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Dominant Kelly on brink of sealing first Irish title

Published 11/07/2015

On fire: Donagh Kelly has been in fine form this season
On fire: Donagh Kelly has been in fine form this season

Donagh Kelly has swept almost all before him this season and he is expected to nail the first part of a rally title double in Sligo tomorrow.

The only blemish on the Frosses driver's record this season is the failure to win his home Donegal International.

But Kelly and Derry co-driver Kevin Flanagan can ease the woe of that loss by clinching the Irish National championship in Sligo, where a top-10 place should ensure they become champions for the first time.

Kelly has taken maximum points from all but one round of the National series so far in his M-Sport Ford Focus as well as winning three of the first five rounds of the premier Irish Tarmac championship - a run which looks sure to see him emulate fellow Donegal driver Declan Boyle's title double from last season.

Boyle has long given up on defending his titles but will be in the Sligo line-up intent on fine-tuning his evolutionary version of M-Sport's WRC Ford Fiesta. The first of its kind in Ireland, it made an encouraging debut in Donegal last month, finishing second.

Kelly will also face a line-up which includes European championship competitor Sam Moffett in his older-type Fiesta, triple champion Niall Maguire, now driving Boyle's championship-winning Subaru, and three-times Northern Ireland champion Kenny McKinstry in his S14 Subaru.

Kelly said: "Much as I would like to have a go, I must be sensible as well. It would be nice to win the title."

Belfast Telegraph

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