In the last few weeks we've had two rounds of the Joe Daly Cycles National League, and three rounds of the Orwell Crit League. Orwell have been active throughout - with placers including Mary Brady, Orla Hendron, Ann Horan, Breda Horan, Monica Marconi, Aishling O'Connor and Sandra Telford. Results and race reports below!

The opening criterium of the Orwell Crit League was well attended, with 23 women signing on. Nine B riders were given a generous handicap over a bunch of 14. The B group worked well, but a small move of four bridged across, sadly with no Orwell making the break. As the race neared its close, the remaining A riders closed the gap to bring it all together, but the original quartet got up the road to contest the major placings.

Sandra Telford saved the night for the club, taking the bunch sprint and 5th overall. Behind her Breda Horan was 2nd of the B cat, with Aisling O'Connor a fine 4th, and Mary Brady nabbing 7th amidst a clump of Naas women. Aideen Keenan earned 2nd overall for DID Electrical, keeping her place at the top of the league for the moment. has an extensive report on the race (from which we cogged some of the above, thanks to their reporter!).

Aishling O'Connor leading the peloton (Photo thanks to Brendan Culleton)

Round 3 saw the league's ranks swell further, with 25 women competing in two separate races. 12 B riders fought it out before 13 A grade women took to the track, with both races featuring a special prime with bonus points counting toward the league overall.

The B race was mostly a bunch affair, with no single rider managing to stamp their mark, and no moves being let away. Newcomer to Corkagh, Deborah Madden of Sundrive took the win, with Mary Brady the only Orwell placer in a solid 6th.

Tactics in the A race were more prevalent, with riders coming and going from the front. Orla Hendron took the final point at the prime behind a pair of Garda CC riders. She contested the sprint, but came up short in the end, with Monica Marconi besting her for 4th, relegating Hendron to 5th.

Orwell in the bunch (Photo thanks to Brendan Culleton)

McAteer takes the bunch sprint (Photo thanks to Brendan Culleton)

Halfway through the league, Catherine McAteer sits atop the A ranking with 36pts, with the highest Orwell spot belonging to Marconi in 5th on 23pts. Just ahead of her is AIdeen Keenan on 24pts, having missed R3. In the B standings, Breda Horan is on the podium in 3rd with 25pts, likewise having missed R3, leaving Lynsdey O'Neill (Naas CC) with a dominant lead of 37pts. Three rounds remain, with one crit, a road race and the final TT to come.

Moving away from the crit league, the Joe Daly Cycles Women's National League has seen some upheavals of late, with Eve McCrystal storming up the standings after two consecutive wins. However, by our calculations, former Orwell Aideen Keenan of DID Electrical still holds a slender lead over the Garda CC woman.

Following on from the first round in Blarney, the action resumed in Nenagh last weekend with the Gas Networks Ireland VisitNenagh Classic. A strong team of Orwells made the journey down, along with a support crew in the shape of Stephen O'Shea and Tony Walsh. The race is known as a tough one - last year featuring a 'Golden Mile' secteur of cobbles - and this year the competition made it equally difficult. Emerging junior Ciara Doogan (Errigal CC) and McCrystal, along with Keenan, pushed the pace hard at the front of the bunch before McCrystal took the win.

Best of Orwell was the evergreen Orla Hendron who got up in the bunch sprint and earned 8th. Keenan took silver for DID, putting her on top of the Joe Daly Cycles National League overall heading into the third round at Bohermeen, a race she won in 2014.

Hendron accepting her 8th place prize (photo thanks to Stephen O'Shea)

Battling illness, Keenan was not to feature in the final standings on the day however, with Eve McCrystal making it two in a row. Orwell had a numerical advantage and kept a watchful eye on any moves, with the race culminating in a bunch sprint. Following her stunning sprint in Blarney, Ann Horan got stuck in for a fantastic 4th with a well-timed kick. The finishing drag plateaus in the final metres, and Horan saved her powder until the last moment, passing several riders just before the line.

Keenan still holds a slender lead at the top of the overall, and Horan has overtaken Hendron as top Orwell in 4th place.

This week then, a final return to Corkagh Park for the last crit in the current series. After missing out at the weekend, Keenan was back to her winning ways, taking the line with a decent gap on three chasers. Orwell's Marconi and Hendron were instrumental in the chase of a move of four A riders, pinning the gap well, but not managing to close it.

They were rewarded at the finish with 2nd and 3rd respectively in the A bunch sprint, putting them 5th and 6th on night. That puts Marconi into 4th overall in the A cat, with Hendron tied with Ann Horan for 7th. Next week is the road race, starting from Brittas - if you can come along and marshal, let us know. We should see Orwell shine here, so come out and support our women!

Charlotte MacDonald working hard (Photo thanks to Brendan Culleton)

Keenan is delighted with her win (Photo thanks to Brendan Culleton)


Orwell Crit League 2015 - R2: Crit, Corkagh Park (14/4/2015)

A race
1 Eve McCrystal (Garda CC)
2 Aideen Keenan (DID)
3 Orla Montague (Dublin Wheelers)
4 Catherine McAteer (Garda CC)
5 Sandra Telford (Orwell Wheelers)
6 Roisin Kennedy (Adamstown)
7 Eimear Moran (Sundrive)
8 Susanna Murphy (B2R)

B race
1 Lyndsey ONeill (Naas CC)
2 Breda Horan (Orwell Wheelers)
3 Angela Hoare (Ossory CC)
4 Aishling O'Connor (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Emily Anne Doyle (Naas)
6 Agnieska Kaikurzydid (Naas)
7 Mary Brady (Orwell Wheelers)
8 Deirdre Walsh (Naas)


Joe Daly Cycles Women's National League R2

Gas Networks Ireland-Visit Classic, Nenagh (19/4/2015)
1 Eve McCrystal (Garda CC-Richies Bikes)
2 Aideen Keenan (DID Electrical Racing Team)
3 Ciara Doogan (Errigal CC)
4 Teresa O’Sullivan (Tralee BC Manor West)
5 Holly James (Team Onit, Wales)
6 Alexandra Wiley (Team Onit, Wales)
7 Stephanie Post (Team Onit, Wales)
8 Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers)


Orwell Crit League 2015 - R3: Crit, Corkagh Park (21/4/2015)

A race
1 Catherine McAteer (Garda CC)
2 Eve Mc Crystal (Garda CC)
3 Orla Montague (Dublin Wheelers)
4 Monica Marconi (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers)
6 Roisin Kennedy (Adamstown)
7 Eimear Moran (Sundrive)
8 Valerie Considine (Usher IRC)

A Prime
1 Eve Mc Crystal
2 Catherine McAteer
3 Orla Hendron

B race
1 Deborah Madden (Sundrive)
2 Angela Hoare (Ossory CC)
3 Lorraine McGill (Blanch Wheelies)
4 Lyndsey O'Neill (Naas CC)
5 Jennifer Bates (Clondalkin CC)
6 Mary Brady (Orwell Wheelers)
7 Deirdre Walsh (Naas CC)
8 Klaudia Bajolek (Specialised)

B Prime
1 Angela Hoare 
2 Lynsay O'Neill 
3 Deborah Madden


Joe Daly Cycles Women's National League R3

Waller Cup, Bohermeen (26/4/2015)
1 Eve McCrystal (Garda CC- Richies Bikes)
2 Ciara Doogan (Errigal CC)
3 Sheena McKivergan (Banbridge CC)
4 Ann Horan (Orwell Wheelers)
5 Grainne McIlwaine (Phoenix CC)
6 Maire Claffey (UCD CC)
7 Grace Young (De Ronde Van Cork)
8 Michelle O’Halloran (Lakeside Wheelers)


Orwell Crit League 2015 - R4: Crit, Corkagh Park (28/4/2015)

A race
1 Aideen Keenan (DID Electrical)
2 Roisín Kennedy (Adamstown)
3 Catherine McAteer (Garda CC)
4 Orla Montague (Dublin Wheelers)
5 Orla Hendron (Orwell Wheelers)
6 Monica Marconi (Orwell Wheelers)
7 Sylvia Gallagher (Bespoke)
8 Valerie Considine (Usher IRC)

B race
1 Jennifer Bates (Clondalkin CC)
2 Lyndsey O'Neill (Naas CC)
3 Angela Hoare (Ossory CC)
4 Lorraine McGill (Blanch Wheelies)
5 Agnieska Kaikurzydid (Naas CC)
6 Deirdre Walsh (Naas CC)
7 Emily Anne Doyle (Naas CC)
8 Toni Byrne (McNally Swords)