Brian Curran won round two of the three race series for the Mourne Observer Cup last Wednesday over the tough Annaclone circuit.
The normal field was somewhat reduced by holiday commitments but nevertheless 14 riders signed on in pleasant racing conditions.
Handicapper Stevie Curran decided on three groups with Paul Anderson, Graeme Smyrl and Gareth Rogers, making a welcome return to competition, forming the limit group.
Five minutes later, group two, comprising of Brian Curran, Chris McCann, Freida Brown and Stevie O’Hagan set off in pursuit.
The final group of Kevin Wilson, Ian Cochrane, Ewan Anderson, David Lavery, Cameron McIntyre, Nathan Sturrock and Paul McGuckin started a further four minutes behind.
The second group, driven forward by a relentless Freida Brown, caught the limit group by the end of the second of three laps and had conceded only two of their four minute handicap to the chasers with just a lap to go.
The third group worked well as a unit until the hill at Annaclone when it split in two with youngsters Cameron McIntyre and Nathan Sturroch dragging Kevin Wilson and Paul McGuckin clear of the rest.
This, however, ensured that an already difficult deficit would not be retrieved as the momentum of the group was immediately disrupted.
Meanwhile Freida, Brian and Chris had been joined by Gareth Rogers from the limit group and they pushed hard towards the line.
With 150 metres to go, Brian Curran was the first to make a move and proved strong enough to hold off the rest to the line for a well deserved win.
Freida Brown’s form is improving in leaps and bounds and she took second place with Chris McCann delighted with a hard earned third place. The chasers crossed the line still almost a minute down.
With one race to go in this series, Brian Curran and Chris McCann lead the field, either capable of winning the trophy.
3. Chris McCann
4 Gareth Rogers
5. Cameron McIntyre
6 Nathan Sturrock
7. Kevin Wilson
8 Paul McGuckin
10 Ian Cochrane
11. Paul Anderson
12 Ewan Anderson
13. Graeme Smyrl