Win for hometown boy, Liam Maguire!
IVCA Clane DMS: Sunday April 21st 2002
Liam Maguire had only one thing on his mind today, and that was to try for a win in his hometown. The race started at a frantic pace, and I was beginning to wonder was someone trying to catch the A race. As the race approached the finish for the first time of the three lap race, Liam went off the front briefly, to do a recce, I presume, of the finish. This would have told him that there was a stiff headwind in the finishing straight, and this would temper how he approached things in the closing stages. Indeed the windy conditions made it difficult for anyone to escape. As we headed into the final lap, attacks from Paul Maxwell and myself made sure the bunch were chasing Swords riders, instead of Swords riders having to close gaps. We managed to keep a lid on things until dangerman Jimmy Stagg made an explosive attack which needed Liam to show his hand to close. After that the bunch slowed over the last few miles with no one anxious to attack into the wind. Liam maintained an imposing presence close to the front to discourage any moves. Then coming into the last corner, about 800 yards to go Liam attacked. The front men looked at each other to see who would close the gap, allowing him to gain a slight advantage. It was a difficult finish into the wind, but Liam knew what he was at and maintained the gap to the line and proceeded to wake all in Clane with a mighty roar! Clane is where Liam is from originally, and he came looking for a win today…………and he got it in style!!
Elsewhere. in the A race Pat Halpin put in a strong performance to finish a creditable 6th after three riders had made an early escape and Jim Ludden finished 4th after the closing of a single rider over the last few miles took the edge off his sprint.