FOR the fifth time in their history the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Vancouver, Canada has lifted the ultimate prize in piping - the World Grade 1 championships.
While Northern Ireland was awash with heavy rain, Glasgow Green in Scotland enjoyed a sunny dry day for the 62nd World Championships.
It was a closely fought contest between the two giants of the pipe band world -Field Marshal Montgomery from Northern Ireland and the Simon Fraser from Canada. Field Marshal claimed the first spoils of the day by winning the MSR part of the finals, but Simon Fraser came back and won the Medley selection. When the figures were added up it was sweet success for Pipe Major Terry Lee, Leading Drummer J. Reid Maxwell, and the Simon Fraser band. One adjudicator said the standard of the Grade 1 contest reached an unbelievable level of brilliance, with nothing
between the top two bands. Indeed, he was full of praise for the performances of all of the bands in Grade 1, which, in his opinion, were of the most amazingly high standard.
And for the first time ever a Grade 2 championship title went to a band from Brittany. Bagad Cap Caval secured three first places in piping and ensemble to win the title with neighbouring band Bagad Breig taking the fifth placing as well. Ravara, with Pipe Major Sam Connolly, just missed out on first place but secured the runner up prize.
The only Northern Ireland band to lift a world championship title was Colmcille from Co. Londonderry in Grade 4A. Last week this band won the Ulster title and were strong favourites to take the world title which they did in confident style.
Other prize-winners were the Howard Memorial - third place, and Killen -sixth place in Grade 3A. McNeillstown -second, Cullenfad - third and Augharonan - fourth place in 3B. Gransha - third and Bready Ulster Scots - sixth place in 4A. And finally Ballyboley sixth place in 4B.
In Drum Majoring the only world title went to Brian Wilson from Armagh with
Paula Braiden in second place, Ryan Ferry third, Kathy Megarry-Calvin fifth and Ian Young sixth. In the Juvenile grade Elizabeth Sloan took runner up place with Craig Clydesdale third, Samantha Gordon fourth, Heather Bell fifth and Linzi Hamilton in sixth place. In the junior grade Steven Gilchrist won second place with Emma Barr in third, Rachel Caldwell in fourth, Lauren Hanna in fifth and Lauren Abraham in sixth.
The North West Championships will be held in Portrush on Saturday 23rd August with an entry of 50 pipe bands and is expected to attract 25,000 people to the town. The competition starts at 11.30am.
The evening before the Championships (Friday 22nd August at 7.30pm) a solo piping competition will take place at the Flowerfield Arts Centre on the Coleraine Road, Portstewart. Adjudicators are John Wilson and David Caldwell and the entrance is free.
Also on Friday 22nd 'Youth in Action' will hold a solo piping and drumming contest at Kerr Street Green, Portrush at 3pm. Contact Mervyn Herron 07702 681189 for details of entry.
The curtain comes down on the final pipe band competition of the year with the Cowal Highland Games taking place in Dunoon, Scotland on Saturday 30th August - the last of the big five major championships of the season.
Grade 4B. 1st. Stockbridge. (also best drums) 2nd.Paris Port Dover. 3rd.North Highlanders. 4th. Burnisland. 5th. Stamperland. 6th. Ballyboley.
Grade 4A. 1st.Colmcille. 2nd.Black Bottle Isle of Islay.3rd. Gransha . 4th.St.Laurence Howth. (also best drums) 5th. Manorcunningham. 6th.Bready Ulster Scots.
Grade 3B. 1st. P&D of Central Scotland Police (also best drums). 2nd.McNeillstown. 3rd.Cullenfad. 4th. Augharonan. 5th.Ulster Scottish. 6th. Methil & District.
Grade 3A. 1st. Mackenzie Caledonia. 2nd.Clydebank. (also best drums) 3rd.Howard Memorial. 4th.RAF Halton. 5th.Deeside Caledonia. 6th.Killen.
Grade 2. 1st. Bagad Cap. Caval. 2nd.Ravara. 3 rd.Torphichen & Bathgate. (also best drums) 4th.Oran Mor. 5th.Bagad Breig. 6th.Buchan.
Grade 1. Medley. 1st. Simon Fraser University. (also best drums & 6 points) 2nd.Field Marshal Montgomery. (12 points) 3rd.Scottish Lion 78th Fraser Highlanders. (15 points) 4th.House of Edgar- Shotts. (15 points) 5th.St.Laurence O'Toole. (20 points) 6th.Boghall & Bathgate. (24 points) Grade 1.MSR. 1st. Field Marshal Montgomery. (8 points) 2nd.Simon Fraser University. (also best drums & 11 points) 3rd.Boghall & Bathgate. (12 points) 4th.House of Edgar- Shotts. (18 points) 5th.Strathclyde Police. (23 points) 6th.Scottish Power (24 points) Grade 1 Final Results. 1st 2008 World Champion. Simon Fraser University (17 points). 2nd.Field Marshal Montgomery. (20 points) 3rd. House of Edgar- Shotts. (33 points) 4th.Boghall & Bathgate. (36 points) 5th. St.Laurenc e O'Toole. (48 points) 6th.Strathclyde Police. (50 points)
Senior Drum Majors. 1st. B.Wilson. 2nd.P.Braiden. 3rd.R.Ferry. 4th.J.Paquio. 5th. K.Megarry-Calvin. 6th. I. Young. Juvenile. 1st. A.Symon. 2nd.E.Sloan. 3rd.Craig Clydesdale. 4th.S.Gordon. 5th.H.Bell. 6th.L.Hamilton.
Junior. 1st. I. Burns. 2nd.S.Gilchrist. 3 rd.E.Barr. 4th. R.Caldwell. 5th Hanna 6th Abraham