Michael Sweeney clinches four-timer at East Coast Festival
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Michael Sweeney clinches four-timer at East Coast Festival
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Michael Sweeney won four races at the East Coast Festival at Killalane to cap the Irish National road racing season in style.
Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.

Michael Sweeney clinches four-timer at East Coast Festival as curtain falls on 2019 Irish road racing season at Killalane

Skerries man Michael Sweeney was the ‘Man of the Meeting’ as the Irish national road racing season concluded with the East Coast Festival at Killalane.

Sweeney, riding the MJR BMW, won the Open race comfortably by 7.8 seconds from Thomas Maxwell (Kawasaki), with Mike Browne completing the top three ahead of Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed on his 600 Honda. Forrest Dunn and Graham Kennedy completed the top six.

Fermanagh’s Melissa Kennedy became the first woman to win an Irish National road race as she secured the spoils in the Moto3/125GP race from Sam Grief and Gary Dunlop, who secured the Irish championship for the Joey's Bar Racing team.

Saintfield’s Davy Morgan won the Lightweight race overall on his 250cc Honda, while Steve Tobin was the first 400 rider home.

A close non-championship Supersport race, held in memory of Darran Lindsay – who tragically lost his life at the event in 2006 – went to Sweeney after a thrilling dice with Cork man Browne. The pair were separated by only a tenth of a second at the line, with Tweed completing the top three, finishing three seconds behind. Kennedy, Maxwell and Dennis Booth were the first half dozen.

Browne turned the tables to win the Supersport championship race, seeing off Tweed by 3.6 seconds as Sweeney coasted home in third, some 15 seconds back, to wrap up the Irish title. Kennedy, Morgan and Steve Tobin rounded out the first six.

There was a somewhat depleted grid for the Supertwins race, which Sweeney dominated on his Kiely Heating Kawasaki to win by almost 10 seconds from Stephen McKnight. Tweed bagged the last rostrum place as he took the flag a further nine seconds adrift.

In the feature Grand Final race, Sweeney took control from the off on his 1000cc BMW and controlled the pace from the front. He went on to close out a straightforward win by 3.9 seconds from Maxwell, who edged out Browne for the last place on the podium.

Tweed, Dunn and McKnight were the top six in the final race of the 2019 Irish road racing season.

Ballymoney’s Tommy Henry wrapped up the Irish Senior Support title as he finished second in the Senior Support race, 3.2 seconds behind Manx rider and Killalane newcomer Frankie Stennett.

Vinny Brennan came out on top in the Junior Support race by the smallest of margins, with John Ella losing out by only 0.027s in a photo finish.

Barry Davison won the Junior Classic race while Richard Ford closed ended the year with another victory in the Senior Classic event.

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Kyle White
09-09-2019, 01:22 PM
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