For the next round of the Valvoline Forestry Championship the crews would make their way to Mallow for he Jim Walsh which is regarded as one of the best forestry events in the country with it’s fast and flowing style and smooth roads to choose from.
For Mickey Conlon and Ciaran Mc Philips they would continue their chase of David Crossen whilst trying to fend off the interests of John Gordon who would have Aileen Kelly in to deputise for Thomas Wedlock who was off for the weekend.
Over the opening stages Conlon and Gordon would fight it out tooth and nail with Conlon finding himself 12 seconds adrift nd with an Evo in between himself and Gordon at the lunchtime service halt. Back out for the 2nd loop in the afternoon they would push hard but maybe a little too hard in places having an overshoot in the middle of the long stage and costing valuable seconds. The valuable seconds would cost dearly in the end as the pair wound up the day 2nd in class 13 by 17 seconds and an impressive 10th overall such was the pace of the 2 wheel drive crews.
Stage 3 the long windmill strewn “Bogeragh Drive” would claim a number of club members through mechanical woes.
Back into the woods after a 10 year sabatical would be the 2008 2 wheel drive champions Seamus Cooke and Gerry Hyland who would team up again to see if they still had that edge. The little 1400 escort is slightly out powered these days by the big 2 litre cars but Seamus proved he could still handle a car in the woods settling into 2nd in class in the mid twenties overall when disaster struck at the start of stage 3 and a half shaft broke off the line spelling the end to what was fast becoming a very enjoyable day for all involved.
Another crew to fall by the way side on stage was the uber cool Escort Cosworth of Pauric Sheridan and Willie Sheridan who were out for a battle with the 2 Mc Cann cars for the class 15 win. Over the opening two stages they would get settled into a good rythem and found themselves 4th in the class coming off Bweeng which they traversed at an average speed of 96kmph not a speed for the faint hearted on a knife edge along the side of a mountain. They were going well through the 3rd stage when suddenly the front left wheel had had enough and decided to part company from the car leaving the pair stranded on the side of the road enjoying the scenery.
In the battle of the Mc Cann brothers it would be Paul piloting his Marlboro inspired livery Cosworth to good effect as he would edge out a good chunk of time over his brother James who had the family saloon evo7 with daughter Jenna keeping an eye on him for the day. With Paul and Paddy Plunkett on the notes they would set a blistering pace through the opening stages to hold a very respectable 17th overall when the curse of the long stage would strike again and a broken driveshaft would make the car virtually undrivable as the pair limped to the end of the stage they would call it a day on the road to the final stage. This left James and Jenna a free reign to slot the Evo 7 into 3rd in class just behind Ed Colton at the end of the tough day’s rallying. 25th overall would be their just reward.