BY MARTIN WALSH
DRINAGH navigator Denis O’Donovan and his Mallow driver Derek Butler continued their recent rich vein of form with a third outright victory in as many outings.
They won last weekend’s Cork 1000 Shakes Navigation Trial that was based in Buttevant and counted as a round of both the National and Munster Navigation Trial Championships.
In addition, their latest win saw them clinch the Munster series that will conclude with next weekend’s Aughaville-based Skibbereen 100 Isles Carbery Navigation Trial.
It’s O’Donovan’s third Munster success (each with a different driver), having previously won with Dunmanway’s Ger O’Connell and Ovens driver Donal Healy.
On the 190 plus kilometre Cork 1000 Shakes, Butler/O’Donovan accrued a total of 22 penalties with Ovens driver Owen Murphy and Togher’s Daire Hayes (Subaru), who were the top seeds and defending event champions, taking second spot on 39 penalties.
Mogeely’s James Fitzgerald and his Ballincollig navigator Ken Carmody (Subaru) finished third overall to complete an all Cork top three. They retained their lead of the national series.
Meanwhile, the Ballincollig/Killeagh pairing of Brian Duggan/Eoin Treacy (Toyota Starlet) belied their status, winning the Beginner’s class, and they also finished a very impressive fifth in overall classification.
The Crookstown/Bandon combination of Chris Brady/David Beamish (Subaru) finished second in the Novice class while Carrigaline’s Eric Calnan and Macroom’s Eamonn Creedon (Subaru) were third in the Beginner’s class.
Results: 1. D Butler/D O’Donovan (Subaru) 22 penalties; 2. O Murphy/D Hayes (Subaru) 39pens; 3. J Fitzgerald/K Carmody (Subaru) 49 pens; 4. A Sherry/O Sherlock (Subaru) 86pens; 5. B Duggan/E Treacy (Toyota Starlet) 167pens; 6. D Murphy/M Walsh (Toyota Starlet) 215pens. Experts: 1. A Sherry/O Sherlock (Subaru) 86pens; Novices: 1. D O’Mahony/S Kenneally (Subaru) 260pens; 2. C Brady/D Beamish (Subaru) 288pens; 3. B Doherty/T Duggan (Subaru) 324pens; Beginners: 1. B Duggan/E Sherry (Toyota Starlet) 167pens; 6. D Murphy/M Walsh (Toyota Starlet) 215pens; 3. E Calnan/E Creedon (Subaru) 370pens.
National Navigation Championship (Provisional positions after Round 5): 1. J Fitzgerald/K Carmody 75pts; 2. D Butler/D O’Donovan 73pts; 3. O Murphy/D Hayes 68pts; 4. E Sherry/O Sherlock 55/49pts.