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NIPA Section D Fanciers of the Year in 2006 were the M & F Russell partnership from Dromore, everybody in the NIPA should know them as Fred is the long time Secretary of this fine organisation. With many fine performances last year I was compelled to do some sort of a loft profile on the partnership namely Fred brother Martin and wife Heather. The consequence of a days work was an article named the Come Back Kings & Queen of Dromore. A very fitting headline for this weeks column as the partnership have once again conquered the heights of Open success this time from Pilmore Beach. Not surprising as this partnership are once gain this season the one to beat in Section D of the NIPA. Martin has them coming well with the assistance of wife Heather who I m sure many of the fancy are aware is fighting a continual illness that has her confined to bed many a day. Heather being the Heather that I have known for some time she continues to think positively and I only hope she continues to make the amazing recovery that she so much deserves. Not only have the partnership topped the NIPA but look likely for 3rd Open also with some 27,000 birds competing in fact the 3rd Open pigeon should really be the one taking the headline’s but once again a bad trap.

The partnership had one early enough last week to certainly put them among the winning Open positions as did fellow competitior in the Dromore Area Philip Boal of the P & J Boal partnership but as Fred told me today it is great getting an early one home but you have to get it over the finishing line. Derek & Ian Edgar did just that last week wining the NIPA Inland National and this weekend top the Dromore Club once again ahead of the Boal Bros who yet again have a wonderful card that should see them certainly in the top 30 of the NIPA Open for the third week in succession. The M & F Russell winning velocity of 1612 sits at the top of the pile and for good measure their second bird doing 1608 will be 2nd Sect D & 3rd Open NIPA. Their winning bird was bred down from one of a kit of six obtained from the top loft of Alan Darragh of Cullybackey who is featured on this website. Martin & Heather rate Alan as the best fancier currently in Ireland and this man is somebody I have had the privilege of interviewing as you will read in the forthcoming Pictorial not only is Alan capable of winning Nationals and Opens but he can also set family’s up to do the same.

Now the M & F Russell’s winner is no fluke a 2 year old Blue cock racing widowhood he has showed good form previously. In the opening race of this year from Tullamore he was best in the local area doing velocity of 1535 and would have won 1st Sect D had there been a result and the next week from the same point had 1st Club again doing velocity 2045 to finish 21st Sect D & 163rd Open NIPA with 25,350 birds competing.

Provisional top 5 in the NIPA Open from Pilmore (2) M & F Russell Dromore West End 1612, T McKinstry Ashfield 1610 , M & F Russell Dromore West End 1608, Hutchinson Bros Ashfiled 1602, Smyth & Adams Lisburn & District 1599.

Adie McCormick
Press Officer NIPA..

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