Last weeks league crit saw a repeat win for Conor Murnane, and Liam Rowsome taking a maiden triumph from a break, while the weekend was packed with results - Barry Dace winning in the vets, Neal Hudson taking silver on the road, and Orla Hendron an actual silver on the track. Fionn Sheridan also won bronze, and Ciara Kinch placed in the National League race.

Junior rider Conor Murnane took his third win of the league last week, beating senior Jules De Meester into 2nd place, with John Twomey forced to settle for 3rd. Keith Harte used some of the power he's been displaying in the open races to take 4th from Jeffrey Hoare, while Arek Pierozynski took the last of the points to complete a Semi-limit sweep of the handicap.

The second race of the evening saw perhaps the first proper breakaway win of the league this year, with Bryan Geary instigating a move on the first lap, quickly followed by Cormac Bracken and Aidan Collins. Late bridgers were Liam Rowsome and Valdis Andersons. The quintet were nearly caught, with the gap falling to eight seconds at one point, before some big pulls meant it grew again.

Rowsome was the ultimate beneficiary, earning his maiden win of the season a couple of bikelengths ahead of Geary. The aggressive Collins was 3rd, with strongman Andersons next. Bracken was last of the break, with Patrick O'Brien predictably winning the bunch sprint behind.

The weekend's action switched to the track, with the National Omnium Champs taking place in Sundrive Road. Two Orwell members were taking a crack at the men's title, with 10TT fast man Fionn Sheridan and Daniel McElroy in the running, and World Masters Track Champ Orla Hendron competing against the other women.

At the end of Saturday, Hendron was in the bronze spot, but with 4th placed Roisín Kennedy (Arcane Adamstown CT) just one point behind her. Sheridan was 4th placed in the men's standings, just two points behind Darragh Zaidan, also of Arcane Adamstown CT.

Hendron's best event saw her take 2nd in the Points race, behind eventual gold medal winner Susie Mitchell (Sundrive TT), and while Sheridan had strong showings across the board, he likewise took a best of 2nd, in the Scratch race. McElroy is a relative newcomer to the track scene, but managed 14th in several events.

As the weekend's events drew to a close, it looked at first like Hendron was the only Orwell medallist with bronze, and that Sheridan was left lounging in 4th. However, two late recounts saw both riders moved up one position, give Hendron a silver medal to add to her collection, and Sheridan an Elite Bronze in his first year as a senior. 

That's two national medals for the Orwell trophy cabinet, following three great performances that each rider should be proud of. You can relive it as it happened by following Dave Mc's updates here.

L-R: McElroy, Hendron and Sheridan with their winnings (photo thanks to Dave Mc)

Sunday was also one for the road, as the Eddie Tobin Memorial and associated races were run by Slaney CC in Bunclody. With the women fighting it out in the latest round of the Joe Daly Cycles National League, competition was strong amongst the ladies. Aideen Keenan and Ciara Kinch were the most aggressive for Orwell, with Keenan making a long solo 20km break, and Kinch trying to get away with National Champ Melanie Späth (Wyndymilla Reynolds).

Former Orwell member Anne Dalton (DID Electrical) was the one with the tactical nous and the power to follow through on the day, as she stole away solo for the win. Kinch didn't lose hope, encouraging the bunch to reel Dalton back in, but the others had resigned themselves to sprinting for 2nd. Despite her work throughout the day, Kinch held on and had enough of a gallop to take a solid 6th place, and some points for the National League.

In the Barrow GP, Neal Hudson was feeling ambitious on the start line despite the drizzle. A long 104km race stretched out in front of the A3s and Juniors, but Hudson had Jamie Busher for company, as well as NR Standard Life's Darragh Long. With the distance dampening many's early aggression, there were still a few short lived moves at the end of just one lap. Long's teammate Michael O'Loughlin made one such move before being brought back after half a lap on his own.

As the laps whizzed by, Hudson marked the moves and got in a couple of groups, before attacking to end up out front solo at the 70km mark. After 5km a Bray Wheeler joined his effort, but Hudson pushed on when that rider dropped off. His determination paid dividends when O'Loughlin joined him, and took a big turn at the front. A monumental effort from Hudson followed, as he pushed himself to the limit to hold the youngster's wheel. O'Loughlin is a National Champ in time trial, road race and criterium disciplines, and has been selected for the Irish squad in the imminent European Junior and U23 Road Championships.

With no time gaps, it was a battle even to stay motivated to stay away, not knowing if the win was within reach. O'Loughlin eventually managed to drop Hudson about 8km from the line, but Hudson gritted his teeth and dug in. With no bunch in sight, he kept a gap all the way to the chequered flag, which was a sweet relief in the end! 

Behind the break, Busher had been instrumental in disrupting the chase, while Long did well in a quality field to take the unplaced Junior prize. As well as his 2nd place envelope, Hudson has earned himself an upgrade to A2, picking up 9 points for a race over 100km. The strong man will no doubt sparkle in that category, having shown he's well able for the longer, harder races in Wexford.

Hudson with the other winners from his race (photo (c) Sean Rowe)

Last but not least, the IVCA Memorial Cups were run in Kentstown on Sunday as well, and a break of two contested the win in the A race. Our own Barry Dace and Paddy Deegan took off with a lap and a half to go in the four lap affair, and they held off the bunch to the chalk. It was Dace who took the silverware, beating Deegan in the two-up sprint to take a superb win.

Dace takes his superb win (photo thanks to Brendan Culleton)

Eddie Lynch cruised to an easy 7th in the same race, having sat in all day with Dace up the road. In the B race, the classy Paul Tansey once more used his superb kick to take the bunch gallop behind a lone winner.


Orwell League R14: Corkagh Park Criterium (3/7/2014)

Race #1 (L/SL)
1 Conor Murnane (SL)
2 Jules De Meester (SL)
3 John Twomey (SL)
4 Keith Harte (SL)
5 Jeffrey Hoare (SL)
6 Arek Pierozynski (SL)

Race #2 (SS/S)
1 Liam Rowsome (S)
2 Bryan Geary (S)
3 Aidan Collins (S)
4 Valdis Andersons (S)
5 Cormac Bracken (SS)
6 Patrick O'Brien (S)


National Omnium Champs

Final Men's Standings
G John Lynch (Murphy Surveyors Kilcullen)
S Simon Ryan (Arcane Adamstown CT)
B Fionn Sheridan (Orwell Wheelers CC)
16 Daniel McElroy (Orwell Wheelers CC)

Final Women's Standings
G Susie Mitchell (Sundrive TT)
S Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers CC)
B Sarah Gunn (Sundrive TT)

Full Results


Eddie Tobin Memorial, Bunclody (6/7/2014)

1 Eoin Morton (UCD CC)
2 Robin Kelly (Aquablue CC)
3 Sean McKenna UCD CC)
4 Danny Bruton (AC Bisontine)
5 Mark Dowling (DID Dunboyne)
6 Martin Mizgajski (Barrow Wheelers)
7 Cian Delaney (Stamullen M Donnelly)
8 David Vaughan Shorter (Rochford RT)

Unplaced A2
Joseph Breheny (UCD CC)

Barrow Wheelers Grand Prix (A3)
1 Micheal O’Loughlin (NR Standard Life)
2 Neal Hudson (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Paul McKenna (Murphy Surveys)
4 Tuuasl Furman (Murphy Surveys)
5 Cian Sutcliffe (Lucan CRC)
6 Liam Cullen (Barrow Wheelers)
7 Sean Bracken (Usher IRC)
8 Conn McDuffy (Lucan CRC)

Unplaced Junior
Darragh Long (NR Standard Life)

Sam & Betty Darcy Memorial (A4)
1 Brendan Kinch (Slipstream)
2 Roy Carey Lakeside (Wheelers
3 Kieran Cahill (Dungarvan CC)
4 Thomas O’Shea (Wexford Wheelers)
5 Gavin Doyle (Headstrong)
6 Dave Mullin (Sundrive Track Team)
7 Garrett Kelly (Waterford Racing Club)
8 Martin Kealy (Laois CC) 

Joe Daly Cycles Women’s National League R5

Noel Redmond Memorial Road Race
1 Anne Dalton (DID Electrical Racing)
2 Amy Brice (Joe Daly Cycles)
3 Michelle O’Halloran (Lakeside CC)
4 Lisa Darley Ronan (Towers CC)
5 Siobhan McNamara (DID Electrical Racing)
6 Ciara Kinch (Orwell Wheelers)
7 Niamh Stephens (UCD CC)
8 Sarah Pratt Bray (Wheelers)


Vets League - R16: Kentstown Memorial Cups DMS (6/7/2014)

A race
1 Barry Dace
2 Paddy Deegan
3 Dylan Rafter
4 John Brady
5 Paul O Connor
6 Greg Burke
7 Eddie Lynch
8 Michael Emberley
9 Billy Bourke
10 John Shortt

B race
1 Don Samway
2 Paul Tansey
3 Billy Riggs
4 Hughie Davis
5 Willie McGonagle
6 Des King
7 Gavin Kelly
8 Sean Lally Jnr
9 Damien Lyle Stirling
10 Eamonn Walsh