World Pipe Band Championships: Field Marshal Montgomery dominant for 12th title

Pipe Major Richard Parkes lifts the RSPBA Jubilee Trophy as Field Marshal Montgomery are crowned grade one world champions
Pipe Major Richard Parkes lifts the RSPBA Jubilee Trophy as Field Marshal Montgomery are crowned grade one world champions

Field Marshal Montgomery returned to the top of the pipe band world on Saturday with victory at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow.

The success marked a 12th grade one world title for Field Marshal and was claimed in some style as the band took first place in both the Medley and March, Strathspey and Reel events to bring home the iconic RSPBA Jubilee trophy by a margin of 13 points from nearest challengers Inveraray & District.

Adult world champion drum major Emma Barr, Field Marshal Montgomery

Adult world champion drum major Emma Barr, Field Marshal Montgomery

There was perhaps a small element of surprise in this result giving that Field Marshal had not won any of the previous major championships during the 2018 season. However, you can never write them off and their performances proved that emphatically.

Completing the top six in grade one were St Laurence O’Toole in third, who were winners of the overall grade one drumming title, Scottish Power, Canada’s Simon Fraser University and Police Scotland Fife.

It was a great day for many Ulster bands and drum majors with world titles and place prizes coming back to these shores despite weather conditions that were at times less than ideal for piping and drumming.

McNeilstown, from Co Antrim, made a clean sweep of the prizes in grade 4a with a band and drumming double. Four first places from the panel of judges demonstrates just how dominant they were in the 4a final.

In grade 4b Gransha, from Co Down, have been in fine form all season and they carried that through to Glasgow Green where they lifted the top prize. Best corps of drums in 4b went to Sgt Walker Memorial.

In the drum majors’ competitions Ulster has three world champions.

Kathy Hunter, Manorcunningham, Co Donegal, took the honours in the junior grade with Jamie Cupples, representing MacKenzie Caledonian, coming out on top of the juvenile grade. The adult world champion title was won by Emma Barr, Field Marshal Montgomery. All three winning drum majors also lifted the Champion of Champions title for their respective grades.

Ulster bands won a number of other prizes on the day.

Closkelt claimed third place in grade 2 with Manorcunningham hot on their heels in fourth place. Closkelt also landed the grade 2 champion of champion band prize with New Ross & District winning the drumming award.

Grade 3b saw a runners-up place for Battlehill with St Mary’s Derrytrasna in third and Clogher & District in fifth place. Kildoag were in the prizes in grade 4a placing fourth.


Grade 1: 1, Field Marshal Montgomery, also first Medley and first MSR; 2. Inveraray & District, first MSR drums; 3, St Laurence O’Toole, first medley drums and overall best drums; 4, Scottish Power; 5, Simon Fraser University – Canada; 6, Police Scotland Fife.

Grade 2: 1, City of Dunedin – U.S.A, also best drums; 2, St Thomas Alumni – USA; 3, Closkelt; 4, Manorcunningham; 5, Worcester Kiltie – USA; 6, Peel Regional Police - Canada.

Grade 3a: 1, Royal Burgh of Annan; 2, Portlethen and District; 3, Perth Metro – Australia; 4, Stockbridge; 5, Uddingston Strathclyde; 6, The Highlanders (4 Scots). Best drums: St Joseph’s.

Grade 3b: 1, Pasadena Scottish Pipes and Drums – USA; 2, Battlehill; 3, St Marys, Derrytrasna; 4, Johnstone; 5, Clogher and District; 6, Toronto Police – Canada, also best drums.

Juvenile: 1, Dollar Academy, also best drums.

Grade 4a: 1, McNeillstown, also best drums; 2, Lochryan; 3, Tweedvale; 4, Kildoag; 5, Glenrothes and District 2010; 6, Williamwood.

Grade 4b: 1, Gransha; 2, Kelty and Blairadam; 3, Lower Clyde Pipes and Drums; 4, Mid Argyll; 5, Stockbridge; 6, Camelon and District. Best drums: Sgt Walker Memorial.

Novice A: 1, Dollar Academy 2. Best drums: George Watson’s College.

Novice B: 1, St John’s College - Zimbabwe, also best drums.

Drum Majors

Adult: 1, Emma Barr, Field Marshal Montgomery, also Champion of Champions winner; 2, Andrea McKeown Gibson, Battlehill; 3, Jason Paguio, Simon Fraser University – Canada; 4, Liam Renton, Inveraray and District; 5, Alicia Dickson Hamilton, Matt Boyd Memorial; 6, Jason Price, Ravara.

Juvenile: 1, Jamie Cupples, MacKenzie Caledonian, also Champion of Champions winner; 2, Rowan Murdoch, Denny and Dunipace Gleneagles; 3, Kara Gilmour, Scottish Fire and Rescue; 4, Emily Crooks, McNeillstown; 5, Jason Nicholl, Clontibret; 6, Rebecca Hamilton, Tullylagan.

Junior: 1, Kathy Hunter, Manorcunningham, also Champion of Champions winner; 2, Abigail Wenlock, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia; 3, Louis Anderson, Crozier Memorial; 4, Leanne Crooks, Syerla and District; 5, Zara Cupples, Cullybackey; 6, Becky Cox, Troon Blackrock.