Northern Ireland bands and drum majors returned home with plenty of silverware from the 69th World Pipe Band Championships held in Glasgow on Saturday.
On a fantastic day for local piping and drumming world champion titles were won by Annsborough in grade 3a, Colmcille in grade 3b, Major Sinclair Memorial in 4a and Portavogie in grade 4b. There was also success for drum majors Jamie Cupples (Killeen) and Brian Wilson (Lomond & Clyde).
However, the grade one world title slipped away as Field Marshal Montgomery were unable to extend their winning run. Instead it was Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia who lifted the title for the first time since 2005.
It was a “shocked and delighted” Ryan Canning who collected the RSPBA Jubilee Trophy. Originally from Northern Ireland but now living in Scotland, Ryan took charge of the Shotts band a little under three years ago and has now taken them to the top of the piping world.
Dublin’s St Laurence O’Toole were runners up and won a treble of drumming prizes with Inveraray & District third, Field Marshal in fourth, Canada’s Simon Fraser University fifth and Scottish Power taking sixth place.
Bleary & District had to settle for second place in grade two for the second year running as Johnstone lifted the world title. However Bleary did have the added bonus of lifting the prize for best drum corps.
Also featuring in the prizes for grade two were the PSNI who claimed fifth place on ensemble preference.
Annsborough, from Co Down, collected the grade 3a world title and also lifted the prize for best drum corps. Another Co Down band, Closkelt, were placed third while Aughintober claimed fifth spot.
Colmcille are the grade 3b world champions. The band from Londonderry have enjoyed a fine season, which included a first ever All-Ireland win, and this is undoubtedly the icing on the cake. Upper Crossgare lifted the prize for third place.
Major Sinclair Memorial from Ballyclare are the new grade 4a world champions. The band has been steadily rebuilding in recent years, developing and teaching young players and this is surely a sign that it is paying off. Marlacoo & District were placed third and won the drumming prize, with Cullybackey taking fourth and Battlehill in fifth.
The prizes just keep coming for Portavogie, but this grade 4b world title success will surely be the sweetest of all. Also featuring in the prizes were McDonald Memorial who claimed third place and winning the drumming prize.
In the drum majors championships there were world titles for Jamie Cupples, of Killeen, in the junior section; Coalburn’s Gibb Fraser lifted the juvenile title, while an emotional Brian Wilson was literally jumping for joy as he collected the adult title.
RSPBANI Branch chairman Ray Hall said: “I would like to congratulate our new world champion bands and drum majors on their success here. All the bands that have won prizes and qualified for their respective finals have done really well and shown that the standard of piping and drumming in Northern Ireland is of the highest level.”
Grade 1: Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia; 2, St Laurence O’Toole, also first medley, first MSR and best overall drum corps; 3, Inveraray & District; 4, Field Marshal Montgomery; 5, Simon Fraser University; 6, Scottish Power.
Champion of Champions band: Field Marshal Montgomery. Drum corps: St Laurence O’Toole.
Grade 2: 1, Johnstone, 2, Bleary & District, also best drums; 3, Buchan Peterson; 4, McKenzie Caledonian; 5 on ensemble preference, Police Service of Northern Ireland; 6, Lomond and Clyde.
Champion of Champions band: Bleary & District. Drums: Buchan Peterson.
Grade 3a: 1, Annsborough, also best drums; 2, City of Discovery; 3, Closkelt; 4, Dartmouth & District; 5, Aughintober; 6, Scotia Glenville.
Champion of Champions band: Isle of Islay. Drums: City of Discovery.
Grade 3b: 1, Colmcille; 2, Lewis; 3, Upper Crossgare; 4, Portlethen & District; 5, Achill; 6, Prestonpans RBL, also best drums.
Champion of Champions band: Colmcille. Drums: Upper Crossgare.
Juvenile: 1, Dollar Academy, also best drums.
Champion of Champion band: Dollar Academy. Drums: George Watsons College.
Grade 4a: 1, Major Sinclair Memorial; 2 on ensemble preference, St Patrick’s Bandon; 3, Marlacoo & District, also best drums; 4, Cullybackey; 5, Battlehill; 6, Catamount.
Champion of Champions band and drum corps: Marlacoo & District.
Grade 4b: 1, Portavogie; 2, Royal Burgh of Stirling; 3, McDonald Memorial, also best drums; 4, Lanark & District; 5, Carnoustie & District; 6, Beatrix – Netherlands.
Champion of Champions band and drum corps: Lanark & District.
Novice juvenile: 1, George Watsons College, also best drums.
Champion of Champions band: Dollar Academy. Drums: George Watsons.
Adult: 1, Brian Wilson MBE, Lomond & Clyde; 2, Paula Braiden, Cullybackey; 3, Lauren Hanna, Drumlough; 4, Liam Renton, Inveraray & District; 5, Jason Paguio, Simon Fraser University – Canada; 6, Andrea McKeown Gibson, Battlehill.
Champion of Champions: Lauren Hanna, Drumlough.
Juvenile: 1, Gibb Fraser, Coalburn IOR; 2, Zoe McDowell, Aughintober; 3, Emma Barr, Field Marshal Montgomery; 4, Caitlin Graham, Upper Crossgare; 5, James Kennedy, Whitewater; 6, Dominique kerkhove, Transvaal Scottish – South Africa.
Champion of Champions: Emma Barr, Field Marshal Montgomery.
Junior: 1, Jamie Cupples, Killeen; 2, Beth Preston, Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 3, Emily Crooks, McNeilstown; 4, Lana Gibson, Major Sinclair Memorial; 5, Jason Nicholl, Tullylagan; 6, Kathy Hunter, Manorcunningham.
Champion of Champions: Lana Gibson, Major Sinclair Memorial.