Field Marshal Montgomery took the grade one honours at the 70th All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships held at Omagh Rugby Club on Saturday.
It was a dominant performance from Field Marshal who lifted the All-Ireland crown for the 22nd time at the special anniversary contest, which was organised jointly by the RSPBA NI Branch and Irish Pipe Band Association.
Field Marshal won both the March, Strathspey and Reel and Medley sections of the grade one championship to claim the overall All-Ireland title. There was further success with prizes for best pipes and drums also going the way of the current world champions.
St Laurence O’Toole were runners up and lifted prizes for best bass section and were second in the drumming. Cullybackey and Ravara completed the top four.
Bleary & District retained their All-Ireland title in grade two edging the PSNI into second place by a single point. The Co Donegal duo of Manorcunningham and Thiepval Memorial were third and fourth respectively. The prize for best pipes in grade two was shared by Bleary and the PSNI, with the police band also collecting the drumming and bass section silverware.
Another band retaining its All-Ireland title was Annsborough from Co Down. They took the grade 3a crown on ensemble preference and the award for best pipes. New Ross & District were placed second and won the drumming ahead of Ballybriest in third and Aughintober, who also won the bass section award, in fourth place.
Colmcille took the honours in a closely contested grade 3b and won the drumming and bass prizes. Second place went to Upper Crossgare with Achill, winners of the piping prize, in third on ensemble preference from Tralee Pipes and Drums.
Marlacoo & District were the champions in grade 4a and collected the prize for best bass section. St Patrick’s Bandon were second and had the best pipes with Tamlaght O’Crilly and Battlehill completing the top four. Best corps of drums in grade 4a went to Bangor’s Cleland Memorial.
Portavogie’s good season continued as they took first place in grade 4b by an impressive 12 points. The Co Down band also won the prizes for best pipes and drums on their way to first place overall. McDonald Memorial were second and had the best bass section with Gilnahirk claiming third and Bessbrook Crimson Arrow taking fourth place.
All-Ireland champion drum majors are Brian Wilson (Lomond & Clyde); Lauren Abraham (Ballybriest); Jason Nicholl (Tullylagan) and Kathy Hunter (Manorcunningham).
Grade 1: 1, Field Marshal Montgomery, winning both Medley and MSR sections, also best pipes and drums; 2, St Laurence O’Toole, also best bass and second drums; 3, Cullybackey; 4, Ravara.
Grade 2: 1, Bleary & District; 2, PSNI, also best drums and bass; 3, Manorcunningham; 4, Thiepval Memorial. Best pipes: Bleary and PSNI shared.
Grade 3a: 1 on ensemble preference, Annsborough, also best pipes; 2, New Ross & District, also best drums; 3, Ballybriest; 4, Aughintober, also best bass.
Grade 3b: 1, Colmcille, also best drums and bass; 2, Upper Crossgare; 3 on ensemble preference, Achill, also best pipes; 4, Tralee Pipes and Drums.
Grade 4a: 1, Marlacoo & District, also best bass; 2, St Patrick’s Bandon, also best pipes; 3, Tamlaght O’Crilly; 4, Battlehill. Best drums: Cleland Memorial.
Grade 4b: 1, Portavogie, also best pipes and drums; 2, McDonald Memorial, also best bass; 3, Gilnahirk; 4, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow.
Senior: 1, Brian Wilson, Lomond & Clyde; 2, Paula Braiden, Cullybackey; 3, Alicia Dickson, Matt Boyd Memorial; 4, David Brownlee, Derryclavin; 5, Andrea McKeown, Battlehill.
Juvenile: 1, Lauren Abraham, Ballybriest; 2, Caitlin Graham, Upper Crossgare; 3, Emma Barr, Field Marshal; 4, Gemma McDowell, Tullylagan; 5, James Kennedy, Whitewater.
Junior: 1, Jason Nicholl, Tullylagan; 2, Jamie Cupples, Killeen; 3, Emily Crooks, McNeilstown; 4, Lana Gibson, Major Sinclair; 5, Rachael Lowry, Armaghbreague.
Novice: 1, Kathy Hunter, Manorcunningham; 2, Abigail Wenlock, Cullybackey; 3, Charlotte Ruddock, Battlehill; 4, Zara Cupples, Cullybackey; 5, Lee Nicholl, Tullylagan.