2009 Bone Shaker Rally Report

17 April 2009

Three weeks after celebrating their first ever championship victory, Leslie and Gareth Hawe took their second consecutive win in the Energia series. In my last column I mentioned that a second win can often be easier than the first, so how prophetic did those words turn out to be? Not only have the Hawe's won two consecutive championship rallies, but it is actually three wins in a row when their Dungannon clubman status Springfling is taken into account. The cousins are only sorry that there is the summer break now and who would blame them when they are in such a rich vein of form?

This was no straightforward win. There was a real fight throughout the night. Twenty-nine crews had gathered in Omagh for the second running of the Bone Shaker Rally, which was renamed last year as their after Easter date rendered the Pre-Circuit title unusable. The late date gave the crews the chance to meet in daylight, which is a rare thing for this mostly winter run sport. The route headed west from Omagh in the direction of Drumquin, before turning south to skirt around Dromore and Fintona with the finish in Eskragh.

First away were local favourites Leslie Young and Lewis Boyd in their Vauxhall Vectra. They lived up to their number one seeding and led the rally by a scant 2 minutes after 3 sections were complete. Second at this stage were Gary Sheridan and Lloyd Cochrane followed by Willie McKoewn and Patrick McCollum and in fourth place were the Hawes. Eddie Murphy and Barry Taggart had already fallen foul of an LWR instruction at a not as map triangle. They were not alone, as this Long Way Round caught out about half the field. The resulting 15 penalty made it difficult for the former champions to get back into contention.

Two sections later and the crews had reached the competitive relaxed section. On the last section of the first half, McKeown and McCollum had difficulty plotting the route to the top of the hill at Pigeon Top, and Young/Boyd went slightly wrong on the way down the hill. The resulting penalties meant that at the relaxed the rally was led by Sheridan/Cochrane, followed by Young/Boyd, the Hawes, McKeown/McCollum and then William and David Howard, who were having a spirited run in 5th place overall and best of the Semi-Experts.

Nothing much happened for the first two sections after relaxed, but the next section was a map trace that caused all sorts of problems. Young/Boyd lost 3 minutes before reaching the first secret, while McKeown/McCollum lost 4 but both Sheridan/Cochrane and the Hawes only dropped 1. But the real significant point was that the next two secrets followed immediately which meant that any penalties at the first secret were effectively trebled. The Hawes had now climbed to 2nd, still 3 marks behind Sheridan/Cochrane, who were the only Expert crew without a win this season.

Two sections later, on a section described by tulips in reverse order, Sheridan/Cochrane dropped a 5 and a 3, while the Hawes only dropped 2. They now led. With one section remaining, they had a 3 minute gap to second, and were 6 ahead of third. But there was still one short tricky section to plot. It was described by 3 Sudoku puzzles, each one revealing a map reference to go through. Young/Boyd absolutely flew through this section, dropping only 1. Neither the Hawes nor Sheridan/Cochrane found it quite so easy and dropped 6 and 7 respectively. The final totals were the Hawes on 18, Young/Boyd 19, Sheridan/Cochrane 22 and McKeown/McCollum 25. It could not have been closer, but 1 minute was all that was needed to secure that excellent second victory for the Hawes. It must be remembered that last year, this crew were still Semi-Experts, so their results this year are all the more remarkable.

In the Semi-Experts, the Howards held the lead for most of the rally, but it all unravelled at those reversed tulips, where a missed secret cost them dear. At this point, the returning crew of Gary and Robert Milligan assumed the lead but it was short lived as they were dropping time and by the next secret had fallen to second. Worse was to follow as the Sudoku proved a bit of a nightmare and they finished fourth in class, one place behind the Howards. The top two finishers in this class also had problems on that last section, as they both went wrong and picked up a 15 for a wrong approach. In the end, it was the crews that have shared all the class wins this year who locked out the top two spots. David and Kyle Preston continued their impressive year with their third class win, finishing just 4 marks in front of John and Jonathan Henderson.

The best of the Novice crews were Andrew Hughes and Neil Anderson, which was their first class win since back in January. They have that LWR triangle to thank for winning the class, which could be put down to this sort of clue being common place in Scotland where Neil would have competed during his time at university. As they negotiated this triangle without penalty, Clive Latimer/David McElroy and Nigel Campbell/Colin Harkness both picked up a 15, without which either crew would have won the class. Championship leaders Raymond and Gareth Deazley had a rather dismal night, which included missing a secret check. They finished on 67 marks, in 6th place.

The Beginners class was won by Barry Gilpin and Helen Ferguson by a massive 77 mark margin. Connor and Tony Kelly survived a 30 and a 15 to take 2nd in class, with Jayne and Tom Boden third.

The Milligan house was rather empty on rally night, as daughter and mother succeeded in winning their class when father and son could only threaten (but fail) to do so. Ryan Darcy and Gareth Mimnagh led the class until the very last control, when arriving 13 minutes late dropped them to second.

In the race for the title, Leslie Young and Lewis Boyd have now got a clear lead with 1 win and 3 second places. No crew can win all rallies, but if you consistently finish second on the nights you are not winning, then this is how championships are won. Their season is looking very strong. As is that of the Hawes, who have 2 wins and a second so far. They are now lying in second on the same points as current champions, McKeown/McCollum who seem to be on a downward slippery slope at the minute.

The season now breaks for the summer and battle will commence in Dungannon in September.

Patrick McCollum



  1. Leslie Hawe / Gareth Hawe [Expert] 18 marks
  2. Leslie Young / Lewis Boyd [Expert] 19
  3. Gary Sheridan / Lloyd Cochrane [Expert]22
  4. Willie McKeown / Patrick McCollum [Expert] 25
  5. Eddie Murphy / Barry Taggart[Expert] 39
  6. David Preston / Kyle Preston [Semi-Expert] 51
  7. John Henderson / Jonathan Henderson [Semi-Expert] 55
  8. William Howard / David Howard [Semi-Expert] 64
  9. Gary Milligan / Robert Milligan [Semi-Expert] 68
  10. David Kerr / Maurice Cresswell [Semi-Expert] 86
  11. Ken McDonald / Rachel Muldoon [Semi-Expert] 92
  12. Neil Fletcher / Rebecca Fletcher [Semi-Expert] 100



  1. Andrew Hughes / Neil Anderson 12
  2. Clive Latimer / David McElroy 25
  3. Nigel Campbell / Colin Harkness 25
  4. Ian Johnston / Aaron Johnston 29
  5. Richard Beattie / Ian Hawthorne 34
  6. Raymond Deazley / Gareth Deazley 67
  7. David Gibson / William Hamilton 70


  1. Barry Gilpin / Helen Ferguson 18
  2. Connor Kelly / Tony Kelly 95
  3. Jayne Boden / Tom Boden 103
  4. Gordon Simpson / Adam Vance 240

Rally School

  1. Vicki Milligan / Mandy Milligan 49
  2. Ryan Darcy / Gareth Mimnagh 61
  3. Alastair Bristow / Michaela Bristow 90
Posted by PMcCollum on 24/8/2010; Last updated by PMcCollum on 24/8/2010