SS3: Greer Clips Bridge; McCourt Fastest; Tourish up to 4th

There was plenty of drama on stage three as McGrady Insurance NI Championship leader, Jonny Greer (pictured: D Harrigan Images), was forced to stop at the side of the road after clipping a bridge and breaking a rear hub. He and Niall Burns had been holding second overall, just 3.1s behind the rally leaders, but they are now out of the rally.

The incidents didn’t stop there as Donagh Kelly has also reportedly pulled in while Jason Mitchell hit a chicane and landed his Fiesta in a ditch, putting him out of the event.

Amidst all the drama, Desi Henry and Paddy Robinson just about stayed out of trouble to continue to lead the event. They were lucky to escape unscathed when they ran up a bank, filling a wheel with mud.

“It wasn’t a great cut in there,” Henry admitted. “Half of the stage was damp. We ran up a bank at one stage and filled one of the wheels up with a load of muck. I thought I had a puncture so I backed off for a while.”

Instead, it was Cathan McCourt and Liam Moynihan who set the pace. They claimed fastest time despite having no intercom at the start, nipping 0.7s out of Henry’s lead. With McCourt now second overall, the gap between him and the rally leaders stands at just six seconds.

“We had no intercom for the first two kilometres,” McCourt said. “It stopped working as soon as we left the start line.”

Garry Jennings and Rory Kennedy are third despite having a “disaster” of a stage. They opted for a tyre they had never used before and on the damp sections of road, the car kept locking up the wheels.

A stunning drive by Damien Tourish and Domhnall McAlaney has seen them climb six places in one swoop. They now hold fourth overall in their Escort MkII, and were happy with their tyre choice.

Joe McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney are up to fifth with Alan Carmichael and Arthur Kierans in sixth after tiptoeing their way around Jason Mitchell’s stricken car.

“He hit the chicanes and is in a ditch,” Carmichael said. “The OK boards are up. We managed to go on the grass to get around him.”

Niall Devine lost around 20 seconds with a spin at a hairpin and after Jonny Greer’s retirement, Derek McGarrity is concentrating on a getting a finish to bolster his NI Championship chances.

“Jonny is sitting at the side of the road with the OK board up,” McGarrity said. “So now we need to finish.” The stage is still live and positions are subject to change. Latest results are available from and live stage-end interviews are available from OnThePacenote.

After SS3 of 6

1 D Henry
2 C McCourt +6.0
3 G Jennings +19.2
4 D Tourish +49.3
5 J McGonigle +50.7
6 A Carmichael +53.3
7 D McGarrity +59.3
8 J Hegarty +1’04.0
9 P Britton +1’15.2
10 C Bradley +1’22.9

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