The Mid-Ulster Pipe Band Championships made a welcome return to the Cookstown High School sports arena at Coolnafranky Demesne on Saturday.
The contest has been away from this venue for a number of years but it certainly is a fine location for a competition.
Chieftain of the Day, Mr Graham Montgomery, principal of Cookstown High School, paid tribute to the standard of the bands and drum majors who had taken part in the day’s events.
In grade one there was a victory for Ravara who were making their first appearance of the season. The Co Down band won grade one and the prizes for best pipes and bass section, but they didn’t have it all their own way as second-placed PSNI lifted the prize for best drum corps. Closkelt took third place.
There was a clean sweep of the prizes in grade two for the PSNI – first place and the prizes for best pipes, drums and bass section. Closkelt secured second place ahead of Thiepval Memorial and Aughintober.
In grade 3a Aughintober appear to have settled into their stride and took first place ahead of Colmcille. Aughintober also lifted the prize for best pipes while Colmcille claimed the drumming and bass section prizes. Drumlough and New Ross & District made up the top four.
Into grade 3b and there was a first place and best pipes for Marlacoo & District, but it was a close call with just piping preference separating them from Matt Boyd Memorial in second. Tullintrain took third place and the prize for best drums with Finvoy in fourth. Best bass section in grade 3b went to Portavogie.
Battlehill were comfortable winners in grade 4a with six points to spare over second-placed Tamlaght O’Crilly. Battlehill also won the prizes for best pipes and drum corps. Completing the top four were McNeilstown in third and Cleland Memorial, who were fourth and collected the prize for best bass section.
Gilnahirk claimed their second victory of the season in grade 4b. The band from Greater Belfast took first place ahead of Kildoag, St Mary’s Derrytrasna and Sgt Walker Memorial. Gilnahirk also won the prize for best bass section, best drums went to Clontibret and the prize for best pipes was won by St Mary’s Derrytrasna.
There were wins in the drum major competitions for Lee Nicholl (Tullylagan), Jamie Cupples (Killeen), Emma Barr (Field Marshal) and Lauren Hanna (Drumlough).
Grade 1: 1, Ravara, also best pipes and bass section; 2, PSNI, also best drums and M&D; 3, Closkelt.
Grade 2: 1, PSNI, also best pipes, drums, bass section and M&D; 2, Closkelt; 3, Thiepval Memorial; 4, Aughintober.
Grade 3a: 1, Aughintober, also best pipes; 2, Colmcille, also best drums and bass section; 3, Drumlough; 4, New Ross & District. Best M&D: Matt Boyd Memorial.
Grade 3b: 1 on piping preference, Marlacoo & District, also best pipes; 2, Matt Boyd Memorial, also best M&D; 3, Tullintrain, also best drums; 4, Finvoy. Best bass: Portavogie.
Grade 4a: 1, Battlehill, also best pipes and drums; 2, Tamlaght O’Crilly; 3, McNeilstown; 4, Cleland Memorial, also best bass section. Best M&D: McDonald Memorial.
Grade 4b: 1, Gilnahirk, also best bass section and M&D; 2, Kildoag; 3 on piping preference, St Mary’s Derrytrasna, also best pipes; 4, Sgt Walker Memorial. Best drums: Clontibret.
Novice: 1, Lee Nicholl, Tullylagan; 2, Benjamin Walker, Battlehill; 3, Louis Anderson, Crozier Memorial; 4, Leanne Crooks, Syerla & District; 5, Louise Smiton, Closkelt.
Junior: 1, Jamie Cupples, Killeen; 2, Jason Nicholl, Tullylagan; 3, Kathryn McKeown, Battlehill; 4, Abigail Wenlock, Cullybackey; 5, Lucas Adamson, Gilnahirk.
Juvenile: 1, Emma Barr, Field Marshal; 2, Lauren Abraham, Ballybriest; 3, Gemma McDowell, Tullylagan; 4, Lana Gibson, Ballyboley; 5, Caitlin Graham, Upper Crossgare.
Adult: 1, Lauren Hanna, Drumlough; 2, Paula Braiden, Cullybackey; 3, Alicia Dickson, Matt Boyd Memorial; 4, Andrea McKeown, Battlehill; 5, David Brownlee, Derryclavin.