Mid-Antrim club fills key personnel roles ahead of ‘150’ return

Tommy Henry, centre, was the winner of the Loanends Road Race Support championship. Here he is pictured with Dean Campbell, second, and Darryl Tweed, third. Picture: Roy Adams.

Tommy Henry, centre, was the winner of the Loanends Road Race Support championship. Here he is pictured with Dean Campbell, second, and Darryl Tweed, third. Picture: Roy Adams.

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Plans are well ahead for next years JFM Haulage Mid Antrim 150, which makea a return to the road race calendar at the start of April.

The club have created a couple of new posts, all with safety in mind.

The first, and arguably the most important of these is the ‘Travelling, Assistant Clerk of the Course’.

That post will be filled by experienced official Jack Agnew, who is a former Clerk of the Course at the meeting and now serves on the MCUI panel of travelling marshals.

Jack has worn many hats over his long involvement with not just the Mid Antrim club, but bike racing in general.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this post replicated at other meetings as well.

It will give the new Clerk of the Course, Davy McCartney, an on the spot assessment of any situations that the organisers find themselves in.

Davy McCartney will have to relinquish his mechanic duties with the RT&E team to fulfil the Clerk of the Course obligations.

One of the other changes will be in the name of the corners.

Dunbought will now be known as Victor Gilmore Corner, after the popular local rider who lost his life at Killalane 5 years ago.

The Mid Antrim was Victor’s first road race, and he was one of the most popular and well liked riders in the paddock.

It’s a fitting tribute, in my opinion.

Pushing on with fund raising, the club are holding a Pub Quiz in the Front Page in Ballymena.

Somewhat less energetic that shoving people off the top of the Europa on a wet Sunday!

The quiz will be on the 18th November and will cost £5 per person.

It will get under way at 7.30pm and there will be a raffle as well.

LOANENDS SUPPORT SERIES

The Antrim based Loanends club had their annual prizegiving on Saturday night.

Formed in 1992, the club have raised tens of thousands of pounds that has been directed into the sport of road racing at grass roots level.

They now are the backers of the Ulster Support championship, which was won this year by Armoy man Tommy Henry.

With 84 points he finished just 9 ahead of Cookstown rider Dean Campbell while Darryl Tweed was third on 53.

Yvonne Montgomery took fourth place. Injured at Armoy, Ian Simpson thankfully has made a full recovery after he fell at Church Bends sustaining head injuries, though thankfully not as bad as first thought. Stephen Morrison was sixth.

With sponsorship becoming more difficult to find, small clubs like this are more and more important to clubs within the MCUI.

That said, they get absolutely no help or recognition from the governing body for their work.

The Loanends club are to carry on into 2016 with their backing to road racing, and hopefully further ahead as well.

My thanks to the club for their hospitality and craic on Saturday night.