Big thank you from

Ballycoan sweep the boards at Fermanagh championships

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

Ballycoan Pipe BandTHE Co.Fermanagh Pipe Band Championships were held last Saturday in blazing sunshine when bands from all over Ireland made the journey to the Broadmeadow Playing Fields to compete in the event.

Ballycoan made a clean sweep of all the prizes in Grade 1 winning best pipes, best drums, best bass, marching & deportment, and the overall first placing. Cullybackey was runner up with Ravara in third and Killeen in fourth place.

In Grade 2 Ravara secured top placing also winning best pipes and best drums, with Annsborough in second and Killeen in third place and winning best bass section.

The tussle continued in Grade 3A between Howard Memorial and Aughintober with the victory going this competition to Howard who also won best pipes and best drums.

Killen was in second place and Aughintober in third.

There were no bands entered for Grade 3B, but there were quite a few new additions to Grade 4B including some who haven't competed for years.

They included Achill from the South of Ireland who took runner up place as well as the trophy for best bass.

They were followed by Fivemiletown who took third place on piping preference.

The grade was won by Thiepval Memorial who has dominated this grade all season.

Matt Boyd Memorial were the winners in Grade 4A just ahead of Letterkenny, Major Sinclair Memorial and Quinn memorial, with Cleland winning the best drumming prize.

Chieftain of the Day was Mr Tom Noble Principal of Erne Integrated College Enniskillen, who has been a strong supporter in the establishment and functioning of the Piping and Drumming School accommodated within the School's campus in Enniskillen.

The 36th annual RSPBA County Antrim pipe band and drum major championships sponsored by Carrickfergus Borough Council will be held on Saturday June 6 in Woodburn Playing Fields Carrickfergus commencing at 12 noon. As well as the pipe band and drum majors competition there will be a range of activities for all the family running in parallel with the competition.

The All Ireland Championships will take place at the Leisure Plex Lisburn on July 4 and the closing date for entries is the June 13.

Entries should be sent to contest secretary Mervyn Herron, 9 Ballydown Meadows Castlewellan Road, Banbridge BT32 4QX telephone 028 4062 4849.

The 55th Mid-Ulster Pipe Band and Drum Majors Championships will be held in the grounds of Cookstown High School on Saturday June 13 starting at 12 noon and Drum Majors Dress at 11.30 am.

A total of 49 bands have entered with 15 in Grade 4B, 14 in Grade 4A, 3 in Grade 3B, 10 in Grade 3A, 4 in Grade 2 and 3 in Grade 1 including the Dublin based St Laurence O'Toole who are 2008 Scottish, British and All Ireland Champions and also the supreme Champion of Champions.

Adjudicators for the competition are Piping David Clark & Winston Pollock, Drumming Joe Noble & Sandy Steele and Marching and Deportment Walter Lambe & Roger Young. Drum Majors are Jim Graham and Alastair Patterson.

The Chieftain for the day is local Cookstown man John McFetridge, who is a well known Bass Drummer having played with Tullylagan, Ballybriest and Field Marshal Montgomery pipe bands.

Results of Fermanagh Championships Grade 4B - 1st. Thiepval Memorial (also best drums). 2nd. Achill (also best bass) 3rd. Fivemiletown. 4th. Tullintrain.

Grade 4A - 1st. Matt. Boyd Mem. 2nd. Letterkenny. 3rd. Major Sinclair. 4th. Quinn. (also best bass). Best drums won by Cleland. There was no Grade 3B.

Grade 3A - 1st. Howard Memorial (also best pipes and best drums) 2nd. Killen (also best bass). 3rd. Aughintober. 4th. McNeillstown. Grade 2 - 1st. Ravara (also best pipes and best drums) 2nd. Annsborough. 3rd. Killeen (also best bass).

Grade 1 - 1st. Ballycoan (also best pipes, best drums, best bass) 2nd. Cullybackey. 3rd. Ravara. 4th. Killeen.

Novice Drum Majors - 1st. Zoe McDowell. 2nd. Emma Barr. 3rd. Lauren McKeown. 4th. Matthew McKinney. 5th. Glen Baxter.

Junior - 1st. Lauren Hanna. 2nd. Rachael Caldwell. 3rd. Lauren Muldrew. 4th. Bethan Martin. 5th. Victoria Catterson.

Juvenile - 1st. Stephen Gilchrist. 2nd. Samantha Gordon. 3rd. Linzi Hamilton.

Senior - 1st. Kathy Megarry Calvin. 2nd. Brian Wilson. 3rd. Paula Braiden. 4th. Andrea McKeown. 5th. Ryan Ferry.

Ulster Star