McCarthy wins west Cork rally

The local crew of Liam McCarthy/Kieran Murphy (Toyota Corolla WRC) have finally won the Quality Hotels West Cork Rally in Clonakilty.

The local crew of Liam McCarthy/Kieran Murphy (Toyota Corolla WRC) have finally won the Quality Hotels West Cork Rally in Clonakilty.

For close on 20 years, they have tried gallantly to win their local event.

They have come close in the past - only to be denied at the final hurdle.

However, today, they finally claimed a maiden victory when they finished 34.3 seconds ahead of Welsh pair of John Dalton/Gwynfor Jones (Darrian).

Former winners, Denis Cronin/Helen O'Sullivan (Subaru WRC) were third - almost a minute further adrift.

Today, McCarthy and Dalton traded times on the stages with the latter making inroads on the day's first stage (S.S.9) but McCarthy made an instant response and almost negated Dalton's gain.

In fact, that was the trend for the rest of the day as both admitted to having a major moment on the stages. Dalton finally gave up the battle and settled for second prior to the final stage.

Denis Cronin managed to retain third in spite of the fact that his Subaru lost fifth gear.

One of the performances of the day was that of Keith Cronin, he set a number of fastest times in his Mitsubishi to claim a fine fourth place.

The Escorts of Phil Collins, Frank Kelly and Kevin O'Donoghue followed.

Darragh O'Riordan, on his debut in a Renault Clio S1600, was eighth overall in a top ten that was completed by Thomas O'Rourke and Tomas Davies.

1. L. McCarthy/K. Murphy (Toyota Corolla WRC) 2h. 13m. 42.3s.

2. J. Dalton/G. Jones (Darrian) 2h. 14m. 16.6s.

3. D. Cronin/H. O'Sullivan (Subaru WRC) 2h. 15m. 13.5s.

4. K. Cronin/G. Shinnors (Mitsubishi) 2h. 17m. 24.6s.

5. P. Collins/D. Brannigan (Ford Escort) 2h. 18m. 58.7s.

6. F. Kelly/L. Brennan (Ford Escort) 2h. 24m. 02.3s.

7. K. O'Donoghue/J. O'Leary (Ford Escort) 2h. 26m. 43.6s.

8. D. O'Riordan/S. McCarthy (Renault Clio S1600) 2h. 27m. 00.0s.

9. T. O'Rourke/T. Scallon (Honda Civic) 2h. 27m. 08.6s

10. T. Davies/J. Smithwick (Ford Escort) 2h. 27m. 45.8s.

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