Winners Galore in the Mid Antrim Combine

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

I have made contact with the clubs still outside the MAC competition in the hope that they can make a decision to return as a club and play a part in the future competition including the highly prized Champions League.

I would think a majority of the membership would fully support a return to racing with their neighbours and friends, and remember for those not interested, any individual loft can opt out.

At the present time the Club fees of £3 payable, covers the total membership of the club.

The situation which caused the most recent problem although not resolved is no longer relevant with a change in circumstances.

That barrier is no longer there and can now never be resolved, it really is time to move on.

There are still some concerns, but I see no simple solutions. The benefit of a boundary for the future would make little difference when you consider several lofts are already outside what would be considered was and should have been a boundary.

At the time the New Antrim Club moved down to Ballymena from Antrim some restrictions were placed for no additional lofts being able to be members in the Antrim Area but at the same time the small few already racing in the Antrim Area could stay.

Sadly, there are no further problems on this front as New Antrim are no longer in operation.

In the future it could be a problem if lofts in this location for one reason or another were able to join a Mid Antrim Club either say, Randalstown or Kells. It was never intended that MAC would cover a similar area as the current Section B.

It was more small local competition involving Ballymena based clubs and the local villages of Kells, Ahoghill, Cullybackey and Broughshane.

In those days the best bird into Mid Antrim was on numerous occasions beat by the shorter flying lofts, many great racers at that, and the Mid Antrim best bird could end up and usually did finish 2nd or 3rd Section B.

Many years later this situation changed the level of competition improved, and many future winners in Mid Antrim also topped Sect B and local lofts won many Nat & Derby races, many times Fancier of the Year, with the Kings Cup brought back twice to Cullybackey.

The situation in Rasharkin keeps coming up and although I myself, was not involved at that time. Cullybackey HPS were a big club and the longer flying members and others in this location decided on the idea of a new club.

Since they were already competing in Mid Antrim the same status was applied to the new club Rasharkin & District, no problems were seen at the time.

I don’t know how you go about changing what has been custom and practice and a system of operation since that time.

I do understand the point they have an unusual situation different from every member club but that is the way it has always been.

Its back to the same old problem, any changes can be made at an AGM, but any new decisions could not be retrospective.

At one time the MAC membership exceeded 150, now it exceeds 70, we need to get back to racing together as was the idea brought forward by the late Davy Campbell of Harryville who formed the Mid Antrim competition that has been going very successfully for over 45 years.

The Champions League winners over the years are as follows. 2008 R H Clements Harryville, 2009 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2010 M Graham Ballymena, 2011 Simon Millar Randalstown, 2012 Reid Bros & McCloy Cullybackey, 2013 A Darragh Cullybackey, 2014 Steele & McNeill Rasharkin, 2015 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2016 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2017 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2018 J & M Milliken Rasharkin, 2019 Mr & Mrs Robinson Ahoghill 2019, 2020 D Dixon Rasharkin, 2021 Mr & Mrs Robinson Ahoghill.

The simple Rules established as per instructions from the RPRA, passed at AGM 2017.

1. Majority vote in each club to secure MAC Club Membership, before application in writing to MAC Secretary.

2. Management Committee MAC – 2 Delegates from each member club.

3. Associate Members welcome from eligible clubs that were former members in the MAC.

4. Fees for 2017 – Clubs £3.00, Associate Members £5.00. Fees set at each AGM.

5. AGM – The Annual Meeting to take place in middle of March each year.

6. Officials to be elected annually, to include Chairman, Secretary & RPRA Delegates.

7. Accounts to be approved at each AGM.

8. Diplomas to be issued for winner of each race INFC & NIPA (Only 1 Diploma per loft).

9. The published result will be Member Club x 3.

10. Best results each year to be submitted to RPRA (Irish Region) for their consideration.

11. INFC Trophy to be calculated on Points.

12. Cup & Trophies for competition by Clubs & Membership as listed.

Old Bird Inland Average, Cross Channel Average, Old Bird Average, McIlhagga Memorial Cup for 1st MAC in NIPA Old Bird Nat, B Eagleson Memorial Cup best average Talbenny (1) & (2), Bude & Penzance, Tommy Shanks Memorial Cup Old Bird of the Year, Les Mairs Old Bird Fancier of the Year, Herbison Young Bird Average, New North Cup best average Bude OB & Talbenny YB, Parker Cup Combined Average, INFC Cup and Young Bird of the Year.

Club Points Shield for Old Birds & Young Birds, Champions League, and Old Bird & Young Bird Individual Loft Knock-Out.

Added at 2019 AGM - Former member clubs intending to re-join MAC will have an opt-out clause in respect of Individual Members, not wishing to compete in the MAC Competition.

For 2022 meeting, a change status of the Eagleson Memorial Cup to cross channel races flown in the season (Excluding France).

The current fees are £3 per member club, and also just £3, for Individual Associate member.

For the 2021 racing season just one diploma will be presented to a race winner, regardless of how many races won by the loft. New Antrim Amalgamated are no longer in operation.

OLD BIRD RACES:

Tullamore 24/04/21 42 Members – 1207 Birds, 1. J & M Milliken 1421, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1420, 3. J Eagleson & Sons 1419. Roscrea 01/05/21 56 Members – 1833 Birds, 1. R Service & Son 1535, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1524, 3.T Whyte 1515. Gowran Park – (Frid) 07/05/21 60 Members – 1843 Birds, 1. J Eagleson & Sons 1500, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1500, 3. S Murphy 1498. Fermoy – (Frid) 14/05/21 70 Members – 1966 Birds 1. Young McManus & Sons 1533, 2. Young McManus & Sons 1533, 3. J Eagleson & Sons 1528. Castletown – 22/05/21 55 Members – 1475 Birds, 1. S Crawford 1413, 2. Young McManus & Sons 1400, 3. J Eagleson & Sons 1399. Skibbereen Inl Nat 29/05/21, 1. Young McManus & Sons 1535, 2. F G & J Dickey 1520, 3. F G & J Dickey 1520, 4. Young McManus & Sons 1506, 5. N Bradley 1502, 6. Mr & Mrs Robinson 1501. Fermoy Comeback 29/05/21 47 Members – 1123 Birds,1. Young McManus & Sons 1562, 2. Young McManus & Sons 1562, 3. Young McManus & Sons 1539. 1st Talbenny (Sun) 06/06/21 52 Members – 961 Birds, 1. J Smyth & Son 1340, 2. McAlonan Bros 1334, 3. H Cubitt 1330. 2nd Talbenny 12/06/21 46 Members – 547 Birds, 1. W & J Smyth 1377, 2. F Barkley 1352, 3. Surgenor Bros 1347. 3rd Fermoy 12/07/21 42 Members – 705 Birds, 1. Harry Boyd 1573, 2. Harry Boyd 1570, 3. S Crawford 1569. Fermoy 5 Bird Champ 12/07/21, 1. Harry Boyd 1573, 2. Harry Boyd 1570, 3. S Crawford 1569, 4. Harry Boyd 1568, 5. Mr & Mrs Robinson 1551, 6.T & M Morrow 1538. Skibbereen Ylr Nat 19/06/21, 1. Young McManus & Sons 1687, 2. W McFetridge 1686, 3. Young McManus & Sons 1648, 4. Young McManus & Sons 1637, 5.T Whyte 1645, 6. D Dixon 1623. Bude 19/06/21 41 Members – 367 Birds, 1. Young McManus & Sons 1534, 2. Young McManus & Sons 1534, 3. Young McManus & Sons 1533. 4th Fermoy 26/06/21 29 Members – 355 Birds, 1. J Eagleson & Sons 1183, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1139, 3. D Dixon 1131. Penzance Classic (Thur) 01/07/21, 1. W & J Smyth 1332, 2. W & J Smyth 1301, 3. Mr & Mrs Robinson 1288, 4. D Dixon 1284, 5. D Dixon 1269, 6. Mr & Mrs Robinson 1262. Penzance (Thur) 01/07/21 43 Members – 335 Birds, 1.W & J Smyth 1332, 2.W & J Smyth 1301, 3. Mr & Mrs Robinson 1288. St Malo Nat (Thur) 01/07/21 38 Members – 146 Birds, 1. McAlonan Bros 725, 2. A C & T Tweed 578, 3. M Graham 570, 4.W Livingstone 533, 5. M Graham 424, 6. S Murphy 409, 7. M Graham 397, 8. Mr & Mrs Robinson 390.

YOUNG BIRD RACES:

Area Lib 1st Tullamore 17/07/21 28 Members – 680 Birds, 1. C Moore 1385, 2. C Moore 1384, 3. D Dixon 1377. Area Lib Mullingar 24/07/21 25 Members – 510 Birds, 1. A Shiels 1332, 2. C Moore 1312, 3. J Smyth & Son 1310. Area Lib 2nd Tullamore 31/07/21 50 Members – 1264 Birds, 1. D Dixon 1235, 2. D Dixon 1235, 3. D Dixon 1235. Roscrea (Tue) 10/08/21 42 Members – 885 Birds, 1. Blair & Rankin 1453, 2. Blair & Rankin 1453, 3. Blair & Rankin 1446. Gowran Park (Mon) 16/08/21 30 Members – 626 Birds, 1. J Eagleson & Sons 1296, 2. Mr & Mrs Robinson 1275, 3. John Millar 1250. 2nd Gowran Park (Mon) 23/08/21 28 Members – 525 Birds, 1. D Dixon 1412, 2.D Dixon 1412, 3. D Dixon 1411. Fermoy 28/08/21 37 Members – 447 Birds, 1. G Gibson 1418, 2. D Dixon 1413, 3. D Dixon 1413. Fermoy 5 Bird Champ 28/08/21, 1. G Gibson 1418, 2. J Rock 1396, 3. G Gibson 1393, 4. R H Clements 1369, 5. D Dixon 1367, 6. D Dixon 1367. Talbenny National 04/09/21 27 Members – 128 Birds, 1. G Gibson 1491, 2. D Dixon 1465, 3. Stewart Bros 1461, 4. A McBride 1456, 5. D Houston & Son 1374, 6. J & M Milliken 1363. Tullamore Comeback 04/09/21 25 Members – 454 Birds, 1. R Service & Son 1434, 2. F Barkley 1433, 3. Young McManus & Sons 1430. Skibbereen Nat 11/09/21 22 Members – 145 Birds, 1. D Dixon 1314, 2. D Dixon 1288, 3. D Dixon 1270, 4. J & M Milliken 1246, 5. D Dixon 1221, 6. D Dixon 1166.

I.N.F.C. RACES:

Skibbereen OB Nat (Tue) 01/06/21, 1. D Dixon 1232, 2. D Dixon 1212, 3. D Dixon 1209, 4. D Dixon 1196, 5. H Turkington 1181, 6. H Turkington 1164. Sennen Cove Ylr Nat (Wed) 01/06/21, 1. D Dixon 1244, 2. D Dixon 800, 3. M D C Magill 563, 4. Blair & Rankin 527, 5. G Gibson 445, 6. G & A Eagleson 405. St Allouestre Kings Cup (Thur) 08/07/21, 1. Stewart Bros 585, 2. M Graham 532, 3. R Alexander 368. Skibbereen YB Nat 18/09/21, 1. R Service & Son 1517, 2. D Dixon 1484, 3. D Dixon 1376, 4. D Dixon 1224, 5. D Dixon 1220, 6. D Dixon 1191.

Late News - I understand the Cullybackey HPS have returned to the MAC after conducting a democratic vote, that’s good news and for the first run of voting re the NIPA Young Bird programme the Ligoniel & District one for Mass Liberations all the way secured just short of 50% in the overall vote – 56 clubs returned voting papers.

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