40th Anniversary Celebrations -

Going forward into 2020 the Ballymena based MAC has the following clubs in membership. New Antrim Amalgamated, Ballymena & District, Ahoghill Flying Club, Rasharkin & Dist, Randalstown HPS and Kells & District. New officials are Chairman Robert Service from Ballymena & District and Secretary Willie Reynolds from Ballymena & District. President is Danny Dixon. All the latest news and results will be listed here, including Champions League and OB & YB Knock-out. Fees for 2020 subject to change are £3.00 for Clubs that includes all members. Associate membership is also £3.00.

40th Anniversary Celebrations -

Postby willie reynolds » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:15 am

Mid Antrim Combine Celebrate 40th Anniversary –

I was looking through some old cuttings from the 1970’s and I think I have recovered the overlap of the Mid Antrim 2 Bird Club and the start of results for MAC, that is what it was in those days a list of results from the local Ballymena area clubs. No Diplomas, no cups or trophies, no meetings or officials, just a result. Can’t remember how exactly it all worked but Davy Campbell who was highly involved at that time collected the club results over the phone no doubt, and supplied a hand written result for the Top 30 or 40 birds. The local press appear to have listed a Top 20, there was a lot more space in those days and the local press reports were done by James Martin. The first result done would appear to be in 1978 Old Bird Arklow (1) 205/2139 – B Lynn Cullybackey 1780, J Mawhinney & Son Kells 1744, A Barkley Kells 1732, J W & T Harper Ballymena 1722, J Cameron Harryville 1722, H Moore & Son Ballymena 1722, T Shanks & Son Kells 1719, McClintock Bros Ballymena 1718, G Barr Championship 1715, 1715.

This bird won 1st Sect B 314/3194 and finished 10th Open NIPA with 19,890 birds competing but the reason behind a local combined result for the Ballymena area was more often than not the best birds were being timed short in the Crumlin, Muckamore and Antrim areas. Down the line the Championship Club was dissolved, Randalstown and Rasharkin Clubs were added and so were New Antrim when they moved from Antrim to Ballymena. They also joined the RPRA and elected officials and held an AGM every year. Race points and results have changed, we are now down the middle of Ireland and not only can the short flyers have the early birds but the longer lofts can record birds in front of the Ballymena area.

As a pilot scheme year before last I introduced a result for Borough of Ballymena to try and bring us back to where we started, a Ballymena Area result. You had to live in the Ballymena Council Area, basically your bin had to be collected by Ballymena Council to be listed. Don’t know how accurate the results were, that was the intention, will it get off the ground? - I just don’t know.

There is some talk going around about the make-up of the NIPA Sections and some discussions are to take place, in the period of the above the NIPA had Sections A, B, C, D and E – now they have 8.
For those with computer there is a lot of archive material listed on Forum at http://www.pigeonnetwork.com

Since the above was published the Ballymena Results have now been established in a competition under Seven Towers Championship (Ballymena), very good that someone has took the opportunity to publish same and keep the records. Ballymena & District have asked for the competition details, plus the aims and objectives of same. I have always supported area competition which I think will help to keep the sport alive. I have been told all that is required is having a Ballymena Address for the loft and that the member must mark their birds at the local Cullybackey Centre in the major races. Will it be open to all those that satisfy the conditions and will there be any exceptions. Well done to young Jamie Greer who is doing all the hard work, it should be appreciated.

Seeing the Result Book that was available at the Rasharkin & MAC dinner and presentation I have found copies for seasons 1996 to 2000 and they make interesting reading many more members and birds at that time. We might take a look at getting this going again and sort out costs and funding, with a free copy for the total membership. I will scan these and place on the website on MAC Board. It will soon be time again to review racing and locally I hope clubs that have left the MAC make a decision to return, we should be enjoying all levels of competition. The numbers are getting smaller each year, club membership is falling, and we need to look after the immediate future as best we can. This season I hope to have a rule installed in the MAC that where a club make a decision to come back any individual member unhappy can request to opt out.

Mid Antrim for the first time last year made a decision to present awards at a local member club presentation, Ballymena & Dist had the first opportunity and then this year it was Rasharkin & District. Currently only two clubs continue to arrange dinner and presentations, so at the minute we rotate between the two. That could change if former clubs return, the sooner the better. The Glasgow Rangers Social Club in Clough was the venue this year, and it was my first visit to a Rasharkin & Dist presentation. It was a good season to be host with the members having won a record amount of the awards, at one time we had bother keeping up with the shorter flyers, now the longer ones are dominating and a number of the local lofts have raised their performance.

The various awards were presented by Sammy Steele, President of Cullybackey HPS who was on a quiet night out, and assisted with the 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

OLD BIRD RACES: Tullamore 21/04/18 - 1. Young, McManus & Sons 1857, 2. J & M Milliken 1851, 3. J & M Milliken 1850. Gowran Park (1) 28/04/18 - 1. J & M Milliken 1362, 2. D Dixon 1358, 3. D Dixon 1354. Fermoy (1) 05/05/18 - 1. W J McLean 1884, 2. J & M Milliken 1881, 3. Steele & McNeill 1881. Gowran Park (2) 12/05/18 - 1. J & M Milliken 1715, 2. G Gibson 1700, 3. J & M Milliken 1698. Corrin Comeback 19/05/18 - 1. J & M Milliken 2027, 2. M/M Robinson 1934, 3. J Eagleson & Sons 1933. Rosscarbery Nat 19/05/18 - 1. J & M Milliken 2023, 2. J & M Milliken 1995, 3. J & M Milliken 1971. Fermoy (2) 26/05/18 - 1. D Dixon 1192, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1157, 3. F & J & G Dickey 1145. Talbenny (1) 03/06/18 - 1. J Rock 1527, 2. A McBride 1508, 3. D Dixon 1507. Fermoy 5B Champ 09/06/18 -1. W & J McLean 1465, 2. T & M Morrow 1450, 3. J & M Milliken 1440. Talbenny (2) 10/06/18. 1. W & J Smyth 1264, 2. M/M Robinson 1255, 3. Balmer, T Young & Son 1254. Dunmanway Ylr/H 17/06/18 - 1. R Service & Son 1666, 2. A McBride 1602, 3. Blair & Rankin 1573. Dunmanway Ylr/C 17/06/18 - 1. T & M Morrow 1591, 2. D Dixon 1547, 3. Blair & Rankin 1539. Dunmanway 17/06/18 - 1. J Rock 1785, 2. Stewart Bros 1744, 3. R Service & Son 1741. Fermoy 23/06/18 -1. M/M Robinson 1532, 2. J & M Milliken 1519, 3. D Dixon 1514. Penzance 23/06/18 - 1. Balmer, T Young & Son 1255, 2. J & M Milliken 1236, 3. Young McManus & Sons 1230. Penzance Classic 23/06/18 - 1. J & M Milliken 1236, 2. Steele & McNeill 1189, 3. Hugh Boyd 1150. St Malo Nat 29/06/18 - 1. W & J McLean 652, 2. F & J & G Dickey 390

YOUNG BIRD RACES: Mullingar (1) 21/07/18 - 1. A, C & T Tweed 1251, 2. J & M Milliken 1249, 3. F Barkley 1249. Mullingar (2) 04/08/18 - 1. J & M Milliken 1367, 2. Blair & Rankin 1356, 3. Blair & Rankin 1356. Tullamore 10/08/18 - 1. J Eagleson & Sons 1471, 2. Blair & Rankin 1449, 3. McFall & McManus 1448. Gowran Park 18/08/18 - 1. Blair & Rankin 1774, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1773, 3. J Rock 1768. Fermoy (1) 25/08/18 - 1. J Eagleson & Sons 1372, 2. J Eagleson & Sons 1370, 3. Blair & Rankin 1368. Fermoy (2) 01/09/18 - 1. T Whyte 1482, 2. T Whyte 1481, 3. D Dixon 1467. Talbenny Nat 09/09/18 - 1. W & J McLean 1142, 2. N Bradley 1086, 3. D Dixon 1027. Roscrea Comeback 09/09/18 - 1. Steele & McNeill 1766, 2. W & J McLean 1717, 3. W & J McLean 1706. Dunmanway 15/09/18 - 1. Steele & McNeill 1796, 2. W & J McLean 1766, 3. Blair & Rankin 1723. Dumnanway 5 Bird 15/09/18 - 1. Steele & McNeill 1796, 2. W J McLean 1766, 3. K Wilkinson & Son 1708. Rosscarbery Nat 23/09/18 -1. D Dixon 1094, 2. D Dixon 1084, 3. A McBride 1083.

INFC RACES: Skibbereen OB Nat 29/05/18 - 1. D Dixon 1206, 2. J & M Milliken 1155, 3. D Dixon 1153. Sennen Cove Ylr Nat 13/06/18 - 1. M Graham 1419, 2. D Dixon 1386, 3. Young McManus & Sons 1329. St Allouestre Kings Cup 04/07/18 - 1. M Graham 411, 2. M Graham 405. Lamballe Friendship Nat 13/07/18 - 1. Balmer T Young & Son 624. Penzance YB Grand Nat 09/09/18 - 1. M Graham 1220. Skibbereen YB Nat 24/09/18 - 1. D Dixon 1466, 2. D Dixon 1465, 3. D Dixon 1452.

Only one Diploma is issued to each winner regardless of the number of 1sts won, the ace racers over the year were J & M Milliken (Rasharkin) 6 x 1sts, W & J McLean (Rasharkin) 4 x 1sts, Danny Dixon (Rasharkin) 4 x 1sts, Steele & McNeill (Rasharkin) 3 x 1sts, and Martin Graham (Ballymena) 3 x 1sts. W & J McLean won both the NIPA top races, St Malo OB Nat and Talbenny YB Nat. Steele & McNeill won 3 x 1sts with the same bird, and Martin Graham won 3 x 1sts in the INFC including 1st Open in the Sennen Cove Yearling National.

Old Bird Inland Average won by J & M Milliken Rasharkin vel 1606, Cross Channel Average, Old Bird Ave, McIlhagga Cup for 1st MAC St Malo won by W & J McLean Vel 652, B Eagleson Memorial Cup best average Talbenny (1) & (2), Bude and Penzance (Not won in 2018), T Shanks & Son Cup Old Bird of the Year won by W & J McLean GB17R-18804, Les Mairs OB Fancier of the Year won by J & M Milliken, Young Bird Ave won by W & J McLean Vel 1332, New North Cup best average Bude & Talbenny YB (Not won in 2018), Combined Average, and Young Bird of the Year won by Steele & McNeill GB18R-14815.

Club Points Shield for Old Birds won by Rasharkin & Dist, Club Points Shield Young Birds won by Rasharkin & Dist. Champions League won by Rasharkin (J & M Milliken) runner-up Randalstown (Stewart Bros). INFC Points Cup won by Martin Graham. Old Bird Knock-Out won by J & M Milliken, Young Bird Knock-Out won by Danny Dixon.

Many thanks to our main sponsor Dixon Contractors of Dunloy, Danny Dixon was installed last season as President and the sponsorship has enabled the MAC to keep fees to a bare minimum for member clubs. The AGM will be held as usual in the middle of March in Ballymena & District and arrangements will be made for another season of top competition. Many congratulations to all the winners and let’s see how many big results can be achieved in 2019, keeping The Sport intact. Chairman Jackie Steele kept things turning over and James Harris produced the weekly result, dedicated workers are few and far between.

Rasharkin & Dist race winners included J & M Milliken, T Whyte, W & J McLean, D Dixon, A C & T Tweed and Steele & McNeill.

Presentation of OB & YB Points Shield to Rasharkin officials President T Simpson, Chairman H Cubitt and Secretary J Steele.

J & M Milliken major winners in MAC including Champions League.

INFC Diploma winners from (l) Tom Young (Ahoghill), Danny Dixon (Rasharkin) and Martin Graham (Ballymena).

Martin Graham (l) of Ballymena won 1st Open Yearling Nat and INFC Points Cup.

Willy & Jean McLean won both Major NIPA Nationals from St Malo & Talbenny.

Steele & McNeill won the Champion Young Bird, winner 3 x 1sts in MAC.

Ahoghill Chairman Tom Young (l) won the Friendship Nat & Penzance in Old Birds.

“Denman” winner of 1st Open INFC Sennen Cove Ylr Nat for Martin Graham of Ballymena.

“JS” winner of 1st MAC & 1st Sect A St Malo OB National for W & J McLean.

Blue Pied cock, 1st MAC in the Penzance YB Grand Nat for Martin Graham.

“Champion 04” best Individual OB and T Shanks & Son Cup winner for W & J McLean.
willie reynolds
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