An early evening deluge cleared for a perfect night's testing, as Dick O'Brien sealed another club championship in the face of stiff competition from Brian McArdle. Aideen Keenan took top honours for the women, while Sean Murnane and Naoise Sheridan set records for their categories.

The downpour that inundated Dublin as many were leaving work no doubt deterred some from making the trip to Batterstown, but those that did were rewarded with dry roads and a windless evening that helped many to new personal best times.

Naoise Sheridan got the evening off to a cracking start with a new record for the Junior Women on the Batterstown course, coming home in 1:17:25. Sean Murnane bettered that to also set the new club standard for the U16 Boys with a time of 01:07:55.

Aideen Keenan smashed the previous course best of 1:06:13, set by Rachel Glendon in 2012. The Waller Cup winner blasted home in 01:03:49, with second placed woman Ann Horan behind her in 01:07:56.

As the night progressed, the times steadily dropped, with Memorial Cup winner Barry Dace bucking the trend - he was the first home under the hour mark until the big guns of Scratch rolled in.

In the end, the pre-race favourite and 10TT Champ Dick O'Brien took the victory with a blazing time of 56'31". According to the oracle of Dave Mc, that's not quite a club record, but it is the fastest by an Orwell rider in 23 years. It works out at an astounding average of 42.7kph, which is some feat!

The podium had a familiar look about it, as once again Brian McArdle took silver. He pushed O'Brien hard on this occasion, losing by the lesser margin of only 12", compared to 30" in the 10 Mile event. Fionn Sheridan was just over a minute behind O'Brien, in a result that emphasises he'll be one to watch in the future - the bronze follows his Elite National medal of the same hue last weekend in the National Omnium Championships.

McArdle took home the prize for most improved on the night, with nearly a whopping eight minutes off his previous PB, but in reality it was O'Brien who should have that trophy also. We spoke to the Clondalkin native, and discovered his only other club 25TT was in 2008, before the era of well-kept records, and last night's triumph was an improvement of over nine minutes on his time then of 01:05:49.

Yet again it was Patrick O'Brien left looking up at the podium from 4th, though he was happy to set a new PB with 57'43". Liam Rowsome shaved a single second off his own record to net 5th, while Brian McNally kept the times under the hour for the last of the Scratch points.

Dace's sub-hour time earned him top Semi-scratch finisher, while Cormac Bracken was only six seconds off the hour - his second place points will be some consolation. 3rd to 5th were Nick Watson, Ed O'Mahony and David Maher - all just outside the hour as well, and within a minute of Bracken's time. Fionn Griffin rounded out the Semi-scratch placings, taking a substantial 3'19" off his PB.

Not only topping the women's competition, Keenan took the top Semi-limit spot also, with Stephen Hayden and Frank Moriarty completing the podium. Corkagh Park champion Conor Murnane and Daragh Boyd took the final honours for the category, with Boyd chopping over four minutes off his previous record.

Fergal Daly made one of his rare but treasured showings to score maximum points in Limit, with Kilian Doyle just a minute off him. Daniel McElroy had recovered enough from his omnium efforts to take 3rd, while the younger Murnane's record-breaking run gave him 4th. Second placed woman Horan was 5th, while junior Sheridan added to her course record with the final points of the evening.

The only competitor not to take home points instead has the comfort of the moral victory. Every year Brian Ahern pushes himself hard in the TT events by forgoing all aero kit in favour of the simple road bike. Despite this handicap, the Rás legend still managed 12th of 24 finishers, beating many with aerodynamic advantages.

Once more, our thanks to the marshals and organisers on the night for an event that ran like clockwork from start to finish, despite the efforts of some to derail it by missing starting slots or arriving with thirty seconds to spare - we don't keep track, but it might've been another record evening! And well done to all those who rode it - a 25TT is an hour of suffering, it takes bottle just to sign up! Full results on the forum and the usual spreadsheet.

Next week is back to road racing in Brittas, usual sign-on details apply.

Update: David Swift has some photos available on Facebook, they're worth checking out!

Aideen Keenan powering her way to a new female course record (photo thanks to David Swift)

Dick O'Brien blasting to gold (photo thanks to David Swift)

Orwell League R15: Black Bull 25TT Champs (10/7/2014)

Men's Medals
G Dick O'Brien - 56'31"
S Brian McArdle - 56'43"
B Fionn Sheridan - 57'33"

1 Fergal Daly
2 Kilian Doyle
3 Daniel McElroy
4 Sean Murnane
5 Ann Horan
6 Naoise Sheridan

1 Aideen Keenan
2 Stephen Hayden
3 Frank Moriarty
4 Conor Murnane
5 Daragh Boyd

1 Barry Dace
2 Cormac Bracken
3 Nick Watson
4 Ed O'Mahony
5 David Maher
6 Fionn Griffin

1 Dick O'Brien
2 Brian McArdle
3 Fionn Sheridan
4 Patrick O'Brien
5 Liam Rowsome
6 Brian McNally