Big thank you from

Ulster bands claim titles at Cowal Highland Gathering 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE famous Cowal Highland Gathering was held last Saturday in Dunoon Scotland and although the Ulster representation of pipe bands and drum majors was small, they were successful in claiming seven championship titles.

The Highland Games, which attract more than 3,500 competitors each year and around 30,000 spectators, are one of the most spectacular and influential gatherings worldwide and provide a Mecca for enthusiasts and participants alike.

There is something to suit everyone's interest from highland dancing to athletics, solo piping to tossing the caber and of course the prestigious pipe band championships.

Seven Towers Pipe Band added the Cowal Championships to their amazing total of trophies won this year.

Under the leadership of Pipe Major David Reid and Leading Tip Michael Cathcart the band were awarded four first place wins - two firsts in piping first in drumming and first in ensemble.

They also won the Champion of Champion trophies in both piping and drumming. Now will follow a busy winter's work in preparing both pipers and drummers for Grade 2 next season.

Grades 4A and 4B bands were also successful in claiming titles. Castlerock with Pipe Major Jonathan Campbell and Leading Tip Willie Wray won best drums and took first place on ensemble preference and Cleland Memorial with Pipe Major Caldwell Hamilton took the victory in 4B and won the drumming title.

Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band were denied the Cowal championships title by old rivals Shotts & Dykehead and finished in runner up place in Grade 1. The drumming title was won by Strathclyde Police.

St. Laurence O'Toole tied on points with Clan Gregor but just missed out on the prize list on ensemble preference and ended up in 7th place. Ballycoan were tenth and Ballinderry Bridge twelfth in Grade 1.

Other bands to compete at the Cowal were Annsborough and they were fourth in Grade 3B and winners of the Champion of Champions in their grade, and Cullybackey who took tenth place in Grade 2 and won the drumming championship title.

For those who love music of all kinds, Irish and Scottish, there will be an opportunity to join in the fun at the Portglenone Festival, which takes place this Saturday, September 3.

As well as music there will be singing and Irish and Scottish dancing.

Cottown Pipe Band from Bangor would be keen in hearing from anyone interested in joining the band as they start to practise for next season's competitions.

Pipers and drummers are needed and Pipe Major John Griffiths can be contacted on 9181 8120 or 07870 107384.

The band practise every Monday and Wednesday evening and compete in Grade 3B.

The All Ireland Solos will take place in Dublin on September 17. Contact Mervyn Herron for entries and further information on 4062 4849.

Results of Cowal Championships 2005
Grade 1 - 1st. House of Edgar-Shotts & Dykehead. 2nd. Field Marshal Montgomery. 3rd. Boghall & Bathgate. 4th. Strathclyde Police also best drums. 5th. Scottish Power. 6th.Clan Gregor Society.
Grade 2 - 1st. Drambuie Kirkliston. 2nd. 52nd Lowland Regiment. 3rd. Bucksburn & District. 4th. Torphichen & Bathgate. 5th. Buchan. 6th. Tayside Police. Best Drums Cullybackey.
Grade 3A - 1st. Seven Towers also best drums. 2nd. Strathclyde Fire Brigade. 3rd. Coalburn IOR. 4th. City of Glasgow. 5th. Denny & Dunipace. 6th. MacKenzie Caledonia.
Grade 3B - 1st. Bo'ness RBLS. 2nd. Dunoon Argyll, also best drums. 3rd. Linlithgow & District. 4th. Annsborough. 5th William wood. 6th. Ayr Pipe Band Society.
Grade 4A - 1st. Castlerock also best drums. 2nd. Wallacestone & District. 3rd. Cumnock & District. 4th. Lanark & District. 5th. Kilsyth Thistle. 6th. Milngavie.
Grade 4B - 1st. Cleland Memorial also best drums. 2nd. University of Strathclyde. 3rd. Pitlochry & Blair Atholl. 4th. Belgian Blend. 5th. Fraserburgh RBL. 6th. Preston pans RBL.
Novice Grade was won by George Watsons College.
Juvenile grade was won by Robert Malcolm memorial.

Drum Majors.

Senior - 1st. "Noble. 2nd. G.Craig. 3rd. W.Jordan. 4th. I.Young (Ravara).
Juvenile - 1st. A.Morton. 2nd. "Clydesdale (Gransha) 3rd. J.Murray.
Junior - 1st. A.Symon. 2nd. S.Gordon (Banbridge). 3rd. L.Hamilton (Killeen) 4th. G.Clydesdale (Gransha) 5th. C.Clydesdale (Gransha)
Champion of Champions
Grade 1 - Shotts & Dykehead also drums.
Grade 2 - Drambuie Kirkliston. Drums-Torphichen & Bathgate.
Grade 3A - Seven Towers also drums.
Grade 3B - Annsborough. Drums Linlithgow & District.
Grade 4A - Cumnock & District. Drums Wallacestone & District.
Grade 4B - University of Strathclyde. Drums Welsh Piping Society.


Ulster Star