Melissa Kennedy started her road racing season off last weekend at the around a pound Tandragee 100.

This was her first time appearing at the 5.3 mile County Armagh circuit, and she certainly did not disappoint.

Friday qualifying thankfully saw dry conditions during which her speeds kept improving as she got to know the circuit, and brought the KNR Honda home in 11th position, narrowly missing out on the top ten by just 0.5 seconds.

Unfortunately Saturday’s weather changed dramatically, and it was going to be a wet race.

With very little track time, and a change of conditions, Melissa’s spirits certainly weren’t dampened, and had a great battle with fellow female competitor Sarah Boyes.

Lap after lap they changed positions until, with two laps to go, Melissa pulled away to finish a fantastic seventh position and the second moto3 machine home with an average speed of over 81mph. The race was won by Adam McLean from Sam Wilson and Nigel Moore.

Concurrently, Paul Gartland was in action on his RT&E 400 Yamaha. After qualifying fourth on the Friday afternoon, Paul then went one better by yet again putting himself on the podium and picking up a third place finish even though he broke the fairing brackets during the race.

His class was won by Darryl Tweed with Seamus Elliott second. Paul was also to take part in the Supertwin race later in the day, but the race was cancelled due to a serious accident involving Italian rider Dario Cecconi.

Other winners on the day included Derek Shiels in the first Superbike race, Derek McGee in the Supersport 600, Joe Loughlin in both the Junior Support and Senior Support races, while Barry Davidson, Jamie O’Brien, Nigel Moore and Philip Shaw took the victories in the Classic events.

Both local riders now turn their attentions to the Cookstown 100 road races this weekend.

Roads close on Friday, April 28 for practice at 12 noon while racing gets underway at 10.00am on Saturday.