WATCH: Devine fends off Boyle challenge to win Donegal Harvest Stages rally

Defending champions Callum Devine and Brian Hoy won the Donegal Harvest Rally in a Ford Fiesta R5 on Sunday as they finished 9.7 seconds ahead of Declan Boyle and James O'Reilly in a Ford Fiesta WRC.

The welcome return of rallying after all the covid restrictions ensured a top class entry for this popular event, which was based in Donegal Town.

There was some great action during the two stages around Frosses and Drinmarone, with each stage being done three times.

See some of the action in this youtube clip on this page from Irish Rallying.

Leitirmacaward’s Declan Boyle led Derry man Devine by 2.7 seconds at the end of the first stage, with Garry Jennings third, Chris Armstrong fourth and Frosses’ Donagh Kelly in fifth.

But Devine, who triumphed in this event when it was last held in 2019, was quickest over the second stage, a mere second ahead of Jennings, who moved up to second spot while Boyle was ten seconds adrift and he dropped to third.

Devine had a nine second lead at the end of the third stage with Boyle back up into second.

By the end of stage four, Devine was only five seconds ahead of Boyle and Sam Moffett and Keith Moriaty, in another Ford Fiesta R5, had climbed to third and were 15 seconds off the leader.

In a thrilling fifth stage, Boyle was fastest with a great time of 6:37.4, and going into the sixth and final stage Devine’s lead was down to just 3.8 seconds.

But Devine had a super last stage and was quickest in 7:29.4 - almost six seconds quicker than Boyle.

Sam Moffett finished a distant third, 46 seconds being the winner.

Cathan McCourt was fourth while Josh Moffet was fifth.

Donagh Kelly had to be content with sixth spot while Seamus Leonard had a fine rally in his Ford Focus WRC to finish seventh overall and was winner in class 7.

Making up the top ten were Daniel Cronin, Niall Maguire and Aidan Wray. 

Pettigo’s Kevin Eves, with Chris Melly as co-driver, were first in class 14 and were 11th overall.

A total of 119 crews started in the main field of the Abbey Hotel sponsored event with 93 finishing.

Ryan McHugh and Dylan Donoghue won the junior category in a Honda Civic 1.6 VTI while Brian Crawford and Finian Hannigan won the historic section in their Talbot Sunbeam.

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