Big thank you from

Storming Field Marshal make it a clean sweep at Ulsters  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE Northern Ireland Branch of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association held the 52nd Ulster Pipe Band and Drum Majors Championships last Saturday in Lurgan Rugby Club.

This was the final local competition of the 2003 season and Champion of Champions awards were also presented.

Last year the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe hand equalled the record set up by the Robert Armstrong and Ballycoan pipe bands.

On Saturday they made a clean sweep of all the top prizes in Grade I and set up a new record of thirteen Ulster Championship wins. They claimed first place in the MSR and Medley, 1st for best pipes, 1st for best bass and 1st for best drum section.

In Grade 2 it was a victory long awaited for Pipe Major Trevor Connor and Upper Crossgare pipe band when they won 1st place in drumming and overall 1st placing to take the well deserved Ulster Championship title.

There were no major surprises in the 1st place winners in Grades 3A, 3B and 4A when Killadeas, Quinn Memorial and Seven Towers won the titles in their grades.

But three other bands are worth mentioning. Banbridge, with Leading Tip Keith Gourley, won the title for best drums in Grade 3A, and Manorcunningham from Co. Donegal had a hat-trick of wins in Grade 4B claiming 1st overall placing and best drums and best bass. Their Pipe Major is Gordon Carson.

Taking their first prize this year with a 4th place in Grade 4A was Battlehill from Co. Armagh. Their Pipe Major Dean Faloon must have been delighted with this trophy and this will encourage the hand as they seek to prepare this winter for next season. The Cowal Highland Gathering will take place this weekend from 28 to 30 August.

The World Highland Dancing finals, along with the Cowal Pipe Band Championships, will take place on Saturday when 148 bands and 54 drum majors will compete in the fourth of the five major competitions to be held this season.

The fifth event will be the European Championships, which will be held at Alden Biesen Castle Belgium on 13 September.

Congratulations to Monkstown Mossley Junior Pipe hand on their 4th place win in the Novice juvenile grade at this year's World Pipe Band Championships. As there was stiff opposition from 21 other bands, this was a good result for the hand under the leadership of Pipe Major Tom Buchanan.

The Drum Majors Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 2 September at 8pm sharp in the Bridge Community Centre, Railway Street, Lisburn.

The Annual Meeting of the Branch and Section Officers will take place in the Railway, Hotel, Enniskillen on Saturday 6 September at 2pm, 1pm for lunch. All concerned should plan to attend this important meeting.

Novice drum Majors. 1st Linzi Hamilton. 2nd Samantha Gordon. 3rd Jonathan McKee. 4th Natasha Cherry. 5th Sharon Martin.
Junior. 1st Ryan Ferry .2nd Joanne Wilson. 3rd Elizabeth Sloan. 4th Jason Morrison. 5th Gail Gordon.
Juvenile. 1st Paul Spence. 2nd Jennifer Elvin. 3rd Ian Scott. 4th Barry Purcell. 5th Danielle Sharvin.
Senior. 1st Ian Young. 2nd Brian Wilson. 3rd Cathy Megarry. 4th David Brownlee. 5th Paula Braiden.
Grade 4B. 1st Manorcunningham, (also best drums and best bass). 2nd Cleland Memorial. 3rd McNeillstown. 4th Queen Elizabeth.
Grade 4A. 1st Seven Towers (also best pipes, best drains and best bass). 2nd Marlacoo. 3rd Aughintober. 4th Battlehill
Grade 3B. 1st Quinn Memorial (also best pipes and best drums) 2nd Altnaveigh (also best bass) 3rd Bready. 4th Augharonan.
Grade 3A. 1st Killadeas (also best bass) 2nd Robert Malcolm Mem (also best pipes). 3rd Tullintrain. 4th Finvoy. Best Drums Banbridge.
Grade 2. 1st Upper Crossgare. (also best drums). 2nd Bleary (also best pipes mid best bass) 3rd Ballinderry Bridge. 4th Killeen.
Grade 1. 1st F. M. Montgomery (also best pipes, best drams and best bass). 2nd Ballycoan. 3rd Ravara.
Drum Majors -  Novice Juvenile Linzi Hamilton. Junior Ryan Ferry. Juvenile Ian Scott. Senior Ian Young.
Bands - Grade 4B Queen Elizabeth (also drums)
Grade 4A Seven Towers (also drums). Grade: 3B Quinn Memorial. Drums Bready.
Grade 3A  Killadeas. Drums Syerla. Grade 2 Bleary & District. Drums Cullybackey. Grade 1 Ballycoan (also drums)


Ulster Star