Glorious sunshine provided the perfect backdrop to the Erne Skip Hire May Day Stages Rally which was won by Phillip Allen and Eugene Donnelly following a close fought battle with Damian Toner and Denver Rafferty.

Leading local contender Garry Jennings failed to finish following gearbox problems.

The eventual winners of the rally Allen and Donnelly praised the effort of Enniskillen Motor Club for staging what he claimed was an “absolutely class wee day”.

Indeed, the battle for outright victory went right to the wire as the winning margin of 3.9 seconds would suggest, Damien Toner and Denver Rafferty have to be commended for bringing the battle to the WRC Mini of Allen, as their Millington powered ford Escort was being used to its full potential, third place a further 21 seconds back was Stephen McCann/ Damien Fleming who took their S2000 Ford Fiesta to one of their best results to date in the car.

Initially Matthew Cathcart/Conor Woods set the benchmark on the opening stage, however by stage two Toner held a slender advantage over the Subaru WRC of Garry Jennings, who unfortunately retired after stage three with gearbox maladies.

Allen took the lead from stage four via the narrowest of leads by 0.8 seconds, a lead he maintained and strengthened to the finish. It was poignant that Philip took his first ever rally win on what was his deceased father Glenn’s birthday, Glenn a former N I rally champion and no stranger to rally wins in the Fermanagh lakelands.

The class battles also proved to be as hot as the weather.

In class one, Martin Collins/ Makiaela Woods took their Honda Civic to a win over the C2 of Dean/Humphrey with Karl Fallis/Janine Moffitt in their pristine Honda Civic.

Class two honours went to Stanley Ballantine/Laura McFadden in their Evo10 followed by David and Jody Dennison in their slightly older Evo3 whilst Paul Britton and George Tinsley took third in the category.

Class three, the 1300 class, was won by visiting driver Philip White/Ben Fallis in their Micra from the Novas of Ronan and Rachel Greene followed by the similar car of Declan McGarrity/Sean Wray in third,.

Class four, the 1600 category, was headed by Darren Collins/Cathal Colton (Honda Civic) who had a healthy lead over Alastair MCKee/Derek Miniss in their Sunbeam from the Peugeot 205 of Stefan McCann/Dylan Lennon.

Alan Smyth topped the times in class six which was for 1600 16 valve cars, next up in second was Darryl McCanney/Orlaigh Maguire who also secured the Drive of the Day award for best improvement on times during the day with James Leckey/Jordan Murphy in third.

Class six winners were local crew of William Armstrong/Willian Black in their Ford Escort followed by the similar cars of William Clerkin/Paul Morrison and Jonny Cargo/David McElroy as a handful of seconds separated them.

George Condell took his little Toyota Starlet to top of the times in class seven (2000 16valve) from the beautiful Escort of Barry Morris/Declan Campbell with father & daughter Alastair/Beth Cochrane in third.

Class eight was headed by Letterkenny’s Brendan/Damien McGettigan in their Ford Escort 2.5 from the similar car of Alan and Adam Nesbitt from the equally rapid Escort of David Condell/ Michael Coady.

Cathan McCourt/Brian Hoy was the victor in class nine from Matthew Cathcart/Conor Woods with Andrew Bustard/Aaron Johnston in third The Junior category was won by Sam Adams/Andrew Bushe from Jordan Frazer/ Chris Corry whilst Peater Beaton/Kyle White took third in class The trophy rally for retirees who rejoined after stage five was headed by Robin & Laura Phillips in their WRC Impreza.

Enniskillen Motor Club would like to extend their congratulations to Philip and Eugene and all winning competitors and thanks to all who supported the event which would not be at all possible with out the grateful help from the sponsor Declan Magee of Erne Skip Hire & Recycling.

Also to all at Enniskillen Airport for their excellent facilities, to the local land owners and residents for their co-operation and to all who helped in any way in organising the safe and enjoyable day’s action