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It was a busy weekend for the Westport Covey youth squad with the Ras Na n’Og on in Drogheda. 9 youths travelled to represent the club at one of the biggest weekends in youth race events of the year.
 
U12 Stage 1
First off was the under 12’s, it was a fast flat course and all the youths looking to start off strong, Keith Mulroy was looking for a result after a mechanical problem stopped his race in Ras Maigh Eo, it was to be young Duggan from Donegal who took the win here with Keith Mulroy taking 6th in the sprint finish and Shane o Malley took 12th and Orla Harrison finishing 15th in the chasing groups, it was a great start to the day for all Westport Coveys.
 
U14 Stage 1
We had 3 riders in this race also, this was going to be a fast race with some of the big names in the U14 seen present, but it was to be Aaron Doherty’s day taking 1st place with Declan Maloney taking 4th place and Emer Harrison finishing in the chasing group.
 
U16 Stage 1
Again we had 3 riders in this race, again big names on the start line, it was a race with everyone looking to see who would make the first attack. The group split up but it came down to a big bunch sprint finish with the yellow going to Conor McCann and Ben Walsh, Eoghan McLaughlin and Oisin Gannon finishing strong in the bunch.
 
U12 Stage 2
This was a hilly course and would test the legs of the riders, the race took off fast with Shane and Keith putting in an attack but they were pulled back in fast, in the end Moriarty from Kanturk took the win with Keith taking 8th and Shane taking 9th, Orla Harrison finished in the chasing group.
 
U14 Stage 2
The Coveys had Aaron in the leaders jersey for this one and it was all there to play for, the hills of this course would test the legs of the riders, the group split up with all the big names up the road in the first group including Aaron Doherty and Declan Maloney, it was an up hill sprint to the line and it was Duggan that took the win with Aaron in 2nd and Declan in 6th, Emer Harrision finished in the chasing group. Aaron had done enough to hold on to the leaders jersey for the 3rd and final race.
 
U16 Stage 2
Again this was a tough course, plenty of hills and drags to test the legs after the mornings race, it started off with the big names hitting the front, on the 2nd lap there was a crash and it would take Ben Walsh down with it, Eoghan McLaughlin was safely around and with no help to get back on it was to be one of the longest TT’s that Ben Walsh had ever done to get back up to the group, just as they hit the 500m mark the group was in his view but the long hard effort had took its toll, it was a great performance by Ben to get back up. Barnes from ETCC took the win here with Eoghan picking up 2nd in the U15 category and Oisin finishing up in the chasing group.
 
Day 2
 
U12 Stage 3
 
First off was the U12’s, they all lined up to give their final performance of the weekend, this was a race that would upset some of the riders as a crash that took Keith Mulroy and 2 other riders down, one from Kanturk and one from Errigal. This shook the group up and it would be a hard effort from the riders to get back up to the group, with 1.5 k to go they got back on but after a hard effort in the legs with no time to recover young Moriarty made the final attack of the day and was followed by Geraghty and Lupton and they would take the top spots and Shane picked up 6th and Keith picked up 8 for his effort, Orla Harrison finished in one of the chasing groups to keep her in the top 4 of the girls category.
 
Final result in GC U12,
Keith Mulroy 8th
Shane o Malley 11th
Orla Harrision 4th Girl
 
U14
Next up was the U14, Aaron Doherty was starting with the leaders jersey and would have to give a top performance if he is to hold on to it. Aaron had lost his team mate Declan Maloney who took ill and had to retire from the event. As the weather started to change form sunshine to rain it would make the conditions tricky for the young riders, the race split up with the top 10 riders in the GC up the road it was going to be a challenge to hold on to the jersey as it could brave been any of 5 riders at the end of the day and it was down to the final result to see who would have it, it was a race where they were all looking at each other to see who would attack but the group held together to the final sprint, with an almost flat front wheel the line could not come soon enough for Aaron Doherty, as the sprint started he could hear his rim rolling on the road but with the leaders jersey on his back he was determined to hold on to it and gave it everything he had, Harry Dow would take the win here, Aaron picked up 6th place but it was enough to hold the leaders jersey, it was a well deserved result after 2 hard days of racing.
 
Aaron Doherty 1st on GC U14.
 
U16’s
They lined up at the start line, there was 2 riders short as yesterday’s crash took 2 riders out of the competition. Ben Walsh was ready to place today after the crash decided his race yesterday, Eoghan McLaughlin was ready also but a mechanical problem today would see him pull out on lap3, the bunch stayed together for the first 4 laps but started to split up as groups started to attack on the 5th lap, Ben held his head and it paid off as he picked up 3rd in U15 for his effort with Oisin Gannon finishing up in the chasing group.
 
It was a great week end of racing and a very well ran event,all eyes are now on Kanturk as its the next big race weekend for the youth. Thanks Tony Walsh and all the parents that came along to help out and make the weekend a success for all the youths. These weekends are all about showing the kids what team work is all about and the building of friendship, which could be seen in the hall as all the youths from all the clubs gathered for a final game of football before they said there goodbye’s till they all meet up again in Kanturk.
 

Great results everyone – the future of Westport Covey racing is looking very bright.