IT was a very good day for pipe bands from Ireland when the 2009 Scottish Championships took place recently in Dumbarton Scotland. Competing in what turned out to be a dry and sunny afternoon, the bands claimed titles in Grade 1, Grade 3A, Grade 3B, Grade 4A and 4B. Drum majors also had their share of victories claiming first place in all their grades - senior juvenile and junior.
Field Marshal Montgomery took top honours in Grade 'winning two first's in piping and first in ensemble with third in drumming to take the overall winning title. Their nearest rivals St.Laurence O'Toole from Dublin won the drumming securing them runner up place.
Shotts & Dykehead were third followed by Strathclyde Police, Boghall & Bathgate and Scottish Power. Grade 2 was the only grade not won by Irish bands and Inveraray & District took that title winning the drumming as well. But even in this band there was a winning Irish influence as their Leading Tip Steven McWhirter is from Co. Antrim, and he successfully led his drummers to win the title for best drums. Ravara were fourth and Seven Towers fifth.
There is no stopping Aughintober from their winning ways when they secured first place in Grade 3A winning 2 firsts in piping, first in drumming and second in ensemble. This band is destined for Grade 2 next season if they keep up performances like this. Howard took second and Cottown the sixth plating. Castlerock claimed victory in Grade 3B winning first place and best drums.
It was a close fought contest in 4A when only one point separated the first two Irish bands with Letterkenny & District winning first place followed by Quinn Memorial.
The final grade was 4B and this was won by Thiepval Memorial from Convoy Co. Donegal, who also won the trophy for best drums. Ballyboley was close behind and won runner up place.
Scottish champion Drum Majors were Brian Wilson in the senior, Linzi Hamilton in the juvenile and Lauren Abraham in the junior. The East Antrim Championships took place last Saturday at Three Mile Water Playing Fields Newtownabbey, where on a wet and windy day 30 bands competed for the titles. Winning bands were Ballycoan in Grade 1; Ravara in Grade 2; McNeillstown in Grade 3A; Manorcunningham in Grade 3B; Quinn Memorial in Grade 4A with the final grade of 4B won by Thiepval Memorial.
Full Results as follows:-
Grade 1. 1st.Ballycoan plus best bass and best drums. 2nd.Ravara.3rd.Killeen.
Grade 2. 1st.Ravara. 2nd.Killeen plus best bass and best drums.
Grade 3A. 1st.McNeillstown plus best bass.2nd.Raffrey. 3rd.Drumlough plus best drums. 4th.Upper Crossgare.
Grade 3B. 1st.Manorcunningham also best drums. 2nd.Ballydonaghy.3rd.Colmcille also best bass.
Grade 4A. lst.Quinn Memorial. 2nd.Moneygore. 3rd.Tamlaught O'Crilly. 4th.Cleland plus best bass and best drums.
Grade 4B. 1st. Thiepval Memorial .2nd.Ballyboley. 3rd.Tullylagan. 4th.Beliaghy.
Best Drums won by Lisnamulligan. Best Bass won by Wm. Kerr Memorial.
Novice Drum Majors. 1st. Lauren Abraham. 2nd.Zoe McDowell. 3rd.Kathryn McKeown. 4th.Emma Barr. 5th.Glen Baxter.
Junior. 1st. Rachel Caldwell. 2nd.Lauren Hanna. 3rd.Bethan Martin. 4th.Elizabeth Morrow. 5th.Naomi McDowell.
Juvenile. 1st.Linzi Hamilton. 2nd.Samatha Gordon. 3rd.Steven Gilchrist. 4th.Heather Bell.
Senior. 1st.Kathy Megarry Calvin. 2nd.Paula Braiden. 3rd.David Brownlee.4th.Brian Wilson. 5th.Andrea McKeown.
The 36th annual RSPBA County Antrim pipe band and drum major championships sponsored by Carrickfergus Borough Council will be held on Saturday 6th June 2009 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 55th annual Mid-Ulster championships will take place on Saturday 13th June in Cookstown High School Sports arena with all grades, as well as drum majors, competitions.
It is with regret that we report the death of Tony Markey.
Tony, who was the main organiser of the very successful Malahide Pipe Band Championships for many years, had been ill for some time. Deepest sympathy, on behalf of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA, is extended to his family and friends.