By Stuart Campbell
THE Mourne Motorcycle Club held their first off-road racing event of the year at Dunmore Mountain on Saturday, February 2.
Cross country racing has grown in popularity in the last decade and the Mourne club was hosting the second round of the HTM Off-Road Cross Country Championship, on behalf of the Foyle District Motorcycle Club.
This was the third year in a row that the Mourne club has been offered the chance to hold an early championship round and while the 2018 race was cancelled due to a waterlogged track, this year the event was held in near freezing weather.
The 87 competitors were all out together in a single two hour race with the 20 Experts and Seniors riders setting off 30 seconds before the 67 Clubmen.
Moneyreagh man Harold Crawford and Belfast rider John Robb, from the Experts class, were the pace setters from the start and after ten laps Crawford took the win ahead of Robb and Kevin Donnelly, who was the only other rider to complete ten laps.
The Seniors class was won by BJ Toal, from Seskimore County Tyrone, ahead of Ryan McGoldrick, Nathan Devlin and Donegal man Chris Blain, with all four riders completing nine laps.
Larne man Gary Binnie won the Clubmen class ahead of Sligo man Andrew Lohan, Donegal’s Stephen Gilfillan, Lisburn rider Neil Campbell, Pearse McKenna, from Magherafelt, and Jude Crawford, with all six riders completing eight laps.
Following the leaders home Dunmore man Sam Simpson completed six laps to finish in 19th position, ahead of his son Luke, who finished four laps to come home in 29thth position and Hillsborough man Andrew Boyd, who completed three laps to come home in 31st position.
Full results from the event can be found by clicking here