There was a big Donegal interest in this weekend's Galway International Rally which marked the first round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship.

Top seed Craig Breen, back from WRC action to compete on Irish soil, put in an impressive display to win the international category with co-driver Paul Nagle in their Ford Fiesta R5 and they had 14.4 seconds (unofficially) to spare in the end.

Donegal's Damien Tourish and Domhnall McAlaney in their Ford Escort won the National category as they got the better of Damian Toner and Mick Coady in a Ford Escort MK II, with one minute and 5.8 seconds separating them at the end.

In a great rally, Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy were quickest over stage one in the Subaru Impreza WRC while Alistair Fisher and Gordon Noble (Ford Fiesta) assumed top spot after a great second stage.

But Breen and Nagle  were back in front after stage three and moved into a narrow 0.3 second lead over Jennings and Kennedy.

But a super stage four saw Jennings taking back top spot and leading by 2.8 seconds.

However, Breen assumed the upper hand on stage five, and with Jennings and Kennedy's race not reaching the end of stage six after they slid off, Waterford driver Breen saw a bit of daylight to move almost 14 seconds ahead of Fisher, and never looked back.

Going into the last stage Breen had a 21.6 second advantage. Fisher gave it everything and in the end the margin was 14.4 seconds.

Josh Moffett and Keith Moriarty were third overall in their Ford Fiesta, a further 33.7 seconds behind.

Best of the Donegal crews was the old pairing of Declan and Brian Boyle in their new Ford Fiesta R5. They were seventh overall, one minute 44.5 off the winner.

Among those taking part was three-times Donegal winner Manus Kelly. It was his birthday on Saturday, but he had to be content with 12th overall with Donall Barrett in their new Hyundai i20 R5.

Rally fan Siobhan Madden posted this clip of Kelly and Barrett in action.


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