UK Pipe Band Championships: Field Marshall Montgomery lead title charge

Drum major Emma Barr heading up Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band as the band leaves the arena following the prize-giving ceremony
Drum major Emma Barr heading up Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band as the band leaves the arena following the prize-giving ceremony

Northern Ireland’s bands and drum majors picked up plenty of silverware at the second UK Pipe Band Championships held in the grounds of Stormont Estate on Saturday.

Field Marshal Montgomery led the way as they lifted the grade one title followed by Bleary & District who were victors in grade 2. Upper Crossgare won grade 3b and Marlacoo & District ran out winners in grade 4a.

UK champion drum major winners (from left) Beth Preston (Bessbrook Crimson Arrow), Paula Braiden (Cullybackey) and  Lauren Abraham (Ballybriest)

UK champion drum major winners (from left) Beth Preston (Bessbrook Crimson Arrow), Paula Braiden (Cullybackey) and Lauren Abraham (Ballybriest)

There was success across the grades with many local bands and drum corps coming to the fore.

All three drum majors titles will be staying in the Province with Paula Braiden (Cullybackey), Lauren Abraham (Ballybriest) and Beth Preston (Bessbrook Crimson Arrow) winning their respective grades.

Field Marshal Montgomery continued their winning run by retaining the UK grade one title with a four-point cushion over runners-up Shotts & Dykehead. Inveraray & District, St Laurence O’Toole, Greater Glasgow Police and Boghall & Bathgate completed the top six.

There was a second drumming title in a row for Eric Ward’s Greater Glasgow Police as they added the UK title to the British honour they lifted in May.

Pipe major Wayne Byrne and Marlacoo & District Pipe Band after winning Grade 4A.

Pipe major Wayne Byrne and Marlacoo & District Pipe Band after winning Grade 4A.

Another band holding on to their UK title was Bleary & District in grade 2. They sealed the title with a point to spare on Buchan Peterson, who also lifted the drumming prize. Johnstone were third while MacKenzie Calendonian edged fourth place ahead of the PSNI on ensemble preference. Sixth place for the second championship in a row went to Manorcunningham.

Grade 3a went to Isle of Islay however Aughintober took third and won the drumming as Ballybriest claimed fourth place on ensemble preference from Closkelt in fifth.

Grade 3b has been closely fought between Upper Crossgare and Colmcille this season. On Saturday Upper Crossgare took the honours and won the drumming, with Colmcille second. Achill were placed third, Finvoy fourth, Bothwell Castle fifth and Tralee Pipes & Drums in sixth place.

Marlacoo & District held a comfortable six-point lead as they claimed the UK title in grade 4a. Cullybackey took second place with Cleland Memorial, Ullapool & District, St Patrick’s Bandon and Major Sinclair Memorial completing the top six. Best corps of drums in 4a went to Bangor’s Cleland Memorial.

Upper Crossgare Pipe Band won the Grade 3B title

Upper Crossgare Pipe Band won the Grade 3B title

Royal Burgh of Stirling won grade 4b and lifted the drumming prize, ahead of Portavogie in second place. Gilnahirk placed fourth with McDonald Memorial claiming fifth.

In the Novice grade there was a fifth place finish for the Ulster-Scots Agency Juvenile band and they also claimed the drumming prize.

Results

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

Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE (Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band) receives the Grade 1 UK champions trophy from the Chieftain of the Gathering Alderman Guy Spence (Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast)

Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE (Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band) receives the Grade 1 UK champions trophy from the Chieftain of the Gathering Alderman Guy Spence (Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast)

Grade 2: 1, Bleary & District; 2, Buchan Peterson, also best drums; 3, Johnstone; 4 on ensemble preference, MacKenzie Calendonian; 5, PSNI; 6, Manorcunningham.

Grade 3a: Isle of Islay; 2 on ensemble preference, Craigmount; 3, Aughintober, also best drums; 4 on ensemble preference, Ballybriest; 5, Closkelt; 6, Concord (Netherlands).

Grade 3b: 1, Upper Crossgare, also best drums; 2, Colmcille; 3, Achill; 4, Finvoy; 5, Bothwell Castle; 6, Tralee Pipes & Drums.

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

Grade 4a: 1, Marlacoo & District; 2, Cullybackey; 3, Cleland Memorial, also best drums; 4, Ullapool & District; 5 on ensemble preference, St Patrick’s Bandon; 6, Major Sinclair Memorial.

Grade 4b: 1, Royal Burgh of Stirling, also best drums; 2, Portavogie; 3, Mid Argyll; 4, Gilnahirk; 5, McDonald Memorial; 6, Carnoustie & District.

Novice: 1, Stirling & District; 2, Oban High; 3, George Watson’s College; 4, George Heriot’s School; 5, Ulster-Scots Agency, also best drums; 6, Kelty and Blairadam.

Drum majors

Adult: 1, Paula Braiden, Cullybackey; 2, Lauren Hanna, Drumlough; 3, Andrea McKeown Gibson, Battlehill; 4, David Brownlee, Derryclavin; 5, Brian Wilson, Lomond & Clyde; 6, Alicia Dickson-Hamilton, Matt Boyd Memorial.

Juvenile: 1, Lauren Abraham, Ballybriest; 2, Emma Barr, PSNI; 3, Caitlin Graham, Upper Crossgare; 4, James Kennedy, Whitewater; 5, Gemma McDowell, Tullylagan; 6, Joanne Graham, Wm Kerr Memorial.

Junior: 1, Beth Preston, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 2, Lana Gibson, Major Sinclair; 3, Rachel Lowry, Armaghbreague; 4, Kathryn McKeown, Battlehill; 5, Kathy Hunter, Manorcunningham; 6, Jason Nicholl, Tullylagan.