North West Review: France was difficult

The high flying John and Mark Milliken of Rasharkin & Dist, only local bird on the day from St Malo in France. inbm27-16s
The high flying John and Mark Milliken of Rasharkin & Dist, only local bird on the day from St Malo in France. inbm27-16s

As it sometimes does the NIPA Old Bird Nat from St Malo in France turned out the most difficult of the season to date.

Birds were race marked in Cullybackey on Tuesday and released as planned in St Malo at 6.15am on Friday 24th June, favourable conditions were forecast for most of the route but there were lots of severe weather around. In late evening sunshine on Friday four gallant birds made it into Mid Antrim, one of those was longest recorded flyer on the day to J & M Milliken of Rasharkin & District around 9.00pm. Five birds were timed in the Coleraine Centre on the second day with the early bird to W & L McCaw of Ballymoney, clubmate Danny Dixon had two birds.

Willie and Leonard McCaw from Ballymoney, 1st Coleraine Centre from St Malo. inbm27-16s

Willie and Leonard McCaw from Ballymoney, 1st Coleraine Centre from St Malo. inbm27-16s

Coleraine Centre St Malo – W & L McCaw Ballymoney 756, D Dixon Ballymeney 750, D Dixon 644, A McDonnell Coleraine Premier 636, Hanson & Harpur Coleraine Premier 600.

Wee Man tastes victory from France.

What can you say to the wee man and long serving club member and friend Anthony McDonnell who has done it all in the pigeon sport from winning the Kings Cup in his career and NIPA open etc. He is one of the hardest workers in our club and puts a lot of us to shame every race week working tirelessly in the club. His only downside has to be his jokes.

He timed the winning pigeon into Coleraine Premier club from St Malo on the second morning just after 10.30am with a winning velocity of 636ypm from the consistent loft of Hanson and Harpur in second on 600ypm. His winning pigeon was a Lambrecht flying close to 500 miles.

Anthony McDonnell (l) and Jimmy Hanson had the only birds in Coleraine Premier. inbm27-16s

Anthony McDonnell (l) and Jimmy Hanson had the only birds in Coleraine Premier. inbm27-16s

He was actually heard saying on Tuesday night he’s kept the best to last. How can you question his ability.

Anthony, speaking for the club members I’d like to congratulate you on a great win, it must have been them lofts Leslie and myself fixed for you. Jimmy McSeveney.

Coleraine & Ballymoney clubs

Rasharkin & District 7/19 – J & M Milliken 9.00pm on the day longest flying bird in the NIPA.

Ballymoney HPS – W & L McCaw 756, D Dixon 750, D Dixon 644. Well done to W and L Mc Caw who had first bird in Coleraine Centre and also win their first race of the old bird season in Ballymoney HPS.

Coleraine Premier HPS – A McDonald 636, Hanson & Harpur 600.