In the Expert category the womens title has been settled but Laura O’Driscoll will be looking to finish the season on a win and it’s hard to see past her taking the top spot here on the Supreme course. Leading the charge of challengers will likely be Lorraine Horan, Siobhan Murtagh and Sonia Knox. Local athlete Mary Daly has a good record here, she has the inside track and is flying in training as they say so will be eyeing up a podium spot too. Yvonne Walsh will be looking at a good finish here, a top 6 finish will move her in to 3rd spot overall in the series so expect a good race from her too. Laura for the win with Mary and Lorraine joining her in the top 3 is our bet, Siobhan may pick up a podium of one of those slip up.
In the mens Supreme race there is more than a podium spot at stake, the National Series Expert mens title is still in the balance and it’s a shootout for the title between Shaun Stewart and Killian Heery so both the lads will be giving it everything. There is plenty of pedigree outside those 2 though, Dessie Duffy, Aidan McMoreland, Colm Staunton, Neil McBride, Colin Kelly and Pearce West will all fancy their chances here. Killian needs a win to tie the series so expect a tight race from the outset. With wet weather forecast for Saturday, slippery conditions on Croagh Patrick could keep it close and the second cycle might be an opportunity for someone to open up some ground, we can see this one going to the wire though, we have had a few sprint finishes already this year and it could be a case of who has any fumes left in the tank on Saturday by the time they turn off the greenway and hit the finishing straight on the mall. If he has a few seconds coming off Croagh Patrick, Killian may just have enough for this one, a veteran on this course he’ll know where to apply the pressure on the second cycle, Shaun for second and Aidan/Dessie to duke it out for 3rd.
The Mens overall Sport series title is already decided with Niall Smith top of the pile but this should be a very close race on a very fast course…only a minute separated the top 3 last year and this year shouldn’t be any different and a very fast race is on the cards. Niall Smith has to be the favorite and with the title in the bag will want to close out the year on a high note. Philip Smith has second place secure but will also want a good showing here. After a win in SCAR Gary Lawlor will be hoping to keep up the winning streak while Bernard Smyth will be after valuable points in a bid to oust Gary from third spot in the series. Paul Feeney should be well in the shake up here, Anthony McGibney should be in the top group. On a day for the speedsters it looks like Niall, Gary and Philip for the honours but would be no big surprise if Paul and Bernard pull a big effort out of the bag and take a podium.
In the womens Spirit race there is plenty at stake as the series title will be decided on Saturday. It’s all very much in the hands of Regina Sheehan, having only scored in 4 races so far, with 5 to count, a finish in top 5 will guarantee her bringing the series title down to Mallow. With no kayak section this is expected to a be a fast race but wet conditions may mean that the run sections will be critical and it could be here that the race wil be won or lost…we are predicting a win for Regina in the race and the taking the title, Tricia Carty and Caron McDermott to make up the podium with Maria Flynn, Breda O’Connor and Deirdre Clark all likely to feature in the top 5 on Saturday. Maria Flynn will move in to 3rd place in the series with a finish anywhere in the top 25 on Saturday.