Scottish Pipe Band Championships: Double delight for Ulster bands
Northern Ireland representatives took two titles at the fourth major contest of the RSPBA season, the Scottish Championships, at Levengrove Park, Dumbarton on Saturday.
Ravara (Grade 2) and Bessbrook Crimson Arrow (Grade 4B) walked off with their championships, while Kara Gilmour also won the Juvenile drum major title among what was a higher than normal representation from the Northern Ireland Branch.
The winners of the Grade 1 Scottish title were St Laurence O’Toole who also lifted the drumming prize. They had a single point to spare over Inveraray and District and four ahead of Field Marshal who have been unable to get a major win this season.
PSNI were placed 13th in a very competitive grade.
Many congratulations go to pipe major Sam Connolly and leading drummer Matthew Shaw and their Ravara band on winning Grade 2.
They have been improving week on week and came out top for the first time this season with an eight points margin over Grampian Police and nine ahead of Closkelt and the Co Donegal-based Manorcunningham who lifted the drumming prize with Colmcille coming in a creditable eighth.
All-Ireland champions St Joseph’s Clondalkin from Dublin had to settle for fourth place in Grade 3A with the Quinn Memorial taking sixth prize one point ahead of Thiepval Memorial from Co Donegal.
It was a good day for Battlehill from Co Armagh who secured second place in Grade 3B.
Possibly the most disappointed band must be Cullybackey who whilst placing third in Grade 4A have to be asking why there was such a vast difference of 10 placings in their piping scores of 11 and one. Two places less in their higher score would have given then the grade on ensemble preference.
Bessbrook Crimson Arrow was the winners of Grade 4B with three points to spare. This was a great achievement for the band that started the season with a win at Bangor but except for a few places in other competitions have disappointed except for a sixth place at the UK Championships.
Our drum majors generally bring home a large haul of trophies and with 14 out of the 18 on offer there is little room to complain although on this occasion only one Scottish title came home with Kara Gilmour taking the Juvenile section.
Manorcunningham’s Kathy Hunter won the Junior section while the best placed in the Adult section was Emma Barr who was third.
Novice B: 1st North Lanarkshire Schools (also Best Drums).
novice A: 1st Dollar Academy (also Best Drums).
Grade 4B: 1st Bessbrook Crimson Arrow, 2nd Camelon, 3rd Stockbridge, 4th Rothesey (also Best Drums), 5th Mid Argyll, 6th Dunoon Argyll.
Grade 4A: 1st Loch Ryan, 2nd Dunbar RBL, 3rd Cullybackey, 4th Glenrothes (also Best Drums), 5th Kilmarnock, 6th Tweedvale.
Juvenile: 1st Dollar Academy (also Best Drums).
Grade 3B: 1st Scottish Borders, 2nd Battlehill, 3rd Johnstone (also Best Drums), 4th Scots Guards Association (South), 5th Turiff & District, 6th Bowhill.
Grade 3A: 1st Uddingston Strathclyde (also Best Drums), 2nd Royal Burgh of Annan 3rd Portlethen, 4th St Joseph’s Clondalkin, 5th 2622 Highland Squadron, 6th Quinn Memorial.
Grade 2: 1st Ravara, 2nd Grampian, 3rd Closkelt, 4th Manorcunningham (also Best Drums), 5th Isle of Islay, 6th Bucksburn & District.
Grade 1: 1st St Laurence O’Toole (also Best Drums), 2nd Inveraray & District, 3rd Field Marshal Montgomery, 4th Scottish Power, 5th Police Scotland Fife, 6th Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia.
Adult: 1st Liam Renton, 2nd Gibb Fraser, 3rd Emma Barr, 4th Alicia Dickson, 5th Andrea McKeown, 6th Vicki Singer.
Juvenile: 1st Kara Gilmour, 2nd Kathryn McKeown, 3rd Rachel Lowry, 4th Rebecca Hamilton, 5th Jamie Cupples, 6th Rowan Murdoch.
Junior: 1st Kathy Hunter, 2nd Abigail Wenlock, 3rd Carys Graham, 4th Zara Cupples, 5th Louis Anderson, 6th Leanne Crooks.