Serious crash mars race meeting at Kells

Last weekend’s Kells road race was a well run meeting, sadly marred by a particularly nasty crash involving Coleraine man Ian Morrell.

Ballymena man Neil Kernohan on his R6 during the Supersport 600 race at Kells. Picture: Roy Adams.
Ballymena man Neil Kernohan on his R6 during the Supersport 600 race at Kells. Picture: Roy Adams.

At the time of writing the only information I have is that Ian is serious with head injuries.

Two races were run straight after practice on the Saturday. Barry Davidson took a win in the Junior class, beating Ed Manly by just under half a second, with big Herbie Ronan a distant third place. Robert McCrum took his now customary win in the Senior Classic. Bert was well ahead of Richard Ford, and Emyvale man Freddie Stewart third.

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The first race of the day on Sunday was the Supersport 600 championship event. It was led from start to finish by William Dunlop. He moved ahead of Seamus Elliott, to the tune of 4.5 seconds at the finish. Elliott was a similar distance ahead of Paul Jordan, on the Moira clubs R6. Of the local riders, Sam Wilson was fourth, Neil Kernohan 12th and Dennis Booth 13th.

Veronika Hankocyova, riding the Ballymena based RT&E ER6, became the first lady ever to win a National road race in Ireland. Picture: Roy Adams.

Next up was the Senior non qualifiers race. Damien Horan was the early leader and for a few laps it looked like he was going to make a break. Damo hadn’t reckoned on the determination of David Lumsden who moved through after a slow start first passing Callum Laidlaw and then taking the lead. Horan remained second, finishing 1.7 seconds behind Hammer, with Laidlaw third.

Kevin Fitzpatrick was a start to finish winner in the Senior Support race. He was never headed as he moved steadily away from Timmy Elwood. The Lisburn rider was 10.3 seconds back at the line, but beginning to come under some pressure from Ballymena rider Darryl Tweed.

In what was only his second ever road race meeting, Adam Mclean, riding Antrim man Roy Hanna’s Honda, had a start to finish win in the 125 race. He led from the start, his job being doubtless made easier by the fact that Ballymena’s Sam Wilson slipped off the Joeys Bar Honda at Kells Corner. Recovering from a terrible start, Paul Robinson had moved to within a couple of seconds of Mclean, but it was too late for him to catch the Magherfelt lad. Sean O’Neill, on William Dunlop’s Honda, took a distant third. Neil Kernohan finished in 6th place.

The Supertwins non qualifiers race went to Barry Sheehan. Ronnie Scott was the early leader, but he out braked himself at Kells Corner. Letting Callum Laidlaw, Tommy Heaphy and Sheehan ahead. Laidlaw was second, .1 adrift, while Scott recovered to finish in third place.

Sam Wilson from Ballymena, slipped off the Joey's Bar 125 Honda. He was unhurt. Pic: Roy Adams.

Derek McGee led the first Open race from the start, with Alan Kenny and Alan Bonner completing the top three. Bonner first went ahead of Kenny and then took over from McGee in the lead in the closing stages of the race. The Stamullan rider took a win by just .1 of a second while McGee, on Wilson Craigs Honda, was second and Kenny third. Dennis Booth was 15th.

Adam McLean had a comfortable start to finish win in the Junior Support. On his Supertwin bike, Mclean shot ahead of Brian Coomey on the opening lap, the Cork man unable to make any kind of an impression. He was 7.7 seconds back at the end. James Chawke finished in third place.

The Czech Republic lady racer, Veronika Hankocyova created her own bit of history when she became the first ever female rider to win a National level road race in Ireland.

Riding for the Rathkenny Track and Enduro team, Veronika, who is the fiancée of Michal Dokoupil, came from behind to get ahead of Martin Currams and then Andy McAllister. She was 3.8 seconds ahead of Andy Mac, with Lurgan man Stephen Davidson third.

Derek McGee had no peers in the Supertwins race. He led from the lights and despite some quick laps by Conor Behan and Michal Dokoupil, the man dubbed the Mullingar Missile was unstoppable. Behan took second, almost 4 seconds adrift, while Indi was third, right on Behans rear wheel.

The re run of the Junior and 400cc race gave a fairly comfortable win to Neil Kernohan. The local rider dictated the pace, and with Indi coming to within a second of the leader, the Ballymena man had it well covered. Third was Drogheda’s John Ella.

The first lap of the Grand Final saw Alan Kenny ahead of Derek McGee and Alan Bonner. On the next lap, however, it was all change as Bonner was ahead of McGee with Kenny having slipped back to third. As Bonner and McGee were locked together, Brian McCormack moved after he slipped ahead of Kenny.

Bonner took the race win, with McGee, who lives in nearby Mullingar, half a second back in the runner up slot. BMac finished in third place, nearly 3 seconds behind.