A weekend’s worth of racing in Roundwood paid dividends for Fionn Sheridan, taking two prizes, including the coveted Kieran Hammond trophy. Keith Harte and David Maher placed in the Roundwood GP, while several members scored results in the Hammond Memorial TT event. And last week in the league, Uisneach Sheridan, Paul Tansey and Brian Ahern won the sprints in Corkagh Park.

On a warm summer evening in Corkagh Park a small but enthusiastic group of Youth riders got the racing off to a thrilling start. The race was split into two groups, a trio of under 12s and 14s together chased by the two under 16s. With only three laps to race the handicap was kept short, but the younger lads got working together quicker and opened the gap steadily over the chasers.

Ciaran Keogh in the front group gave himself a further handicap by doing the loop at the bottom of the course while his younger companions - more experienced on this course - Andrew Ryan and Uisneach Sheridan rode straight on, but Keogh managed to rejoin by the turn into the straight at the start of the 2nd lap.

Coming into the final lap Keogh was the one driving the pace at the front and causing the other boys to suffer, but Ryan hung on until the final corner before getting distanced for third place ahead of the forlorn Scratch chasers. Sheridan managed to sit in very smartly until the last fifty metres and then used his track racing experience to outsprint débutant Keogh in the last few metres to the line, claiming his second win of the season.

Chasers Luke Keating and Ross Frehill were pushing hard, but their teamwork needed to be tighter to overcome the generous handicap. With one more lap the results might've been turned on their head, but as it was, newcomer Keating pipped Frehill for fourth. Thanks to Dave Mc and Stephen Ryan for the report from that race.

The handicaps in the second race were as perfect as the weather, with a small group of Limit riders staying away until the penultimate lap. With a Semi-limit bunch of 21 chasing just nine in Limit, it was always going to be nearly impossible to stay away. Nonetheless, they made a great effort, shelling a few tired bodies to leave six to be caught.

Those six deserve recognition for their work, with newcomer Mark Doyle making an impression, along with regulars Kilian Doyle, Michael Hanley, Malcolm Garland, Daniel McElroy and Fergal Daly. When the chasers got on terms, only Garland and McElroy were able to hold on for points.

Paul Tansey must've dragged up some grasstrack skills to come around the sprinters off the tarmac, yet still get to the line first. That’s a second win for the former national representative following his spectacular victory in the vets league earlier in the year. Dutchman Jules De Meester’s tilt at the Wicklow 200 obviously did him good, he was hot on Tansey’s heels.

John Twomey was ruing his decision to let Tansey in from the cold, but managed to grab the final podium spot. Garland held on from Limit for 4th and earned himself an upgrade to Semi-limit in the process. 5th went to Julian Moore, while the judges couldn’t separate McElroy from Arek Pierozynski for the 6th spot, splitting the points for a joint placing.

Tansey holds off all challengers

Scratch similarly has a larger group chasing the smaller Semi-scratch. Semi-scratch splintered under the pressure, meaning a large bunch in the lead with several laps to go. Liam Rowsome made a brave attempt to solo to victory, getting caught with the finishing line in sight.

A touch of wheels just after the bell caused a big split in the bunch, leaving a diminished group to contest the win. All eyes were on Pat O’Brien, who has been in stellar form over the last few weeks, and he was pushed into the wind to do the brunt of the work for the final lap. It was Brian Ahern who took full advantage of O’Brien’s marked status to steal the tight sprint with impeccable timing.

He was closely followed by regular places Eric Downey and David Swift, with O’Brien left in 4th. Fionn Sheridan started his run of results with 5th, and club PRO Brian McArdle took the final points.

Ahern gets the jump on Downey (video thanks to Michael Hanley)

At the halfway point, O’Brien is running away with the overall lead - over 35 points ahead of nearest challenger Sheridan. Remarkably, O’Brien has placed in every race he has signed on for, with a top two placing in six of those nine events. Next week we’ll see if he can continue that streak with the race he made his own in 2010.

Following the club races, all the open action was in Roundwood for the weekend. Bray Wheelers hosted the Roundwood GP for A4 riders, and while much of the talk centred on crashes in the race, Keith Harte avoided the danger holding his position near the front to take an excellent 3rd in the final gallop.

David Maher likewise stayed clear of trouble, going on the attack and only being reeled back in on the final stretch, but not entirely swamped. The strong vet kept his wits about him to stay with the first riders and claim a fine 5th.

In the A2/3 Christy McManus Memorial, Fionn Sheridan earned the first half of his weekend double, coming home 2nd unplaced A3. The next morning he mounted his TT bike to post an outstanding time of 51’42”, which was more than enough to claim the Kieran Hammond Memorial trophy. His nearest rival was 40” further back, attesting to the dominance of Sheridan's performance - ranking him at 7th overall, with only a single A2 and five A1s managing to top his time.

Sheridan has been coming along well this season - starting with a valiant effort at Gorey that didn't yield success at the time, but set him up nicely for a sprint winning move in Donegal. With his testing ability coming to the fore on a rolling, technical course, Sheridan will be well placed in the future to compete in stage races for either high GC placings, or points jerseys.

L-R: overall winner Ian Richardson (UCD), club president Dave Tansey, and top A3 Sheridan

Of the Orwell crew, only Patrick O'Brien fared better yesterday, his blistering time of 50’54” putting him 4th overall, while Liam Rowsome took the final A3 prize with 53’06”.

The women's competitive was an exclusively Orwell affair, with World Champ Orla Hendron putting just over a minute into the next competitor, Ann Horan. Rachael Kaye-Mellor fell foul of the twisting nature of the course, missing a turn and ending up in Ashford. With a few of the participants making a similar error, the club has noted the confusion and will be sure to take it on board for next year's event. Naoise Sheridan was on track for a fast time when she suffered a mechanical, costing her the opportunity to emulate her older brother's winning ways.

Full times are available at Hammond Memorials Results.


Orwell League R11: Corkagh Park Criterium (12/6/2014)

Race #1 (Youth)
1 Uisneach Sheridan
2 Ciaran Keogh
3 Andrew Ryan
4 Luke Keating
5 Ross Frehil

Race #2 (L/SL)
1 Paul Tansey (SL)
2 Jules De Meester (SL)
3 John Twomey (SL)
4 Malcolm Garland (L)
5 Julian Moore (SL)
=6 Arek Pierozynski (SL)
=6 Daniel McElroy (L)

Race #3 (SS/S)
1 Brian Ahern (S)
2 Eric Downey (S)
3 Dave Swift (S)
4 Pat O'Brien (S)
5 Fionn Sheridan (S)
6 Brian McArdle (S)


Christy McManus Memorial, Roundwood (14/6/2014)

1 Ken Tobin (McNally Swords CC)
2 Colm Bracken (Murphy Surveys Kilcullen CC)
3 Barry Talt (Murphy Surveys Kilcullen CC)
4 Declan Kinch (Slipstream)
5 Daniel Merriman (Waterford Racing)
6 Joseph Breheny (UCD CC)

Unplaced A3s
1 Donal Daly (Garda CC)
2 Fionn Sheridan (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Eoin Lynch (DID Dunboyne)

Unplaced Junior
Dermot Whyte (Lucan CRC)

Unplaced Vet
Sean Connolly (Bray Wheelers)

Unplaced Bray Wheeler
John Spain

Roundwood GP (A4)
1 Shane Farrell (Bikeworx)
2 Brendan Kinch (Slipstream)
3 Keith Harte (Orwell Wheelers)
4 Patrick Egan (Unattached)
5 David Maher (Orwell Wheelers)
6 Ken Hoare (Usher IRC)

Women’s Prize
Helen Kerrane (St Tiernan’s CC)


Noel Hammond Memorial, Roundwood (15/6/2014)

1 Ian Richardson (UCD) 45’22”
2 Greg Swinand (UCD) 46’33”
3 John Lynch (Murphy Surveyors) 48’53”
4 Pat O’Brien (Orwell Wheelers) 50’54”
5 Ben Delaney (SDCC) 50’54”
6 Richard McDonough (Murphy Surveyors) 51’06”

Top A2s
1 Richard McDonough (Murphy Surveyors) 51’06”
2 Cathal Johnston (SDCC) 52’44”
3 Brendan Hessman (u/a) 53’12”

Kieran Hammond Memorial (A3s)
1 Fionn Sheridan (Orwell Wheelers) 51’42”
2 Phillip Brown (Usher IRC) 52’21”
3 Mark Murphy (Bray Wheelers) 52’34”
4 Gavin Haberlin (UCD) 52’52”
5 Paul Coffey (Blanch Wheelies) 52’52”
6 Liam Rowsome (Orwell Wheelers) 53’06”

Top A4s
1 Derick Evans (SERC) 53’45”
2 Paul English (Bohermeen CC) 56’21”
3 Marcin Wrobel (ThinkBike) 59’42”

Top Juniors
1 Barry Talt (Murphy Surveyors) 57’12”
2 Sam Gilmore (Bray Wheelers) 1h 00’12”

Top Women
1 Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers) 1h 01’49”
2 Ann Horan (Orwell Wheelers) 1h 02’53”
3 Rachael Kaye-Mellor (Orwell Wheelers) 1h 22’30”