Last weekend in Donore, two riders from different ends of the spectrum both got themselves on the podium. Ciara Kinch continued her winning streak with silver in the women's race, while Garry Blair matched her result to take his first ever open points!

Representing Orwell in the penultimate round of the Joe Daly Cycles National League were Orla Hendron, Rachael Kaye-Mellor, Aideen Keenan, Monica Marconi, Claire McEntee and Ciara Kinch. Kinch takes us through her race...

"Having ridden the Peter Bidwell CP in May of this year, I knew what to expect. Amy Brice put in a hard effort at the start which stretched out the bunch but she wasn’t allowed escape – the bunch were alert at this stage. Fiona Guihen and Anne Dalton tried to peel off the front on the second lap. For most of the third lap there was a stall and the speed was quite slow, then coming into the town of Donore, Orla made a brief attack on the drag in Mullaghacrone, was met by a very strong headwind and I followed her to support her. On lap 4, Sarah Piner went her own on the first sharp drag on the Donore Road. I knew Sarah was chasing points to stay on top of the league so I had to follow her.

So I wasted no time to get on her wheel and caught her on Murray’s View before the road took a sharp left hand turn. In our favour was a strong tail-wind, I knew there would be no time to recover in order to benefit from the tail wind. I hit it full gas and took a hard turn to get up the initial drags.

A very large bunch from the men’s open race had caught us in Cruicerath, and passed us by at start of the quarry in Platin. For a brief period this large bunch had interrupted the chase from the ladies group. However, Sarah and I rode three and half laps together with no let-up in the pace.

On the last lap in Mullaghacrone, the road which is 2kms into Donore village, I knew I had to increase the pace in the lead-up to the finish to put Sarah under pressure. Sarah was struggling to hold onto my wheel. However, Sarah had managed to come round me to take a win. I came in second. Aideen had a mechanical issue and had to drop back to the support car to get her wheel fixed. But she had managed to come back into the bunch and take a fine 7th in the race.

Many thanks to John Twomey and Aishling O'Connor for providing support!"

That's a great result for Kinch, following hot on the heels of her Alfresco Shield win, and she'll be aiming for a strong Rás na mBan performance in a couple of weeks.

On the same day, Garry 'the Badger' Blair was competing in the A4 race. Having dipped his toes in the A4 scene a few times this season without success, Blaire was riding alongside Séamus Nolan, who was in search of the single point he needed for his upgrade to A3.

A two man break went not long after the halfway mark, which looked likely to stay away. Blair made a move to bridge on the last lap, together with Nolan and recent Brittas winner Graham Scanlon. Just before the flamme rouge, Blair made the catch and powered past to try steal the win. He was pipped on the line by one of the breakaway duo, who managed to nab Blair's wheel as he passed, then came around to snatch the win back.

Nolan finished high in the race, but unfortunately pointless, while Blair was happy to shake the open points monkey from his back. A strong rider in the test of truth, he can also handle the hills well, as shown in this year's Sallygap finish. Judging by his league performances, we expect the remaining three points for A3 will not be long coming. All that's holding Blair back is the dip in racing as we near the end of the season.


Brendan Campbell Memorial (A1-3), Donore (27/7/2014)

1 Ali MacCauley (Phoenix CC)
2 Chris Reilly (Bike Worx)
3 Ken Tobin (Swords CC)
4 Paul Mulligan (Caldwell Cycles CC)
5 Aidan Crowley (Velo Revolution)
6 Craig Sweetman (Stamullen M Donnelly)
7 John Lynch (Murphy Surveys CC)
8 Damien Shaw (AquaBlue)

Unplaced A2s
1 Colm Bracken (Murphy Surveys CC)
2 David Reilly (South Dublin CC)
3 Joseph Breheny (UCD)
4 Paul O’Reilly (Fixx Rouleurs)

Unplaced A3s
1 Ciaran Campbell (Drogheda Wheelers CC)
2 Craig Rea (Phoenix CC)
3 Declan McKenna (Emyvale CC)
4 Keith Hughes (Bike Worx)

Unplaced Juniors
1 Barry Talt (Murphy Surveys,)
2 Nathan McGreehan (Cuchulainn CC)
3 Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles CC)
4 Dermot White (Staggs Lucan CC)

A4 Race
1 John Clarke (Skane Wheelers)
2 Gary Blair (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Paul McCormac (Apollo CC)
4 Eddie Egan (SSCC)
5 Anthony Crosby (Ardee CC)
6 Arek Klus (Stamullen CC)

Joe Daly Cycles Women’s National League R6

1 Sarah Piner (DID Electrical)
2 Ciara Kinch (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Michelle O’Halloran (Lakeside Wheelers)
4 Anne Dalton (DID Electrical)