareth Mackey 5
1. Paul Harvey 3
2. Ray Adamson 6
3. Alan Young 7
4. Jonny Russell 11
5. John Tweedie 12
1. Davy Mulholland 0
2. Ray Harper 1
3. Ray Mason 2
4. Eric Davidson 3
5. Tom Conlon 5
1. Josh Hanlon 4
2. Alexander Lennox 14
3. Ross Pyper 16
4. George Taylor 17
5. Jack Waring 36
1. Robbie Dugan 5
2. Campbell Baillie 10
3. Jordan Nixon 20
4. Matthew White 23
5. Callum McAllister 36
Youth C big course
1. Ryan Thompson 10 - furthest clean
2. Peter Molloy 10
3. Morgan Steele 19
4. Tim Davidson 24
5. Aaron Lappin 26
Youth C small course
1. Dylan Smyth
2. Matthew Lockhead
3. Ross Allen
1. Stuart Lappin
2. Shannon Smyth
1. Harry Smith
1. Ben McCosh