Big thank you from

Pipers brave it out at County Fermanagh Championships 

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE 51ST annual County Fermanagh Pipe Band Championships took place at Celtic Park Playing Fields, Enniskillen last Saturday.

Bands men and women braved the weather to battle it out for supremacy in all six grades and drum majoring events.

Winning their first Grade 1 competition was Ballinderry Bridge with Pipe Major, Noel Mullan.

The band also looked the part wearing their new Connemara Tartan uniform. The win was a great confidence booster for the band who begin to challenge in the top grade.

After 13 years competing in Grade 2 Killeen Pipe Band, under the direction of Pipe Major Philip Boyce, had the sweet taste of success last Saturday when they won the Grade 2 championships. A great credit to a band dedicated to hard work and perseverance.

Seven Towers Pipe band, with Pipe Major David Reid, had their first local win of the 2005 season when they took top honours in Grade 3A. The band also took home the trophy for best pipes in the grade.

County Armagh band Battlehill - who were promoted to Grade 3B for this season - put on a great performance winning both piping and drumming under the leadership of solo piper Mark Falcon.

In Grade 4A it was a good day's work for Tyrone band Aughintober under Pipe Major Glenn Ferry when they took the top trophy with piping preference. And keeping it in the family was Ryan Ferry, who won the juvenile drum majoring championships.

A great welcome awaited Eden Pipe Band from Plumbridge who were back to the competition arena after an absence of some nine years.

Pipe Major David Caldwell led his band to a well-deserved third place in Grade 2.

The final winners at the County Fermanagh Championships were Cullybackey in 4B.

This Saturday's competition will be the County Antrim Championships, held in the picturesque village of Broughshane.

The event will be part of a summer festival organised by Broughshane and District Community Association in partnership with the RSPBA County Antrim section and sponsored by the Ulster-Scots Agency.

Fifty bands are expected to take part in the competition and the adjudicators will be Jim Baxter, Jim Campbell Winston Pollock and Adrian Hoy.

And there will be fun for all the family that day according to Sandy Wilson, Association Chairman.

There will. be circus performers, novelty and confectionery stalls, a bouncy castle, slide and trampoline and quad racing.

"The festival and championships takes place at Broughshane Community Centre, Knocken Road, Broughshane. Events begin at 9.30am.

The Mid Ulster Championships will be held in Cookstown on Saturday June 11, followed by the County Down championships at Castle Ward, Strangford on Saturday June 18.

Second of this year's five major championships will be the European Championships.

An expected 120 bands from England, Scotland, Northern and Southern Ireland will be taking part in the event which will be held in Banbridge on Saturday June 25.

Competitors from New Zealand Police Pipe Band and Belgium's Antwerp Pipe Band will also be there.

Performances from Highland dancers, 'Young Drums,' from Rathfriland and the Irish dancers, 'Trim the Velvet' are also planned.

Grade 1. Ist.Ballinderry Bridge also best pipes. 2nd.Cullybackey also best drums best bass and M&D. Grade 2. 1st.Killeen also best pipes. 2nd.Upper Crossgar on piping preference. 3rd.Eden. 4th.Cullybackey also best drums. Best Bass to Finvoy and M&D to Howard Memorial.
Grade 3A. Ist.Seven Towers also best pipes. 2nd.Marlacoo also best bass. 3rd.Banbridge also best drums and M&D. 4th.Tamlaght O'Crilly.
Grade 3B. 1st. Battlehill also best drums and best bass. 2nd. Annsborough on piping preference. 3rd.Cottown. 4th.Killen. Augharonan M&D.
Grade 4A. Ist.Aughintober on piping preference. 2nd.Sgt.Walker also best drums. 3rd.Matt Boyd. 4th.Thiepval Memorial. Also best bass. Letterkenny M&D.
Grade 4B. 1st.Cullybackey. 2nd.Raffrey. 3rd.Cleland Memorial. 4th.Derryclavin also M&D. Best drums and best bass went to BanbridgeJunior.
Novice Juvenile drum majors. 1st.Kiera Wilson. 2nd.Natasha Cherry. 3rd.Lauren Abraham. 4th.Dale Fisher.
Junior. 1st.Linzi Hamilton. 2nd.Caroline Clydesdale. 3rd.Simon Kerr. 4th.Samantha Gordon. 5th.Sharon Martin.
Juvenile. Ist.Ryan Ferry. 2nd.Donna Gillespie. 3rd.Alicia Dickson. 4th.Emma Chambers. 5th.Jemma Clydesdale.
Senior. 1st. Paula Braiden. 2nd.Brian Wilson. 3rd.Kathy Megarry. 4th.lan Scott. 5th.Andrea McKeown.

Last week Field Marshal Montgomery from Lisburn played their way to victory in Grade One at the Scottish Pipe Band Championships.

The championships attracted a record 141 entries and presented one of the most spectacular gatherings of cultural music and dancing to be seen and heard anywhere in the world.

Over 3,500 musicians and dancers performed in the various grades for the title of Scottish champions. Held in the scenic Levengrove Park on the banks of the River Clyde and in the shadow of Dumbarton Castle, this venue was a truly fitting location for the championships.

Of all our bands and drum majors only three were successful in winning titles.

Field Marshal carried on from last week's victory in Malahide by winning the Grade 1 championship trophy. Pipe Major Sammy Connolly took his Ravara outfit to the top in Grade 2 and the drum corps of Seven Towers from Ballymena won best drums in Grade 3A. '

Other Ulster bands to collect trophies were Seven Towers who were runners up in 3A with Marlacoo in third place. Sergeant Walker took fifth in 4A with Annsborough in sixth place in 3B and Antrim fifth in 4B.

Strathclyde Fire Brigade won 1st place in Grade 3A; Bo' ness RBLS won 313; Rothesay & District 4A and the Welsh Piping Society took the top place in 4B.

The first of this year's section's competitions is the Co. Fermanagh championships, which will take place at Celtic Park, Enniskillen on Saturday 28th May with an entry of 48 bands including a Grade One entry.

This will commence at 12.45.

Band coaches are reminded that they are requested to park at the Ardhowen Theatre.

The Co. Fermanagh championships will be followed by the Co. Antrim section's event, which will be held on Saturday 4th June in the Playing Fields. Community Centre. Broughshane. Adjudicators will be Jim Campbell, Winston Pollock Jim Baxter and Adrian Hoy.

Bands are reminded there will be a short parade of the village after the competition when they will be a free draw for those taking part. The draw will have six winners each taking £100.

The Mid-Ulster Championships will be on 11th June in Cookstown.

On the 8th June, the Mid Ulster section are hoping to stage a parade for non competing pipe bands. The bands are to assemble in Burn Road car park and commence at 8pm to parade the town centre and then return to the car park. A memento will be presented to each participating band.

The association would appreciate the support of pipe bands in this venture and it should be remembered that this is not a competition. For more information on both these events please contact secretary Gloria Patterson tel. 8283 1232

Results of Scottish Championships
Grade 1. 1st Field Marshal Montgomery. 2nd The House of Edgar-Shotts (also best drums). 3rd Strathclyde Police. 4th Scottish Power. 5th St. Laurence O'Toole. 6th Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.
Grade 2. 1st Ravara. 2nd Drambuie Kirkliston. 3rd Torphichen & Bathgate (also best drums.) 4th Tayside Police. 5th Bucksburn & District. 6th 52nd Lowland Regiment.
Grade 3A. 1st Strathclyde Fire Brigade. 2nd Seven Towers (also best drums). 3rd Marlacoo. 4th Coalburn 5th Newross & District. 6th City of Edinburgh.
Grade 3B. 1st Bo'ness RBLS (also best drums). 2nd Linlithgow & District. 3rd Dunoon Argyll. 4th (Ensemble pref.) Beeston & District. 5th (Ensemble pre f) Williamwood. 6th Annsborough.
Grade 4A. 1st Rothesay & District. 2nd Cumnock & District. 3rd Wallacestone (Also best drums). 4th.Milngavie. 5th Sgt. Walker. 6th Tweedvale.
Grade 4B. 1st Welsh Piping Society. 2nd Kirkcaldy. 3rd University of Strathclyde. 4th Troon Blackrock. 5th.Antrim. 6th Clydebank Best Drums- Uddingston Strathclyde.
Adult Drum Major. 1st John Noble. 2nd Alistair Patterson. 3rd Paula Braiden. 4th Grant Craig. 5th Kevin MacHeffner.
Juvenile. 1stAlan Morton. 2nd Ryan Ferry. 3rd Donna Gillespie. 4th Jemma Clydesdale. 5th Elizabeth Sloan.
Junior. 1st Andrew Symon. 2nd Caroline Clydesdale. 3rd Iona Burns. 4th Linzi Hamilton. 5th Samantha Gordon.

Ulster Star