The New Zealand Police Pipe Band made a clean sweep of the silverware on offer in grade one at the Lisburn City and Castlereagh Pipe Band Championships held in Moira Demesne on Saturday.
The visiting band were clear and comfortable winners, seven points ahead of Bleary & District in second, The Pipes and Drums of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in third and Ravara in fourth. New Zealand Police also lifted prizes for best drums corps and bass section.
The New Zealand Police, under the direction of Pipe Major Emmett Conway, will no doubt take great encouragement from this result as they move on to Scotland for the World Pipe Band Championships next weekend.
Pipe Major Conway said: “I’m very happy with the result today. We set out to win and we achieved that quite comfortably.
“We have a lot of work to do for next weekend. We will work hard and get our performance tighter each day and give it our all.
“I’m very proud of the band and the direction we are going in. I have a great team and the band will be trying our best to qualify for the final at the Worlds next week.”
He added: “I would like to thank the RSPBA NI Branch and the Irish supporters for their warm welcome.”
In grade 2 the PSNI made a clean sweep of the prizes with six points to spare over second place Closkelt. The PSNI also collected the prizes for best drum corps and bass section. Completing the prize list in grade 2 were Aughintober and Thiepval Memorial.
Aughintober continue to show fine form in grade 3a where they again took first place and the prize for best drums. Colmcille were second and claimed the best bass section award ahead of New Ross & District and Raffrey.
Marlacoo & District dominated grade 3b where they ran out overall winners and went home with silverware for best drum corps and bass section. Matt Boyd Memorial, Major Sinclair Memorial and Finvoy completed the prize list.
On-form Battlehill made it four wins on the spin in grade 4a. The Co Armagh band was followed by Cleland Memorial, McDonald Memorial, also best drums, Portavogie and Cullybackey in the top five. Best bass section went to St Lawrence Howth.
Gilnahirk dominated the prizes in grade 4b winning the grade outright and picking up prizes for best drums corps and bass section. Kildoag, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow, Sgt Walker Memorial, Gransha and Clontibret also features in the top six.
The winning drum majors at Moira Demesne were Andrea McKeown (Battlehill); Caitlin Graham (Upper Crossgare); Kathryn McKeown (Battlehill) and Lee Nicholl (Tullylagan).
Grade 1: 1, New Zealand Police, also best drums and bass section; 2, Bleary & District; 3, PSNI, best M&D; 4, Ravara.
Grade 2: 1, PSNI, also best drums, bass and M&D; 2, Closkelt; 3, Aughintober; 4, Thiepval Memorial.
3a: 1, Aughintober, also best drums; 2, Colmcille, also best bass; 3, New Ross & District; 4, Raffrey, best M&D.
3b: 1, Marlacoo & District, also best drums and bass; 2, Matt Boyd Memorial; 3, Major Sinclair Memorial, best M&D; 4, Finvoy.
4a: 1, Battlehill, best M&D; 2, Cleland Memorial; 3, McDonald Memorial, also best drums; 4, Portavogie; 5, Cullybackey. Best bass: St Lawrence Howth.
4b: 1, Gilnahirk, also best drums and bass; 2, kildoag; 3, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 4, Sgt Walker Memorial; 5, Gransha; 6, Clontibret. Best M&D: Achill.
Adult: 1, Andrea McKeown (Battlehill); 2, David Brownlee (Derryclavin); 3, Lauren Hanna (Drumlough); 4, Paula Braiden (Cullybackey); 5, Alicia Dickson (Matt Boyd Memorial).
Juvenile: 1, Caitlin Graham (Upper Crossgare); 2, Zoe McDowell (Aughintober); 3, Lauren Abraham (Ballybriest); 4, Emma Barr (Field Marshal Montgomery); 5, James Kennedy (Whitewater).
Junior: 1, Kathryn McKeown (Battlehill); 2, Lucas Adamson (Gilnahirk); 3, Abigail Wenlock (Cullybackey); 4, Kathy Hunter (Manorcunningham); 5, Jason Nicholl (Tullylagan).
Novice: 1, Lee Nicholl (Tullylagan); 2, Zara Cupples (Cullybackey); 3, Louis Anderson (Crozier Memorial); 4, Benjamin Walker (Battlehill); 5, Leanne Crooks (Syerla & District).