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From the Barrow Valley - 19-03-21

From the Barrow Valley  

As I sit here today, its March 10th and the year is moving along. It’s wet, cold and for all intents and purposes its typical March weather. However I feel that when this bit of bad weather is over, we might see some fine weather coming along behind it. The pandemic is still with us but hopefully the vaccine will see the strength and occurrence of it on the wane over the next few weeks.  I’m not going to criticise our own government’s handling of the vaccine rollout but I will give credit to the British rollout, with over 22 million people vaccinated already they are well on their way to making a difference to the way people will be living their lives in the future.

The pigeon scene here at the moment is quiet, most fanciers are in the middle of their breeding season, and with lockdown they are concentrating solely on breeding a good team of young birds for this season, old bird racing is on their minds but thankfully the efforts to ensure racing are being looked after by the officials of our union, they are the people that can get it done, let’s leave it to them, I for one have every confidence in them, and am sure that we will be racing as near to the usual start date that we were used to, if in reality we are delayed by a few weeks, then we have the experience of last year to fall back on and we will still get a reasonable amount of racing, as we did last year.

Not sure if the racing will be underway again when you read this piece, if not hopefully we will be up again it. To whet the appetite and give some in our area the motivation to get up to speed, I think I will do a bit of a rundown on the fanciers that I think will shine in the upcoming season. I will start with our own club the Barrow Valley, whose members will be chawing [chewing] at the bit to get going from the get-go.

Donal Begley for one will have his team well prepared and won’t be caught on the hop when racing starts, he has a fine team of pigeons made up of the best of Sean Hunt and Bob Fennech bred birds, Donal had a good season in 2020 and will be looking to improve on that during the coming season, especially during the old bird events, certainly one to watch out for.

Donal Begley. Barrow Valley RPC. 19 03 21
Donal Begley. Barrow Valley RPC.

JJ Hurley had a super old bird season last year winning six races all inland, his team were on song from the first race and apart that he is dividing his attention to a new loft and partnership, there’s no reason to believe that he will not be in the hunt each week again this season.

JJ Hurley Barrow Valley RPC. 19 03 21
JJ Hurley, Barrow Valley RPC.

For the inland and sprint races we won’t be able to dismiss the danger from Joe Brennan in every race, again from the start of the season, Joe’s opinion is that we wait the whole year to race a few birds, no point in missing any of the races, which unfortunately can lead to the loss of some good pigeons, but as Joe say’s himself, there’s no gain without pain, a real contender I predict, especially in the young bird races. There will be others, as it’s likely that there will be different fanciers in the results when it comes to the channel races, or maybe not, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Joe Brennan Barrow Valley RPC. 19 03 21
Joe Brennan, Barrow Valley RPC.

In the Carlow & District, it’s very competitive, with several members jockeying for that elusive first place, it’s not easy to win in this club,, hence a number of fanciers will be in with a shout most weeks. James o Connor over in Tullow along with Alan o Neill won’t be far off the pace any week, but certainly when it comes to the channel races, these two are fearless with their pigeons when there’s water to be crossed and National races to compete in.

Shane Stronge, PJ Nangle and Bogdan Stroe will be leading contenders in the sprint races, these guys have all developed sprint teams and enjoy there racing every week. Like other clubs there are those waiting in the wings and if there is any slip up by those mentioned, there will be plenty to take their place.
PJ Nangle Carlow District. 19 03 21
PJ Nangle, Carlow & District.

In the Carlow Premier RPC it should come down to Slavic Woloszyn, if racing, who will certainly feature., Pa Houlihan and possibly John Jackson, have been building teams over the last few years and are beginning to hit the high spots, Big Ger Moran and Colm Keating won’t let the grass grow under their feet, and won’t suffer from a lack of training, and I think if Johnny Bolger put his mind to it, he will also feature in the results most weeks.

The three Counties / Carlow & Dist. don’t have big numbers, but those that do compete are very competitive, I feel that the weekly prizes will be spread between Tom & Enda Kelly, Anthony Kavanagh and also Jimmy Kelly will be sure to feature, under normal circumstances it would be hard to pass Roly Brennan as a leading contender, however a change of address that seen his loft moved a bit more west and a little short of the town will do well to overcome that slight handicap in the short races, but any east in the wind, I have no doubt he will strike hard and be right in there.

Tom Enda Kelly. The Three Counties RPC. 19 03 21
Tom & Enda Kelly. The Three Counties RPC.

Anthony Kavanagh. Carlow District. 19 03 21
Anthony Kavanagh. Carlow & District.

Jimmy Kelly. Carlow District RPC. 19 03 21
Jimmy Kelly. Carlow & District RPC. 

Roly Brennan. The Three Counties RPC. 19 03 21
Roly Brennan. The Three Counties RPC. 

In the Carlow south the names to the fore should include Tom Gorman and Dwayne Brennan as front runners each week, there are others in this club in the Tullow area that I am sure can be competitive, given the right conditions or any slip up by those mentioned above.

Dwyane Brennan Carlow South RPC. 19 03 21
Dwyane Brennan, Carlow South RPC.

This of course is in weekly club racing, so I look forward to seeing them all at the IHUNFC Carlow marking station in the Barrow Valley RPC which will occur several times during the year, the station result is always eagerly anticipated as it pit’s the best flyers from all the local clubs against each other at National level, who will come out on top in those events, is any ones guess. I won’t speculate on that, but will wait for the results to reveal all.

Well that’s it for this time,  Keep well, stay safe.