PREPERATIONS for the big benefit meeting in aid of Ballyea GAA Club in the Galway Greyhound Racing Stadium on Friday, November 20, got underway at the College Road venue last Friday night.
The card featured first-round heats of the Ballyea GAA A5 event over 525 yards, the final of which will take place on November 20. Funds raised will go towards ongoing developments at the Ballyea pitch.
There was a Clare winner in the opening heat last Friday night when Knockdine Crash (Crash-Knockdine Lady) owned by Helen O’Brien, Miltown Malbay, came with a late charge to win the race by a head from Barbersfort Star in 29.18. Third home was Ike and Mike, owned by Richard McLoughlin, Clarecastle.
There was no Clare qualifier in heat two, which went to the Roscommon-owned Notabadsub (29.53) while Demesne Suzzie, owned by Frank Casey, Stonehall, was third in heat three, which was won by Coolratty Waggle (29.41).
Local owner Thomas Dolan won the final heat with Crown Hawk, who beat an unlucky Kilcorcoran Manu, owned by Master Conor Cleary, Miltown Malbay, by three and a quarter lengths in 29.48.
Also on the Friday night cards were semi-final heats of the Ballaghderreen GAA Club A4 and A2 events over 575 yards.
The Headford-owned Clydagh Premier was back in form to win the opening heat of the A4 event in 32.02 from Cavies Flash and the Johnny Burke-trained Drimeen Holly, owned by Eoin Coote and Sally Carrig from near Ennis.
In the second A4 semi-final Viper Magpie, owned by Stephen McNamara, Lahinch, was well in the clear by the halfway stage. However, at this stage the second placed Networking (Flying Penske-Tullyglass Pearl) owned by Timmie Keane, Shannon, started to close in and the lead was cut down considerably between the final two bends. In the run home Networking took over to beat Viper Magpie by a length and a quarter in 32.14. Third placed was Codename Jack, owned by Sinéad Lawlor, Gort.
The Killarney-owned Ballymac Rubie still held the call at the third bend in the first of the A2 semi-finals. However, a switch outside by the Michael Downes-trained Reargrove Gent brought dividends and the son of Jamella Prince-Senahel Princess was stronger in the run home to beat Ballymac Rubie by a length and a quarter in 31.76.
Merciful Robyn, owned by Daniel Flannery, Athenry, dominated the second semi-final to win by nearly three lengths in 31.97 from Killuran Blue, owned by Ciaran and Gary Cooney, Broadford. Third place went to Ad Lib, owned by Martin J Keane, Kilmihil.
Martin Griffin from Caherea also had a successful trip as a result of his Nebraska Hawk (Westmead Hawk-Nebraska) taking an A4-graded 525 yards race. The black made all the running from trap one to beat Tyone Tiny by almost eight lengths in a time of 29.25.