Northern Ireland bands and drum majors swept all before them at the United Kingdom Pipe Band Championships held at Stormont on Saturday.
Local bands won all six senior grades while the drum majors’ titles also stayed in the province.
The list of winning bands is certainly impressive. Field Marshal Montgomery lifted the grade one title; the PSNI won grade 2; grade 3a was won by Colmcille; Matt Boyd Memorial took the honours in grade 3b; Cleland Memorial were the victors in grade 4a and St Mary’s Derrytrasna lifted the 4b title.
In the drum majors’ competitions there were titles for Alicia Dickson (Matt Boyd Memorial), Emma Barr (Field Marshal Montgomery) and Abigail Wenlock (Cullybackey).
The prizes didn’t stop there however as there was a host of Northern Ireland bands featuring in the prize lists.
Field Marshal Montgomery returned to winning ways in grade one with a huge eight point winning margin over second place Inveraray & District. Scottish Power, Spirit of Scotland, Shotts & Dykehead and St Laurence O’Toole completed the top six. Best corps of drums in grade one went to Spirit of Scotland.
Bleary & District and Ravara competed in grade one but didn’t feature in the prizes.
PSNI lifted the UK title for grade 2 ahead of the Glasgow Skye Association, who also won the drumming prize. Closkelt lifted their first prize at a major in grade 2 taking sixth place.
Grade 3a was a close affair with two Northern Ireland bands battling it out at the top. Colmcille took first place on ensemble preference from Aughintober, who won the drumming prize.
Matt Boyd Memorial, from Pomeroy, lifted the UK title for grade 3b on ensemble preference from Wallacestone & District in second. Marlacoo & District and Major Sinclair Memorial were placed fifth and sixth respectively. Best corps of drums in grade 3b went to Bothwell Castle.
Bangor’s Cleland Memorial collected the title in grade 4a two points clear of Ullapool & District. There was a strong showing from local bands in the prizes with McDonald Memorial, Battlehill, Portavogie and Cullybackey all featuring. Ullapool & District won the drumming prize.
St Mary’s Derrytrasna lifted the 4b crown in a grade dominated by bands who regularly compete locally. Clontibret, from Co Monaghan, were second with Gilnahirk, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow, Sgt Walker Memorial and Ballyboley placing in the top six. Best drums in grade 4b went to Ballydonaghy.