Ryan retains Road Club’s road racing competition

Jack Jenkins, BMW Genius from The Country Garage, presents a sponsorship cheque to Jim Burns, of Ballymena Road Club. INBT39-216AC

Jack Jenkins, BMW Genius from The Country Garage, presents a sponsorship cheque to Jim Burns, of Ballymena Road Club. INBT39-216AC

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Ryan Bankhead has won the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – William Smyth cup road racing league competition for 2015.

It means the Fenaghy Park man has retained the title he won in 2014.

Bankhead dominated the contest having amassed a total of 66 points over the eight rounds. Scores from seven of the eight rounds count in the overall series and Ryan, who won four times and scored in three other races, only missed one round, which was the at Clough on the mid Antrim motor cycle circuit.

Matthew Brennan produced spirited resistance throughout the series and finished just five points behind in second place.

The series kicked off on 29th April when Ryan Bankhead won the opening round’s H and M Wilson cup event at Slaght on the Caddy circuit. Brothers Gary and Richard Reid were second and third.

Next it was the Rex Bonar cup event at Lisnamurrican, Broughshane on 20th May where veteran Tommy Wilson took the honours. Brennan was second and Bankhead third.

Round three’s Sammy Connor cup 33 miles scratch road race on the Broughshane Buckna Sheddings circuit on 3rd June, saw Bankhead extend his league lead when he was first home ahead of Brennan and Wilson.

The halfway point was reached with the Star Trophy GP of the glens road race on 24th June. That night Matthew Brennan scored maximum points but Bankhead was close behind in second place with Connor Young picking up the points for third placed BRC.

Bankhead didn’t take part in round five - the Clouh Rangers trophy on 28th July won, for the first time, by Gary Reid - but perhaps the pivotal race came at Randalstown on AUgust 3rd.

Going into the last lap that night Connor Young and Matthew Brennan led Ryan Bankhead by 25 seconds. However a final lap by the leading pair, which was 60 seconds slower that they had been achieving up to that point allowed Bankhead to close the gap and beat them both in the sprint finish. Young was second and Brennan third.

The final two rounds were held on the Glarryford, Millar’s corner, Dunminning circuit. Brennan took his second win of the series in the Sammy Gaston cup race on 5th August with Bankhead second and Jason Burns third.

In the final round, the Will Henry cup event on 26th August, the honours went to Ryan who rounded off the series by winning with nearest rival Brennan second and Breandan McCavana third.