Mid Antrim 150: Malachi Mitchell-Thomas and Derek Sheils shine at Clough

Cookstown B.E. Racing team-mates Derek Sheils (left) and newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas stole the show at the JFM Haulage Mid Antrim 150.
Cookstown B.E. Racing team-mates Derek Sheils (left) and newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas stole the show at the JFM Haulage Mid Antrim 150.

Sensational newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas and Derek Sheils dominated the JFM Haulage Mid Antrim 150 for John Burrows’ team on Saturday, as the Clough meeting returned to the calendar for the first time since 2013.

Young gun Mitchell-Thomas, set up a majestic treble with victory on his Irish road racing bow in Friday night’s Supersport 600 race and sealed a brace on Saturday, winning the second Supersport race and the Open Superbike event with a man of the meeting display.

The 20-year-old from Horwich beat Skerries rider Michael Sweeney on Burrows’ 600cc Honda to complete a Supersport double and had the edge over team-mate Sheils in the first Superbike event, with Sweeney clinching third ahead of Ryan Farquhar, who was making his roads debut on his new IEG BMW Superstock machine.

It was 2015 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner Mitchell-Thomas whose name was on fans’ lips as the action unfolded on Saturday, but Sheils saved his best until last to win the feature Grand Final Superbike race in the rain, with the red-hot English prospect having to settle for second best this time ahead of Sweeney.

Dungannon man Farquhar had his work cut out to hold off Mitchell-Thomas in a nip and tuck Supertwins race, which went down to the wire on the final lap.

Farquhar, though, had enough in his tank to take the win on his SGS KMR Kawasaki, but the pair could hardly be split as they flashed across the line. Sweeney, a podium regular all weekend, was third from popular Czech competitor Michal Dokoupil, who had seized the lead on the first laps before slipping backwards.

In the 125cc class, Gary Dunlop finished fifth behind his cousin Sam as he made his full Irish road racing debut at the Mid Antrim, which lifted the curtain on the 2016 season.

The Tandragee 100 is next up on April 23, where Mitchell-Thomas, Sheils and Farquhar are set to be joined by Dan Kneen on the Mar-Train Yamaha, plus William Dunlop, who is also entered for the North Armagh Club’s eagerly anticipated meeting.