True sportsmanship by Jonny Greer on Rentokil-Initial Killarney Historic Rally

 True sportsmanship by Jonny Greer on Rentokil-Initial Killarney Historic Rally

By Sean Moriarty and Ivan Hurley

The Down/Donegal pairing of Jonathan Greer and Niall Burns may have won the Rentokil Initial Killarney Historic Rally but their true colours shone at the event’s first service.

The pair were in a fight with defending Craig Breen and Aghadoe man Paul Nagle who were competing in a newly restored ex-Frank Meagher Ford Sierra RS Cosworth.

In a lead shared with, Greer knew all he had to do was get his car to the finish line of Molls Gap on Saturday evening as a broken drive shaft in Breen’s Ford Sierra Cosworth meant he couldn’t start the final stage.

Breen set the pace in the first stage of the day, Molls Gap, leading from the eventual winner Greer by 0.7 seconds.

But Greer fought back in the second stage and at the end of the Ballaghbeama, the pair were tied on the first of the day’s dead heats.

Stage 3 Kilgobnet was the last in the morning loop and all eyes were on the two Sierras of Breen and Greer.

It was the Down man causing the world rally star problems and lead despite some brake issues by 1.2 seconds into morning service. But we saw some true sportsmanship at this venture of the event.

Breen realised he was having an issue with his diff and it looked to be the end for the Waterford star. But, despite being so close on the times, Greer loaned Breen a spare which meant the battle continued into the afternoon. An act of kindness only seen in the rally world.

“Without this we would have been out of the rally,” said Nagle, “Huge thanks to Jonny, and he deserved the win. He has been supporting Killarney events for years.”

Nagle presented Jonny Greer with the Maurice Nagle memorial cup on Saturday night!

The rally was set for a final stage showdown, both Greer and Breen could not be separated on times after six stages.

But as crews traversed the road section from Liebherr to Dinis Cottage for the final test, they encountered a stricken Sierra of Craig Breen parked at Muckross House meant the pair were to go no further and as a result, the Waterford/Killarney pairing gave up their crown.

Greer acknowledged Breen’s efforts but calmly admitted he was more than happy to loan his rival the spare diff.

“It is our sport, it is what we do,” he said at the end of the second run over Moll’s Gap. Ironically, Breen and just moved back into the lead at this point but it was only because of Greer’s decency that the Waterford man stated in the rally – an act of true sportsmanship.

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