Fast race for East Down Combine

Castledawson Chairman with Top Prize-winner runner-up Reuben Dunseath.
Castledawson Chairman with Top Prize-winner runner-up Reuben Dunseath.

The East Down Combine enjoyed a fast race starting last weekend in Tullamore, County Offaly, birds were liberated at 9.00am in a helping South West wind.

Best reported was in Cloughey where winners Harper & Young were recording a velocity of 2157 yards per minute.

Castledawson Chairman Tom Gilmour (l) congratulates Top Prize-winner Stephen McFlynn.

Castledawson Chairman Tom Gilmour (l) congratulates Top Prize-winner Stephen McFlynn.

Club Results Tullamore

Cloughey – Harper & Young 2157, 2145, 2144, H & A Keenan & Partners 2144, Harper & Young 2134, 2133.

Killyleagh Central – McComb Bros 2144, 2096, 2094, C J Healy 2085, 2084, T Smith 2083.

Donaghadee RPC – Ferguson & Wilkinson 2138, A & P Trimble & Sons 2132, E D & K Allan & Sons 2122, Angus Son & McConkey 2091, Ferguson & Wilkinson 2087, A & P Trimble & Sons 2081.

The officials and members of Castledawson.

The officials and members of Castledawson.

Ballywalter SPC 7/249 – W McMaster & Son 2138, S Regan 2109, W McMaster & Son 2097, J & T Palmer 2080, S Regan 2073, 2072.

Tyrella 6/157 – C McManus & Daughter 2130, P Byrne & Son 2105, 2065, 2084, C McManus & Daughter 2081, 2081.

Bangor – R Moore & Son 2124, 2123, 2123, 2122, 2105, 2094.

Comber Social – F Gilmore 2122, R Johnston 2073, 2072, 2071, 2067, 2060.

Portavogie – R & G Thompson 2120, 2118, B Young 2115, 2114, J & R Young 2112, J Keenan & Sons 2104.

Newtownbreda – B Hogg & Sons 2118, 2108, 2099, 2098, 2087, 2060.

Millisle & District – McCormick & Muckle 2116, 2111, J & J Hollinger 2077, J Rankin 2074, R N & L Brown 2071, 2067.

Dundonald – M Foulis 2101, 2099, Cowan & McCartney 2097, M Foulis 2094, Cowan & McCartney 2094, 2093.

Downpatrick – R Connolly 2090, J Crossan 2082, J Quinn & Son 2074.

Ballylesson – J Patterson 2080, S Casement & Son 2071, 2069, J Kirk & Son 2069, J Patterson 2069, M & A Johnston 2067.

Ballynahinch – J & V Abernethy 2078, R Hunter 2072, 2067, 2057, 2042, 2040.

Annalong 11/242 – K Rooney Son & Daughter 2077, J Trimble & Son 2059, 2058, 2053, 2021, K Rooney Son & Daughter 2005.

Crossgar – McCartan & Woodsides 2076, A & A Cheevers 2056, T Horner & Sons 2024, 2023, McCartan & Woodsides 2006, 2002.

Hillfoot – A Cousins & Sons 2052, D Brennan 2046, 2034, 2033, W & L Robinson 2009, A Cousins & Sons 2004.

Newcastle – W McNeilly 2033, E & A Rogan 1970, 1860, 1846.

Dundrum – M/M Young 1811, A McNamara & Partners 1807, 1714, M/M Young 1657, 1609, A McNamara & Partners 1597.

Mid Antrim Combine – Preparations are complete in all clubs and the members are ready to go for the new season. Many lofts have trained for weeks when the weather was suitable. What will the new season bring is the question most have asked. Most indeed think it will just be the same again. This year all the MAC and Sect B lofts will be on the one transporter. Will that make some difference? We will just have to wait and see. Many thanks to all the hard workers at Ballymena & Dist that set the club up for the new season including James Harris for sorting ETS as usual and Willie Gilbert who carried out a necessary repair job. A reminder of the winners list during the last racing season, some top ones at that.

Old Birds: Tullamore (1) 89/1862 Surgenor Bros Kells vel 1617, Roscrea (1) 100/2618 D Dixon Rasharkin vel 1540, Roscrea (2) 94/2359 Surgenor Bros Kells vel 1250, Clonmel (1) 104/2649 Blair & Rankin Ballymena vel 1680, Mallow (1) 68/1237 Scott & Clements Kells vel 1492, Rosscarbery Nat 61/504 Steele & McNeill Rasharkin vel 2106, Roscrea (3) 84/1698 B Swann & Son Kells vel 2025, Talbenny 84/1906 G Price Harryville vel 1579, Bude 76/706 Young McManus & Sons Ahoghill vel 1378, Rosscarbery Ylr Cock Nat 43/188 M/M Sempey Ballymena vel 1610, Rosscarbery Ylr Hen Nat 41/162 J & N Simpson Broughshane vel 1585, Fermoy 5B Championship 48/223 McFall & McManus Ballymena vel 2063, Clonmel (2) 55/652 D Dixon Rasharkin vel 2046, Mallow (2)50/612 Purvis & Connolly Broughshane vel 1178, Truro 42/812 D Dixon Rasharkin vel 900, Penzance 42/378 J Millar Randalstown vel 975, Penzance Classic J Millar RTandalstown vel 975, Roscrea (4) 40/890 Surgenor Bros Kells vel 1282, St Malo Nat 55/167 D Dixon Rasharkin vel 842.

Young Birds: Mullingar 60/1482 Blair & Rankin vel 1242, Tullamore (1) 74/2059 Surgenor Bros Kells vel 1406, Tullamore (2) 74/2042 Young McManus & Sons Ahoghill vel 1686, Roscrea (1) 87/2419 D Dixon Rasharkin vel 1784, Clonmel 86/2259 Houston Bros Randalstown vel 1575, Fermoy (1) 82/1911 K Wilkinson & Son New Antrim vel 1343, Talbenny Nat 47/297 J Rock Harryville vel 1449, Roscrea (2) 55/1111 J & M Milliken Rasharkin vel 1706, Fermoy (2) 62/979 G McDowell Kells vel 1180, Fermoy 5B Championship J Rock Harryville vel 1151, Rosscarbery Nat 45/327 D Dixon Rasharkin vel 1345.

INFC Nationals: Skibbereen O/B A Darragh Cullybackey vel 1497, Sennen Cove Yearling A Darragh Cullybackey vel 1415, St Allouestre Kings Cup W Scott Cullybackey vel 768, Penzance Y/B A Darragh Cullybackey vel 1021, Skibbereen Y/B D Dixon Rasharkin vel 1388.

What a year of great success it was for Danny Dixon of Rasharkin & District. He lifted most of the cup and trophies including all the average awards. Old Bird Inland Average vel 1566, Cross Channel Average vel 993, Old Bird Average vel 1293, Eagleson Memorial Cup best average Talbenny, Bude, Thuro and Penzance vel 1008, New North Cup best average Bude & Talbenny YB vel 1332, Young Bird Average vel 1407 and finally Combine Average vel 1493.

On top of that in one of the best results for the loft the William McIlhagga Memorial Cup for the best bird from St Malo, Danny Dixon with a bird early on the second morning finished 1st Club, 1st MAC, 1st Sect B & 2nd Open NIPA St Malo OB Nat 404/1304 recording velocity 842 with “Danske Kid”. No surprise he was also the winner of the Leslie Mairs Old Bird Fancier of the Year collecting 618 Points.

Rasharkin & District win the Club Shield for Old Birds with 100 Points and Ballymena & District with 65 Points win the YB Club Shield for the second time in three seasons. Steele & McNeill won the Champions League for Rasharkin & District and this loft also had Old Bird of the Year with GB13R-18121 “Super Mario”. Jimmy Rock from Harryville who won the Talbenny YB Nat for Mid Antrim had the Young Bird of the Year with “Rockies Boy” GB14H-12939.

A new trophy was presented at the AGM, the T Shanks & Son Memorial Cup was to be won each season by the Old Bird of the Year. It has been won for the first time by Steele & McNeill of Rasharkin & Dist, an ace racer in the 2014 season. It was also agreed that the trophy which had been awarded for Bird of the Year up to 2013 when won by G & A Eagleson of Ballymena & District would in future go to the Young Bird of the Year. Jimmy Rock was a good winner here getting double points when winning the Talbenny YB National.

The Easter week was an interesting one for local courier John Millar the Randalstown HPS Secretary. Firstly he had a birthday and then a couple of days later suffered a heart attack while attending a Point to Point race meeting. It proved to be a lucky day for two Doctors in attendance came to his aid and then arranged for an Ambulance to take him immediately to the Royal Hospital in Belfast. That was early afternoon and just after tea time he was back out of theatre with a repair job done and on the road to recovery. I was speaking to John who was back at home resting after the ordeal and he asked me to pass on thanks to all those friends including social media who sent him birthday greetings and then good wishes for a full recovery after this latest health problem. John you need to slow down, take some rest and recover well.

The NIPA season is due to start again 18th April weekend with a race from Tullamore in County Offaly. The transporter team will have three new drivers and they join three from last season. The collections came under close scrutiny and it has been necessary to make some changes on some routes. The plan is to have each transporter as full as possible on arrival in Dromore to cut down on the amount of crates needing changed. The new Convoyer is Paddy McNeice from the Craigavon area and Ivan Mawhinney returns as Race Controller. Drug tests will also be carried out over the season, as soon as possible after each race is flown. Same procedure for results as last season, fax or e-mail a copy of result before 10.20pm on the day of the race. NIPA Fax: (028) 92 693913, E.Mail:

It’s important to meet the deadline to be included in the Club Winners Section on the NIPA Website and for the result to be included in the Total Result produced for each race and available usually before lunch-time on Sunday. The two press officers will cover clubs as previous Steve McGarry Sect C, D, F & G while Homer will cover Sect A, B, E & H. Both scribes have a result service operating on their own websites, information on the winner and a photo if possible would be appreciated. It’s best if information comes from a Club PO, other than that from someone who has been appointed to look after the news on the clubs behalf. I have said it many times before, its dead simple, supply the news and we will endeavour to have the lot published. Pay attention to the various deadlines, if details are late chances are they will not be used.

Local collection times are as follows: Limavady 5.30pm, Londonderry/Derry all clubs will have been collected by 7.00pm, Strabane 7.30pm, Mourne & Dist 7.50pm, Omagh & Dist 8.20pm.

Coleraine Premier, Co Derry & Windsor 6.00pm, Ballymoney 6.20pm, Rasharkin & Dist 6.40 pm, Cullybackey 7.00pm, Ahoghill 7.20pm, Ballymena & Dist 7.40pm, Broughshane & Dist 8.00 pm, Harryville 8.20pm, Kells & Dist 8.40pm, Randalstown 9.00pm, Muckamore 9.20pm, Crumlin 9.40 pm, and Glenavy 10.00pm.

Glenarn/Cushendall 5.30pm, Larne & Dist 6.00pm, Horseshoe 6.20pm, Ballycarry & Dist 6.50pm, Carrick & Dist 7.20pm, Carrick Social 7.40pm, Ballyclare 8.00pm, Doagh & Dist 8.20pm, Kingsmoss 8.40pm, Eastway 9.00pm, Ligoniel & Dist 9.30pm.

Castledawson 6.00pm, Cookstown 6.30pm, Coalisland & Dist 7.00pm, Dungannon 7.15pm, Annaghmore 7.45pm, Bondhill/Loughgall/Blackwatertown 8.15pm, Armagh/Monaghan 9.00pm, Markethill 9.30pm, Bessbrook 10.00pm, Millvale /Newry Inv 10.15pm, Newry & Dist 10.30pm, Ballyholland 10.45pm.

Training – Kieran Shannon has a small truck on the road. birds are released in Cavan Town with collections in Dungannon at 8.00am and Caledon at 8.30am. Tel: 07712 871358.