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DD Motoring: Marathon Memories


first_imgThis week a Donegal registered Ford Escort Mk2 has found its way onto my motoring column for the second time in its 40 year history.Henry Ford may have made this two door version but the car’s passion was added up here in Co. Donegal. Up here we are different, we have one of the finest stages in the world in the Donegal International Rally in June, a place where we all can compete together. This car made its way on to the start ramp of the Donegal Rally in many different colours and many different stages of development over the years. Sadly its creator is no longer with us and his memory at this time of year is too much to bear, that the rally weekend in June is not the same anymore for some.A painting that Sharon has of her Dad’s famous Ford Escort and her and father John on the Donegal rally.“Life is for living, we can rest when we sleep in heaven” Advertisement On the June 4th Sharon Clarke, a mother of three will take part in her first ever marathon. She has pushed herself to do this with the help of her family and friends. She is doing this to remember her father, John Boyle on his tenth Anniversary. John Boyle was one of Donegal’s best known and respected members of the Donegal Motor Club and was only 55 years of age when he passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was cared for on his final journey through life at the Donegal Hospice in Letterkenny.By a way of saying thank you to all the staff that helped in any way, Sharon his daughter is hoping to raise funds for the Donegal Hospice through her attempt at her first ever marathon in Derry on the 4th of June.Sharon’s memory of her father John in her own words;“My father John was one of the most fun loving and adrenaline seeking people that I have ever known. His motto in life was “life is for living, we can rest when we sleep in heaven” and this was how he lived, through his work ethic and social life. He worked hard and played hard. His biggest passion in life after his family was his love for rallying. Much to my sadness I have found it too difficult to continue my love for the sport. It brings back too many beautiful memories that unfortunately have my father in them all. Advertisement “Competing in the Donegal International rally on a father’s weekend was the highlight of my year. I still to this day find the loss of my father very difficult as do many people across Donegal. Dad was one of those people who touched a lot of lives across the county. He had such a bubbly personality. He was one of those people when he walked into a room, it lit up!“When sitting one evening with my friends, I suggested that I would love to do something fun for dad’s tenth Anniversary. A few suggestions arose like a parachute jump or drive a rally car , which I have all completed in the past thanks to my dad. One of my girls suggested what about running a marathon and I was like, sure I have never ran before.“After talking it over with my cousin Lynn, she convinced me that I could do it, if I really wanted too. Lynn said “sure you have a year now to get ready for it”; start with the couch to 5K and work up from there. So with the encouragement from my family and friends I decided to run the Walled City Marathon in Derry. I have been so lucky that a close family friend Ciaran Callaghan from Drumoghill said that he would join me by becoming my training partner. I was so delighted when he also agreed to run the 26.2 miles with me on the 4th June in Derry.”Sharon Clarke with her husband Andrew and children Una, Ella and Dean, as she prepares for the marathon in memory of his father John Photo by Terese DuffySharon is 36 and married to Andrew, they have 3 young children, Dean 7, Ella 3 and Úna 2. Sharon’s father John passed away in the Donegal Hospice on the 15th July 2007 and with the Donegal Rally always in June. This is always an emotional time but doing something this year on his tenth anniversary the memory might ease the pain of loss a little.Sharon is hoping that she might get the number 85 for her entry for the Marathon as that was the number her father’s car was in the days of the rally. Our picture show Sharon and her father in happier days rallying but hopefully these memories will drive the girl from Manor over the finish line in the maiden city on the 4th of June.Pictured back in 2006 John Boyle and his daughter Sharon pictured with that famous Mk2 Escort as they line out at No 135 in the Donegal International Rally Photo By Brian McDaidFor anyone who didn’t know John Boyle, this is the way I described him just before his death, just over ten years ago when I interviewed John in 2006 on the run up to the Donegal International rally.John Boyle’s personality was infectious to all that he met. I met John many times over the years, I even met him in the middle of the Manor Roundabout one night when I misjudged my braking, John spotted me and landed back with a rope and gave me a pull out. I never told anyone about this until I was asked by his daughter to give her a hand with this piece this week. That gesture of help that night from her father John just sums him up so well.This was a piece I wrote about John Boyle when I last met him around this time of year on the run up to the Donegal Rally, He was fighting his illness at the time but was trying to enjoy life as much as that was possible. John Boyle-O-Manor.2006“It’s 1978, and we are in the road tax office in Lifford. A dark curly-haired man lines up in the queue. In those days everyone had to head to Lifford to get their car taxed. A complete set of documents in the right order were the only way to secure a tax disc for the windscreen. As our dark stranger approached the counter he stooped down so he had direct eye contact with the counter staff through the small circular hole in the glass screen. The hole wasn’t much bigger than the round tax disc he hoped to secure from the assistant.“Hello there” he said politely as he turned on his best Lagan charm. The larger than life dark stranger talked with such a gentle voice as he explained the details of his “wee car” as a new brown tax book was brought to the counter and the assistance started to fill it out. A double punch from the stamper lifted enough ink to dent the tax book for LZP 85 and the rest is history.Thirty-eight years on and that red MkII Ford Escort, LZP 85 still belongs to that curly haired man, now his hair is more a metallic silver shade of black. His escort has been around for over thirsty five years, but it was not his first rally car.John Boyle’s first rally car was an ex Russell Brookes Mk1 Escort Mexico which he bought for 1,150 English pounds. He competed in the Donegal Rally in 1973 with co-driver John Mc Cafferty from Termon. That year John’s main sponsor was the Ford Dealer in Letterkenny, McClean & McLaughlin. Then in 1978 the year that he purchased LZP 85 which had parts of the old ex works Russell Brookes car fitted he competed in the Donegal International but retired with clutch problems on the Saturday. That year the rally was won by another great famous Mk2 Escort in the hands of Ari Vatenan.The man in “our” famous Mk2 Escort was none other than John Boyle, from Manorcunnigham better known as “John Boyle O Manor”.John, a panel beater by trade has had a long association with rallying in Co. Donegal, John was involved in the preparation of many of the top drivers cars in Donegal including double Donegal winner, James Cullen. Over the years John’s work in the motor-trade for the public and the motor-sport left him with little time to work on his own car, which always left him burning the mid-night-oil to get that escort ready for the road.Now-a-days John has a different outlook on life, he has taken a step back from the fast lane as far as work is concerned and motor-sport is purely for enjoyment. LZP 85 has never looked better. The Donegal registered Escort is entered for this weekends event, John will do the steering and his daughter Sharon will do the navigating. This father and daughter team have had great success this year already in Killarney and also in a rally in France where they finished 4th over all in March.John has been involved in the Donegal International in one way or another since it start back in the seventies. His escort has a lot of Mc Geehan Motorsport input, which are the same rally car team that prepares Eugene Donnelly’s Toyota which has won the Donegal International rally for the last two years.John gets so much enjoyment from his rallying now-a-days. It also gives him a chance to meet with old friends as they recall the great days of the ‘Donegal’. On Friday morning car entered at No 135 will leave the start ramp in Letterkenny , John knows the roads like the back of his hand especially the old stages. John is looking forward to his journey through Donegal over this weekend.”That was LZP 85 in 2006, it’s now eleven years on and John Boyle still burns in the memory of his daughter Sharon and in the rest of John’s family as the tenth anniversary of his passing approaches. His old Escort sat up for a long time until Sharon realised she never would feel the same behind the wheel of it anymore.She accepted an offer on the car which now has started the possibilities of new beginnings with its new owner who lives in Australia. Sharon still has the old tax book that her father got for his own piece of engineering in 1978 which is a keepsake for her forever. Now she put the final touches on her journey through life as she remembers her father John when she heads to the start ramp in Derry on the 4th of June to compete in the marathon in Derry to raise much needed money for the Donegal Hospice.Please feel happy to share this article along the with the link to Sharon’s fundraising page:https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11364678_sharon-clarke-s-fundraising-page.htmlHappy Motoring FolksDD Motoring: Marathon Memories was last modified: May 12th, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:dd motoringdonegal international rallyJohn BoyleMarathonsharon clarkelast_img read more


South African rugby in 2013


first_img19 December 2013The year 2013 was a good one for the Springboks. Not only did they win 10 out of their 12 tests, they did so playing an exciting brand of rugby.There was a marked improvement in the team’s performances in their second year under coach Heyneke Meyer, and while the Boks were not able to unseat New Zealand as Rugby Championship winners, as the world number two they opened up a bigger gap on the teams ranked behind them in the world standings.Even in their two losses to New Zealand, the Springboks exhibited some exciting rugby. A very tight match in Auckland was ruined by the controversial sending off of Bismarck du Plessis, the best player on the field until that point, by referee Romaine Poite, which the International Rugby Board later admitted was an incorrect decision.When the teams met at Ellis Park later in the competition, the Springboks needed to score a bonus point win over the All Blacks to lift the title. This led to them opening up the game more than usual, and when they did so they showed that the Kiwis’ defences could be breached as they ran in four tries. Unfortunately, in an open game, the Boks’ usually solid defence let them down a number of times and they went down 27-38. Still, there was a lot to enjoy in their spirited performance.Devastating attacking displayThey produced their most devastating attacking display against Argentina at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, running in nine tries to one in a Rugby Championship record setting 73-13 victory. The match saw a return to the green and gold for Japan-based scrumhalf Fourie du Preez and the 2007 Rugby World Cup winner showed he had not lost any of his skills by putting in a telling performance as a substitute, which showed what the Boks had been missing without him.Another big highlight was a first ever win over the Wallabies in Brisbane, and it wasn’t even close. Running in four tries to nil, the Boks ran away to a 38-12 victory. With new scrum laws going some way towards taking away the advantage a team gained by making the hit first, South Africa took charge up front and Australia could not respond.However, it was the sparkling play of the backline that caught the eye, and the ability of the Springboks to make the Australians pay for mistakes they made. At the top, taking your chances is the name of the game and the Springbok vintage of 2013 proved a lot better at that than the team of 2012.In their return match at Newlands, the Springboks confirmed the gap they had opened up on the Wallabies when they won 28-8.Unbeaten end of year tourDespite another ridiculously long season, the Boks, for a second year in a row, went unbeaten on their end of year tour of the northern hemisphere, which ended on 23 November. In fact, they conceded only one try in their three victories.Six Nations champions Wales, who had provided the majority of the British and Irish Lions team that had a won series over the Wallabies Down Under, were beaten 24-15, with the Springboks crossing for three tries to nil.Early in the season, in South Africa, Scotland led the Boks 10-6 at half-time and extended that advantage to 17-6 before a Springbok fight back saw South Africa emerge 30-17 victors. At Murrayfield, though, it was one-way traffic as South Africa powered into a 21-0 lead after little more than half-an-hour, on their way to a 28-0 win.France provided the opposition for South Africa’s final test of the year in Paris. It was a very physical game, but the Springboks held the lead from the first minute as they recorded their first victory in the French capital since 1997 by 19 points to 10.Try scoring milestoneBryan Habana provided one of the biggest milestones of the season when he became the first South African to score 50 test tries in the Boks’ 56-23 defeat of Samoa in the final of the Castle Incoming Series. The Department of Sports and Recreation recognised his achievement by presenting him with a trophy and R50 000, which Habana then donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.The flying winger finished the season with 53 test tries. Only Japan’s Daisuke Ohata with 69 tries, Australia’s David Campese with 64, Shane Williams of Wales with 60, and Hirotoki Onozawa of Japan with 55, have scored more test tries than Habana.Lock Eben Etzebeth, who only two years ago was playing rugby for the University of Cape Town, was nominated for the IRB Player of the Year Award. Aged only 22, Etzebeth has become one of the best number four locks in the world: solid at lineout time, strong in set scrums and an amazing worker around the field, both on attack and defence.‘Happy with the progress’Speaking after the Springboks had finished their season with a win over France in Paris, coach Heyneke Meyer reflected on a satisfying season, saying: “We’ve had a good year and I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made as a team and in our results in 2013.“To finish the season with three good wins in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Paris is special, but we realise we are far from where we want to be and will keep on working hard to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves,” Meyer said.“The players deserve a lot of the credit though. Not only for the way they’ve played this season, but also for being the most humble group of men I’ve worked with, who put in massive amounts of hard work on the training field and for being a team South Africa can be proud of.“We also enjoyed tremendous backing in South Africa as well as abroad and we’d like to thank our supporters for standing behind the team. It really means a lot to all of us.”Super RugbyIn Super Rugby, the Stormers, who topped the table in 2012, and the Sharks, who upset them to reach the final, were expected to once again be the leading South African teams. That didn’t happen as the Bulls finished second on the log and the Cheetahs, for the first time in their history, made the playoffs after ending in sixth place. The Stormers and Sharks followed in seventh and eighth respectively, while the newcomers, the Southern Kings, propped up the table.The Cheetahs were the surprise of the season and their enterprising style of rugby won them many fans. In the end, though, they slipped to a narrow 15-13 loss to the Brumbies in Canberra in the playoffs.The Brumbies, who were coached by former Springbok coach Jake White, then had to face the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld for a place in the final against the defending champion Chiefs, who edged the Crusaders 20-19 in the other semi-final. A try in the 79th minute saw the Australian team snatch victory and bring to an end South Africa’s Super Rugby challenge.Currie Cup Premier DivisionIronically, White signed with the Sharks later in the year, but he wasn’t yet with the union when the Sharks captured the Absa Currie Cup for the third time in the last six years.Western Province set the standard in the Premier Division, going unbeaten, although with two draws, during round robin play. The Sharks claimed second place, with seven wins and three losses, two of them to Province, while the Cheetahs and the Golden Lions finished in the remaining playoff positions.In the semi-finals, the Sharks beat the Cheetahs 33-22, while Western Province outplayed the Golden Lions 33-16, to set up a repeat of the final of 2012, but not in Durban. This time it would be in Cape Town.In 2012, the Sharks had topped the table and then beaten the Blue Bulls comfortably in the semi-finals to secure a home final. Western Province, meanwhile, had finished fourth, but they made it into the final by beating the Lions in the semis. Once there, they shocked the Sharks 25-18.In 2013, the outcome was a reversal of the previous year. The Sharks had beaten Province twice before losing to them in the final away from home. Now Province, after two wins over the Sharks, were decisively beaten at Newlands, with the Natal team winning 33-19.Currie Cup First DivisionThe Pumas won all 14 of their round robin matches in the Currie Cup Division One competition and then put 50 points past both their playoff opponents, beating the Eagles 52-33 and the Eastern Province Kings 53-30 respectively, to be crowned champions.They later faced Griquas, the bottom club in the Premier Division, in a home and away playoff. In Kimberley, Griquas sneaked a 21-19 victory, but in Nelspruit the Pumas scored a handsome 33-15 win to earn promotion to the Premier Division by 53-36 on aggregate.The Golden Lions claimed the Vodacom Cup for a record fifth time, with a 42-28 win over the Pumas.A South African President’s XV, made up of players from the First Division of the Currie Cup, took the honours in the IRB Tbilisi Cup in Georgia, defeating Uruguay 37- 9, Emerging Ireland 19-8, and Georgia 21-16.Sevens World SeriesSouth Africa, meanwhile, finished second in the HSBC Sevens World Series behind New Zealand, but won three titles – in Las Vegas, Tokyo and Edinburgh – more than any other team. They won all three titles with victories over New Zealand in the Cup finals, including a 40-21 thrashing in Las Vegas.At the Rugby World Cup in Moscow, the Blitzbokke didn’t allow any points in winning their pool, downing Russia 31-0, Japan 33-0 and Scotland 41-0. Unfortunately for the SA Sevens team, their challenge was ended by their bogey team, Fiji, who edged their quarterfinals clash 12-10.In August, the Blitzbokke contested the World Games and lifted the gold medal with a 33-24 victory over Argentina in the final.The Springbok Women’s rugby team qualified for the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in style, recording their biggest ever win to book a place in France next year, by 63 points to 3 over Uganda. In November, they were drawn to face Wales, France and Australia in Pool C at the World Cup.The Springbok ExperienceThe Springbok Experience rugby museum opened at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town in September. It features more than 20 interactive touch screen exhibits, a total of 64 monitors and 20 projectors, an eight-minute film presentation in a mini Springbok cinema, more than 20 audio-visual exhibits and mechanical interactive exhibits for children.“It is an unbelievable experience and tells a telling story of the impact rugby had and still has on our country. It even, as I’ve just learned inside, resulted in a ceasefire during war so that a rugby match could be played. It shows the power of rugby,” Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said at the opening.last_img read more


Lyceum stays unbeaten, cruises to 10th straight win


first_imgLYCEUM 96 – Perez 22, Jc. Marcelino 19, Ayaay 10, Tansingco 10, Caduyac 8, Pretta 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Liwag 5, Nzeusseu 5, Marata 3, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0, Ibañez 0, Santos 0.MAPUA 90 – Gabo 21, Buñag 18, Victoria 16, Aguirre 11, Nieles 9, Orquina 7, Pelayo 6, Raflores 2.Quarters: 20-21, 48-43, 73-58, 96-90. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lyceum lost hold of its 17-point lead, 71-54 in the third quarter as Laurenz Victoria and Leo Gabo willed Mapua to get to as close as six late in the game.Robinson said that it’s something his team needs to work on as the Pirates gear up for tougher foes ahead.“That’s the challenge for us. If we want to stay on top, there’s a lot of responsibilities that come with it. We’re the barometer. Hopefully, this will be a wake up call for us that any team can beat us if we let our guards down,” he said.Gabo paced Mapua (1-9) with 21 points and five assists, while Christian Buñag had 18 markers and 14 rebounds in the loss.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.center_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Africa champion Cameroon misses out on World Cup Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side CJ Perez paced the Pirates with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Jaycee Marcelino got 19 markers, six boards, and two dimes.MJ Ayaay and Ralph Tansingco both chimed in 10 points apiece in Lyceum’s 10th straight win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingCoach Topex Robinson, though, was dissatisfied with how his side reacted to the Cardinals’ challenge, as the cellar dwellers gave the Pirates everything they could handle.“I guess we didn’t play our usual game. We didn’t honor the game and it almost backfired on us. Credit to coach Atoy (Co) for preparing his team well for us,” the youthful mentor said. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Lyceum didn’t look like it missed a beat as it sustained its hot streak to the second round of the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament with a 96-90 victory over Mapua Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelolast_img read more


I am very happy to be the first Indian woman boxer to get a bronze medal at Olympics: Mary Kom


first_imgShe is over the moon after becoming the first Indian woman boxer to clinch an Olympic medal but bronze is not the colour for M C Mary Kom, who feels she could have finished higher on the podium had it not been for the “confusion” that gripped her during the semifinals.’Magnificent Mary’ as she is called by the International Boxing Association, was the lone Indian in fray when women’s boxing made its Olympic debut in the just-concluded London Games.Top 10 memorable moments from London OlympicsThe five-time world champion ensured a piece of history for herself and the country by fetching a bronze in the flyweight 51kg division. But for someone who is more used to finishing at the top, bronze was less than satisfactory.”I am very happy to be the first Indian woman boxer to get a bronze medal but I am sad that I could not convert it into gold. I don’t know what happened during my semifinal bout. My body was not moving the way I would have liked and I felt as if I could not do anything. I was very much confused,” the 29-year-old, who returned to the country to a rousing reception early this morning, told PTI in an interview.Video: Mary Kom gets a rousing welcomeHundreds of cheering fans welcomed Mary Kom at the airport, breaking into an impromptu jig in which the boxer also participated. She was accompanied by her husband Onler Kom and her mother Akham Kom.Mary Kom lost 6-11 to England’s two-time world champion Nicola Adams in the semifinals and reflecting on the bout, the diminutive Manipuri was at a loss of words to explain what went wrong.advertisement”I never get nervous before bouts but that day I don’t know what was happening to me. I can’t even explain it. I was not attacking as much and may be it was the crowd also which was cheering Nicola. I generally don’t get affected by how the crowd is behaving but probably in the semifinals, it affected me,” she recalled.The Indian conceded that Adams had the bout but was not quite convinced by the scoreline which she felt was narrower than what the record books show.”I don’t think it was that big a margin even though I admit that Nicola won it. At best, it could have been a difference of 2-3 points but certainly not 6-11. Even though my body was not moving that well, I think I hit her hard and I should not have lost by that margin,” she insisted.”I don’t think she hit me so many clear punches, hers was a touch-and-go game. I had already fought my toughest bout of the competition in the first round itself,” she said.The mother-of-twins was nevertheless happy that she returned to the country with a medal around her neck.”I think I have achieved everything that I dreamt of. Of course I wanted a gold medal at the Olympics but I am happy with the bronze too because I am the first Indian woman boxer to get it,” she laughed.However, realisation of all her dreams does not mean that Mary Kom is thinking of hanging up her gloves just yet.”I am planning to continue till the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. I don’t know if my body will allow this to happen but if it does, then I would surely try to get a gold there,” she said.Asked to compare her five world titles with the Olympic bronze, Mary Kom emphatically said that nothing can beat the thrill of being there on the podium at the biggest sporting show on earth.”This Olympic bronze is very, very special for me. Of course the world titles also mean a lot but an Olympic medal is at an altogether different level for every athlete in the world. It is the highest honour,” she explained.”It is a perfect climax to all the hardships that I have gone through during my life. God has been kind to me,” said the boxer, reflecting on a 12-year career during which she changed three weight categories since debuting in 45kg.last_img read more