Sunday 21st August saw round 3 of the popular Master of the Mines series
hosted by the Moto Trial NI club at Whitespots Trial Park in Newtownards.
The clubs trials co-ordinator, John White, assisted by club members, had
spent the previous weeks and the day before the event getting the
sections ready. Indeed so committed to this task, they even braved
Saturdays torrential rain to set the course out.
The trial started at 11:15 am in bright sunshine as our youngest club
member Josh Shivers led a group of over 40 riders away for a days enjoyment.
John had expanded his 50/50 route idea for this event and had moved the
level of severity up a notch for the main group, the Clubmen. As usual
the trial took the format of 4 laps of 8 sections that each rider had to
In the Clubman grade it was a close battle all day. Barry Smyth, giving
minding duties for his family a miss today, started off with a slack dab
in the first section, but kept his nerve and posted a 2 lap score of
just that 1 point, having ridden the rest of the 2 laps faultless. Tied
with Barry at this stage was Sasha Turkington, she though went about
things totally opposite to Barry, she rode the 2 laps faultless until
she had a slack dab on the very last section of lap 2, to finish on 1
Three riders battled it out for the 3rd place at the halfway stage with
Davy McKnight and Aaron Moore tied on 7 marks lost, hotly chased by
Robbie Jennings on 8 marks.
The battle for the win was on and it was a nerve biting wait for Barry
and Sasha to come back to the sign on to see who had won out. Again it
was close, but Barry used all his years of riding to keep his nerve and
post a faultless 2nd card to take the win on that solitary 1 mark lost.
Sasha dropped 2 marks on her last lap which gave her a clear 2nd place,
and I have no doubt that if she had more “bike time”, she has hardly
been on her bike over this last couple of years, she would have given
Barry a tighter run for it, maybe next time!!! Davy kept hold of 3rd at
the finish from Robbie who pipped Aaron by 1 mark.
in the Sportsman 50/50 grade 6 riders from the Sportsmans grade decided
to test their skills in the slightly harder 50/50 grade. At the halfway
stage of 2 laps completed David Brown took the lead, just holding off
Allistair Galloway by 1 mark, with Jack McNeill 3rd a futher point
behind. The riders then fought out the final 2 laps and at the end of
the trial Allistair took the win on 19 marks lost, David was 2nd on 23
marks lost with Jack taking the last step of the podium on 34 marks
lost. Not a bad result for Jack who is new to the sport and was
competing in his first trial having joined the club only a few months ago.
In the Sportsman grade 2 riders started well, Robin McClure and Scott
Blackwood and they fought it out for the win all day long. At the
halfway stage Robin held Scott off with 3 marks lost to Scotts 4, next
was Alan Young on 7 marks lost and he was hotly chased by a host of
riders including Mark Leighton. As the final 2 laps progressed it was
an ongoing swapping of the top 3 places and at the end of the trial
Scott had secured the win on a fantastic total of 4 marks lost having
posted a faultless second card!! While he actually tied on 4 with
Robin, count back had to be used to separate them and it was that close
that the only way they could be separated was by way of furthest clean,
Robin having lost his fourth mark on the third lap with Scott going
clean! Given that Scott was competing on his 30 odd year old twinshock
Fantic this is an even more enjoyable win for Scott and he was delighted
at the end when the scores were announced. Alan held on to take 3rd on 8
marks lost having only dropped 1 mark over the final 2 laps.
In the Novice grade, which is designed for absolute beginners to trials,
3 riders took on the course. Ken Stewart tackled the sections on his
1950s Matchless 350, which he keeps in amazing condition given its age.
And he certainly knows how to ride it too, as he was a clear winner in
this grade. He only dropped 3 single dabs over the 32 sections to take
the win from Patrick Turner on 14 and Laura Smyth taking 3rd on 32 marks
lost. Laura rode with a smile all day, and it is fantastic as a club to
see her, Barry and their children Dylan and Pixe all out enjoying the
trial as a family, which is something we believe trials is all about.
On into the youth grades. No Youth A riders at this event so the Youth
B was the premier grade for younger riders and Dylan Smyth was the
winner in this grade. His younger sister was not to be out done by
Dylan and in the Youth C grade Pixe Smyth matched Dylan by taking the
win! That was 3 of the Smyth family taking the wins at the event! In
the Youth D grade Sophie Coulter was the winner.
There were four riders
in the Youth E grade all riding their Oset electric bikes and after the
4 laps the winner by a clear margin was young Josh Shivers! Sophie
McMullan was 2nd by 1 mark from Ben Bell with Rachel Houston taking 4th.
The club would like to thank everyoe who made the event possible, from
the local landowners to the observers who gave up their day to allow the
riders to have a days fun, but most importantly to the riders for coming
and supporting the club by competing.
The date of the clubs next trial will be announced shortly on our
website and Facebook page.
Barry Smyth 1
Sasha Turkington 3
Robbie Jennings 9
Allistair Galloway 19
David Brown 23
Jack McNeill 34
Scott Blackwood 4
Robin McClure 4
Alan Young 8
Ken Stewart 3
Patrick Turner 14
Laura Smyth 32