Boland leads MacHale in Cork '20' Rally

Newly crowned Irish Tarmac champions, Eamonn Boland/Damien Morrissey (Subaru WRC) hold a 20 second lead at the end of the opening day of the Murphy Construction Cork '20' International Rally.

Gareth MacHale/Brian Murphy (Ford Focus WRC) hold second place - two minutes and eight ahead of Aaron MacHale/Killian Duffy (Ford Focus WRC).

Boland set the pace on this morning’s first stage where he was nine seconds ahead of the Skoda Fabia WRC with MacHale a further two seconds behind in third.

Donnelly retired on the second stage after a wire came adrift of the alternator.

Boland was fastest on all four of the morning stage and arrived at service park at the splendid Cork Marts complex in Rathcormac, with a 25 second lead over Gareth MacHale. Meanwhile, Aaron MacHale (Ford Focus WRC) was third.

Former Production World champion, Niall McShea in his Prodrive N14 Subaru, led the showroom category, he was also fourth in overall classification.

Damien Tourish (Mitsubishi), in fifth place, endured turbo problems.

Kevin Kelleher (Mitsubishi) held a solid sixth place and remained on course to clinch the Group N category of the Irish Tarmac Championship.

The top ten also included Liam McCarthy (Toyota), Alan Ring (Mitsubishi), John McGlaughlin (Mitsubishi) and Guy Woodcock (Escort Maxi).

On the afternoon stages, the top pair traded times on stages 5 and 6 and again on stages 7 and 8. On the day’s final stage, Gareth MacHale clawed back a valuable five seconds.

With six stages in tomorrow’s final leg, the event is still very much in the balance.

Elsewhere, Niall McShea continues to lead Group N and Kevin Kelleher (Mitsubishi) stays on course to clinch the showroom category of the Irish Tarmac series.

Sean Flanagan (Subaru) moved up to tenth while John McGlaughlin (Mitsubishi) drops to eleventh.

1.E. Boland/D. Morrissey (Subaru WRC) 1h. 08m. 12s.

2. G. MacHale/B. Murphy (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 08m. 32s.

3. A. MacHale/K. Duffy (Ford Focus WRC) 1h. 10m. 40s.

4. N. McShea/M. Clarke (Subaru) 1h. 12m. 36s.

5. L. McCarthy/K. Murphy (Toyota Corolla WRC) 1h. 13m. 01s.

6. D. Tourish/D. McAlaney (Mitsubishi) 1h. 13m. 12s.

7. K. Kelleher/M. Kelleher (Mitsubishi) 1h. 13m. 27s.

8. A Ring/A. Deasy (Mitsubishi) 1h. 13m. 47s.

9. G. Woodcock/D. Williams (Escort Maxi) 1h. 14m. 04s.

10. S. Flanagan/B. Duggan (Subaru) 1h. 14m. 33s.

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