THE third of the five major pipe band championships - the British Championships - was held last Saturday in Ayr. Bands from Northern Ireland were entered in four of the six grades, and took the top first placing in each
In Grade 1 it was another victory for Field Marshal Montgomery when they clinched the title to make it two wins in a row for them at a major event.
Pipe Major Richard Parkes and his band continue to gain momentum in their bid to take this year's world crown.
Shotts & Dykehead finished second and won the drumming title. But the bigger news of the day was that St Laurence O'Toole from Dublin finished fifth. It is great to see Pipe Major Terry Tully firmly back in the top six in the major championships.
According to the league table qualifying system for the final of the World Championships, the six bands to go through will be: Field Marshal Montgomery, Shotts & Dykehead, Scottish Power, Strathclyde Police, Boghall & Bathgate and St Laurence O'Toole.
These bands will be joined by Simon Fraser University and the 18th Fraser Highlanders because of their placing in last year's Worlds. Other bands will compete in the qualifying MSR competitions for the remaining six places in the 14 band final.
It was ten consecutive wins for Alfie Rea's Ballycoan band when they took the British title in Grade 2. They are also holders of the Scottish and European titles.
Surely if ever a band deserved promotion into Grade 1 this band does.
It was also good news for Bleary Pipe band under the leadership of Pipe Major Nigel Davidson when they came runners up, and for Pipe Major Trevor Connor's Upper Crossgare who came fifth.
Londonderry band Tullintrain, with Pipe Major Robert Thomas and Leading Tip Ian Hetherington, won the British titles in both piping and drumming in Grade 3A with a great performance,
Lord Edwards' Own were also in the prize list and took 4th place, with Syerla fifth.
The last of the grades entered by Ulster bands was Grade 4A and this was won in convincing style by the reigning Scottish Champions, the Quinn Memorial, who also won best drums. A pleasing victory for Pipe Major Harry Bloomfield and Leading Tip Robert Lennox.
The two other bands to take prizes in this grade were Altnaveigh Memorial who finished fourth and Mountfield who took 6th.
The next competition is on Saturday 3 August when the North West Championships take place at the popular resort of Portrush.
These will be followed by this year's World Pipe Band Championships on 10 August at Glasgow Green, Scotland.
|Grade l.||1st Field Marshal Montgomery; 2nd Shotts & Dykehead, also best drums; 3rd Scottish Power; 4th Strathclyde Police; 5th St. Laurence O'Toole; 6th Dysart & Dundonald.|
|Grade 2.||1st Badlycoan; 2nd Bleary; 3rd Clan MacGregor (also best drums); 4th Polkemmet 5th Upper Crossgare; 6th Dumfries & Galloway.|
|Grade 3A.||1st Tullintrain (also best drums); 2nd Lomond & Clyde; 3rd Vale of Atholl; 4th Lord Edwards' Own; 5th Syerla; 6th Royal Burgh of Stirling.|
|Grade 3B.||1st Inverkeithing (also best drums); 2nd West Midlands Police; 3rd Pontefract; 4th Dingwall RBL; 5th Turriff; 6th Greater Manchester City Fire Station.|
|Grade 4A.||1st Quinn Memorial (also best drums); 2nd Arbroath; 3rd Tulloch Nairn; 4th Alrtnaveigh; 5th Linlithgow; 6th Mountfield.|
|Grade 4B.||1st 71st Engineers Regiment (also best drums); 2nd Wm. Wood; 3rd Tweedvale; 4th Kirkcauldy; 5th van; 6th Old Meldrum|
|Junior Drum Majors.||1st Laura Jane Lawson; 2nd Ryan Ferry; 3rd Elizabeth Sloan; 4th Donna Gillespie; 5th Gail Gordon.|
|Juvenile.||1st Danielle Sharvin; 2nd Teresa McMechan; 3rd Jennifer Elvin; 4th Alicia Dickson; 5th Barry Purcell.|
|Senior.||1st Alistair Patterson, 2nd Kathy Megarry; 3rd lan Young; 4th John Noble, 5th Paula Braiden.|