Big thank you from

Field Marshal claim another Champion of Champions title  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE final major competition to take place this season was the European Championships held last Saturday in the beautiful setting of Alden Biesen Castle Belgium.

For some years now Belgium has held a "Scottish Weekend" but this was the first ever competition to be held on mainland Europe organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

It was an event that connected many people from far and near, whether their taste was in Bagpipes, Highland dancing, or Highland Games.

Only three bands travelled over from Northern Ireland and they took runner up spot in each of their grades.

Field Marshal Montgomery under Pipe Major Richard Parkes and Leading Tip Keith Orr were second in Grade 1, with Boghall & Bathgate in first place taking the title on ensemble preference. This was Boghall's first major win of the season. World Champions House of Edgar-Shotts ended up in third place and they also won the title for best drum corps in this grade. St. Laurence O'Toole from Dublin took a well-deserved fifth place ending a good season for this band.

In Grade 2 Clan Gregor won best drums and overall first placing on ensemble preference, assuring them . of promotion to Grade 1 for the 2004 season. Bleary & District from Co. Armagh, under Pipe Major Nigel Davidson and Leading Tip Ian Lawson, ended up in second place in spite of winning two first places for piping.

We had no bands competing in 3A, which was won by Lochgelly High School with Strathclyde Fire Brigade winning the drumming.

In Grade 3B Altnaveigh Memorial, with Pipe Major David Hanna and Leading Tip Kenny Gibson, just missed out on winning the championship, with the title going to Oban in both piping and drumming. This will probably mean upgrading for Altnaveigh who have never missed out being in the prizes this season.

Once again Ryan Ferry carried the banner for Ulster Drum Majors, winning the junior championships title. This has been a fantastic year for this young Tyrone lad, who won the world title in August.

Field Marshal Montgomery were the proud winners of the coveted Champion of Champions title in Grade 1, which was announced after the European Championships. This makes them the most consistent band in the world in Grade 1, and is a most fitting end to their 2003 season.

The Belvoir Drum Majors will be holding their classes in Belvoir Parish Church Hall on the following dates - Saturday 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th October, and Saturday 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th November 2003.

The classes will be under the instruction of Class Instructor Alicia Dickson and are from 2 to 4 pin each day.

The Elementary Certificate in Piping and Drumming is also taught within the class as well as Highland Dancing. All are free of charge.

For further information please contact Ronnie Davidson on 90 298837 or Mobile 07734 151494.

Results of European Championships
Grade 1 1, Boghall & Bathgate. (on ensemble preference) 2, F.M.Montgomery. 3, House of Edgar-Shotts (also drums). 4, Strathclyde Police. 5, St.Laurence O'Toole. 6, Scottish Power.
Grade 2. 1, Clan Gregor (on ensemble preference. Also drums). 2, Bleary. 3, Dumbarton. 4, Boghall. 5, University of Luton. 6, Drambuie Kirkliston.
Grade 3A. 1, Lochgelly High School. 2, City of Amsterdam. 3, Coalburn. 4, West Midlands Police. 5, Strathclyde Fire Brigade (also drums). 6, RAF Halton.
Grade 3B. 1, Oban (also drums). 2, Altnaveigh. 3, Pride of Murray. 4, Arbroath RBLS. 5, Clan Piper (Germany). 6, Troon.
Grade 4A. 1, Bo'ness RBL (also drums). 2, Williamwood. 3, Tweedvale. 4, City of Brechin. 5, Aarhus(Denmark). 6, 71st Engineer Reg.
Grade 4B. 1, Stow. 2, Concord (Netherlands). 3, Letterkenny & District. 4, Lanark (also drums). 5, Essex Caledonia. 6, Sant Brieg & District. (France) Senior Drum Majors. 1, John Noble. 2, Brian Wilson. 3, Grant Craig. 4, Wm. Jordan. 5, Paula Braiden.
Juvenile. 1, Alan Morton. 2, Jennifer Elvin. 3, Greg Boyle. 4, Pieter Dejong. 5, Teresa McMechan. Junior. 1, Ryan Ferry. 2, Kirsty Harron. 3, David Gordon. 4, Keven Frarisson. 5, Gemma McKinney.

Ulster Star