Scottish Pipe Band championships: NI bands to the fore

Bleary & District Pipe Band took the Grade 2 title
Bleary & District Pipe Band took the Grade 2 title

It was a day of success for Northern Ireland bands and drum majors at the Scottish Pipe Band championships in Dumbarton on Saturday.

Bleary & District, Closkelt, Colmcille and Marlacoo & District were all victorious in their respective grades, while Abigail Wenlock and Brian Wilson were crowned Scottish champion drum majors.

Marlacoo & District celebrated a grade and drum corps success in grade 4a

Marlacoo & District celebrated a grade and drum corps success in grade 4a

St Laurence O’Toole surged through to lift the grade one Scottish title ahead of the previously unbeaten Field Marshal Montgomery. St Laurence also lifted the prize for best drum corps.

Six points was the margin of victory for St Laurence which marks a major success for pipe major Alen Tully and leading drummer Stephen Creighton. The Dublin band has featured in the top four at all the majors so far this season before stepping up to lift their first title of 2015.

Shotts & Dykehead, Scottish Power, Inveraray & District and Greater Glasgow Police completed the top six.

Cullybackey and Ravara were placed 10th and 12th respectively in the final standings of the grade one championship.

A great season got even better for Bleary & District as they lifted the Scottish title in grade 2 finishing a point clear of Johnstone, who were the winners of the drumming prize. The PSNI claimed third place – a result which represents the best finish at a major championship for the police band this season.

Grade 3a was very close but ultimately it was Closkelt who collected the title a point clear of runners-up Ballybriest, winners of the prize for best drums. This result marks a great success for the Co Down band who were moved up from grade 4a into grade 3a over the winter.

Colmcille had a comfortable six point winning margin in grade 3b ahead of second place Wallacestone & District. Having lifted their first ever All-Ireland title just a few weeks ago the Londonderry band is hitting top form. Upper Crossgare were also in the mix claiming third place and the prize for best drum corps.

Marlacoo & District celebrated a grade and drum corps success in grade 4a. The Co Armagh band were victors on ensemble preference from Methil & District, in second with Tamlaght O’Crilly placed third.

The grade 4b title and drumming award went to Lanark & District – the only Scottish band to win a senior grade on the day.

Scottish champion drum majors are Brian Wilson (Lomond & Clyde); Gibb Fraser (Coalburn IOR) and Abigail Wenlock (Cullybackey).


Grade 1: 1, St Laurence O’Toole, also best drums; 2, Field Marshal Montgomery; 3, Shotts & Dykehead; 4, Scottish Power; 5, Inveraray & District; 6, Greater Glasgow Police.

Grade 2: 1, Bleary & District; 2, Johnstone, also best drums; 3, PSNI; 4, Lomond & Clyde; 5, Buchan Peterson; 6, McKenzie Caledonian.

Grade 3a: 1, Closkelt; 2, Ballybriest, also best drums; 3, Isle of Islay; 4, City of Discovery; 5, Craigmount; 6, Coalburn IOR.

Grade 3b: 1, Colmcille; 2, Wallacestone & District; 3, Upper Crossgare, also best drums; 4, Portlethen & District; 5, 2622 Squadron RAF; 6, Burntisland.

Juvenile: 1, Dollar Academy. Best drums: George Watson’s College.

Grade 4a: 1 on ensemble preference, Marlacoo & District, also best drums; 2, Methil & District; 3, Tamlaght O’Crilly; 4, Kinross & District; 5, Denny & Dunipace; 6, Ullapool & District.

Grade 4b: 1, Lanark & District, also best drums; 2, Carnoustie; 3, Lochryan; 4, Bowhill & District; 5, Royal Burgh Stirling; 6, Hawick.

Novice: 1, Dollar Academy, also best drums.

Drum Majors

Junior: 1, Abigail Wenlock, Cullybackey; 2, Beth Preston, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 3, Lana Gibson, Major Sinclair; 4, Rachel Lowry, Armaghbreague; 5, Emily Crooks McNeilstown; 6, Tyrone Graham, Wm Kerr Memorial.

Juvenile: 1, Gibb Fraser, Coalburn IOR; 2, Zoe McDowell, Aughintober; 3, Emma Barr, Field Marshal; 4, Lauren Abraham, Ballybriest; 5, James Kennedy, Whitewater; 6, Caitlin Graham, Upper Crossgare.

Adult: 1, Brian Wilson, Lomond & Clyde; 2, Alicia Dickson-Hamilton, Matt Boyd; 3, Liam Renton, Inveraray & District; 4, Lauren Hanna, Drumlough; 5, Geertjan van Rooij, Balagan, Denmark; 6, Graham Wilson, Craigmount.