Northern Ireland teams claim medals at United Kingdom Tug of War Championships

Northern Ireland 600kg team who won their category
Northern Ireland 600kg team who won their category

Teams from Northern Ireland were among the medals at the United Kingdom Tug of War Championships over the weekend.

The prestigious event was held at City of Belfast Playing Fields in Mallusk.

Northern Ireland emerged with three gold medals, two silver and a bronze to cap off an encouraging weekend.

Friday started off with the 600kgs under the watchful eye of chief judge Hugh McFetridge.

The competition was run in a round robin basis with the top four teams in each category going forward to the semi-finals and the hunt for the gold medal.

Northern Ireland ended up with two teams in the top four places and in the semis they met each other.

Northern Ireland A, a team from Bancran in the foothills of the Sperrins in Draperstown, and the B team which was Leos Boys from Benburb in Tyrone.

The A team were stronger from the start and claimed their place in the final where they would meet England B.

Northern Ireland B played a bronze medal play-off with England A, with the Tyrone men emerging triumphant.

In the final Northern Ireland A proved their strength once again to lift the coveted Taylor Woodrow Trophy and retain their crown as United Kingdom champions at 600kgs.

In the 680kgs Northern Ireland were represented by teams from Garvagh (NI B) and Bancran (NI A).

Bancran finished fourth, just one point behind third-placed England team.

Bancran would meet England A in the semis, with the home representatives turning the tables on the favourites and progressing to the final.

In the final Northern Ireland met England B in a gruelling decider, with the Ulster men pulling their way to victory and claiming a second Taylor Woodrow trophy.

The rain continued into Saturday and the 580kgs category.

Northern Ireland clubs Derryogue and Bancran reached the semis before both booked their place in the decider.

In mud bath conditions it was Bancran who pulled their way to the gold medal with Derryogue having to settle for the silver.

The afternoon session saw the 640kg category burst into action.

Southern 640 champions Clonterm claimed the gold medal with Bancran second.

There were other events over the weekend for the ladies, youth and mixed 4x4.

It was great preparation for the World Junior Championships and 50th Anniversary European Championships next year in Belfast.