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Did you ever have a race where you thought "this is going to be a disaster"? Maybe a race where your organisation held your birds until after one o’ clock in the afternoon. Then, in their wisdom, with weather reports of heavy rain and thunder all over the country, they decide to release them. Maybe the weather for the rest of the week was bad; maybe they needed their transporters back for another race. Maybe they just decided to take a chance and hope for the best. There are a lot of maybes. Or maybe they should have just cancelled the whole race altogether. Then again, maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, the report for this week will be, not surprisingly, very short. At the Derry centre, over a hundred birds were sent, but only six were recorded by nightfall. The first bird back to Derry was one belonging to Joe + Donal Kelly, who fly in the Londonderry club with a velocity of 1148. Next to time, was Paul Maxwell, flying in the Foyle club, with a velocity of 1106. Third home was Kieran Quigley, who flies with the Maiden City club, on a velocity of 1048. Then, with a second bird to take fourth back to the centre, was Paul Maxwell on a velocity of 939. The first four pigeons were all cocks and these birds will obviously take first positions in their respective clubs.

Joe Kelly who wins The Yearling Cocks' National into Derry.

Paul Maxwell. First Yearling Cock in the Foyle club.

Only two hens made it home by nightfall, with Kieran Quigley timing the first of these on a velocity of 875. The only other hen was timed by Jim Campbell of the Foyle club on a velocity of 797.

A very tough, and some would say disastrous race into Derry. We can only hope that some birds make it home the next day.

I can give you a full club result for the Limavady club, as they are the only ones who bother each week to send me anything. In the yearling cocks' race, Ronnie Witherow unsurprisingly takes the honours again on 1116. Willie McIlmoyle is in second on 1090, with Ronnie in again in third on 1044. Willie is in again in fourth, with Ronnie banging them in, taking 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. Ronnie tops it off with the first yearling hen as well on 977.

Ronnie Witherow who wins both Yearling Cocks' and Hens' Nationals in Limavady.

To sum up then, the Derry centre looks like this: Yearling Cocks, 1st J + D Kelly 1148, 2nd and 4th Paul Maxwell 1106,939, 3rd Dunne + Quigley 1048. Yearling Hens, 1st Dunne + Quigley 875, 2nd Jim Campbell 797.

Kieran Quigley. First Yearling Cock and Hen in the Maiden City.