Clubs event European Championships

Clubs event European Championships

 European Championships – Minehead, 21st to 25th September 2011.

The Tug of War Association working with TWIF was the organisers of the latest major Championships in Minehead.  Butlins camp had been used on previous occasions but this time the pulling area was set aside within easy walking distance of the accommodation within the complex.  A large area had been set up with the requisite tents, control areas, barriers, seating and toilets.

On Wednesday morning the weighing commenced with a large turnout of pullers wanting to be weighed so that they could ultimately be able to eat again.  A total of 82 tug of war clubs from 16 different countries enter the TWIF European Open Club competition in various weight classes. 178 teams were initially entered into the various weight classes, which represented a good turnout of team for the event.  In a two hour period over 600 pullers had been weighed through the system.  The scales were closed for a short period over lunch before opening again to weigh the remainder of the pullers.

Thursday 22nd September 2011

Early morning saw the start of competition with teams being stamped on the field at 0830 and competition commencing at 0930.  The weather was pleasant but changeable from sunshine to being overcast and becoming cold at times with the winds.

In the 560 event Derryogue and Bancran entered the fray and were drawn in different groups.  Group of seven and eight teams were drawn as follows;-

Group 1

Goherri, Sandhurst B, Cupids Hill, Engelberg-Sins, Tavistock, Glenhill, TTV Sreefkerk, Felton Eccles

Group 2

Fam Janssens, Mosnang, Kennford, TTV Veenseboys,  Hay-on Wye, Killylough, Team Army

Group 3

Gaztedi, Oxney Vines Cross, Appenzell, Oele, Powerrangers, Furie Rosse Tamai, Bancran

Group 4

Goherri, TTV Vandakkel, Goudini, Ebersecken, Sandhurst, Eibergen and Derryogue


Both teams had drawn strong opposition in their respective groups.  In group 1 with eight teams, Engelberg-Sins came out on top with Felton Eccles running on equal points and taking second due to cautions.  Group 2 with seven teams had Mosnang winning the group with Veenseboys in second place.

Group 3 was a strong group like the rest with Bancran in the fray.  In their first end they beat Powerrangers in 15 seconds in the first end and in 28 seconds in the next.  There second foray was against the Italian team and once again they disposed of them in short times of 31 seconds and 1.09 minutes. Appenzell were stronger opposition but once again were dealt with in .55 seconds and 1.46 minutes.  Oele from Nederalanmds were their next encounter taking more time to finish the pulls in 1.26 and .54 respectfully.

Oxney Vines Cross and Bancran took to the field for the local side to win in 2.52 and 1.49.

The pull of the day was Bancrans’ last foray into the group stages against the mighty team from Gaztedi.  Both teams were strong in the earlier stages of the group and so it proved once again.  The two longest pulls of the day in this weight were to be witnessed with neither team giving or expecting anything in return.  Bancran stuck to their task and never gave an inch taking the first end in 5.20 and the second in 5.52 finishing the group without having lost an end and only getting two cautions.  First place for the Bancran men who had put up a powerful display against the Gaztedi team.

Group 4 saw Derryogue enter the arena against TTV Vandakker from Belgium and for the Mourne men to take this by two straight ends in .30 and .22 seconds.  The South African team from South Africa, Goudini were next on the list and once again Deryogue were up to the task taking both ends in 1.09 and 1.12 minutes.  In the next end Derryogue were up against the Swiss side from Ebersecken.  This was a hard fought venture in the first round with Derryogue holding their own and giving as good as they got for 4.18 minutes with Ebersecken taking the first end. In the second end Derryogue succumbed to their overwhelming power in 1.17 minutes.  A great pull.

Eibergen from Netherlands were their next opponents which the Dutch team won in 2.18 and .45.  In the next pull Derryogue met their old foes from Sandhurst.  Both teams lookerd to be evenly matched but after 2.34 minutes in the first end and 3.14 minutes in the second end, Derryogue had to settle for having gained no points in this match.  Their final match in this round was to be against the Goiherri team with Goiherri taking both ends in 1.46 and 1.28 minutes.  Fourth place in a hard group once again behind the eventual winners Ebersecken in first place, Goiherri in second place, and Sandhurst in third.

At this stage teams crossed over and eventually the semi finals had been decided.

Gaztedi were destined to meet Mosnang whilst Bancran were to meet Ebersecken.  Both semi finals were show stoppers with the large crowd venting their support for their respective teams.  Gaztedi took 4.29 and 4.21 to dispose of Mosnang.  Bancran looked in good form and in the first end gave nothing away fighting for over 8 minutes against the Swiss team, only to be defeated in 8.23 minutes.  The second end was a different kettle of fish with the Swiss taking the end after a very hard tussle in 2.06 minutes.  Bancran had certainly had a hard time in the group and semi final stages against some very hard opposition.  That wasn’t to be the end of it with them having to pull off for the Bronze medal against Mosnang who had also topped their group.  The first end took 3.57 minutes before Mosnang had dragged the Bancran team over the line.  The second end was a similar affair with Mosnang again beating the Sperrin men in2.16.

Bancran and Derryogue had shown their metal throughout the competition both of whom fought hard in their groups only to be denied a medal in the finals after some hard fought encounters.

The final of the day was called for corner A where all of the team supporters and teams who had gone out of the competition had gathered.  Gaztedi, who had been beaten by Bancran in the round robin were to meet Ebersecken from Switzerland.  The first end was 8.26 being taken by Gaztedi whilst the second was 5.14 taken by Eibersecken and the third end 4.54 taken by the Gold medal winners Gaztedi.

Competition at this weight was fierce with no poor teams and a standard of pulling commented upon as being one of the best competitions seen at European or World level.  Congratulations once again to Bancran for their excellent finish in 4th place and to Derryogue for their fifth place finish in their group.

Fridays events

640kgs – 41 teams had entered this event and the competition was broken down into seven groups of five and one group of six.  Garvagh took up the cudgel close on the weight and were against teams from Gaztedi, Sandhurst, Streefkerk and SINS.  Bancran, not content with taking a day off also entered a team and they too came up against team from Oxney Vines Cross, Lakehill, Gonten and TTV Eibergen.

In Bancrans group they managed to take two ends, one from Gonten in 3.38 minutes and one from TTV Eibergen in 1.40minutes.  Garvagh faired in a similar fashion taking just two ends, one from SINS in 1.39 and one from Sandhurst in 3.34 minutes.  Unfortunately this finished the days pulling for both teams as they failed to get through to the last 16.

The last four in this competition were Boley, Valliatrekkers, Engelberg and Eibergen.  Boley were set to meet Engelberg whilst Valliatrekkers would meet TTV Eibergen.  The major tussle at this stage of the semi finals was between Boley and Engleberg which took the Swiss team 4.21 and 1.51 to finish the Boley Boys off.  The second semi was over much quicker with the longest of the two pull lasting .43 seconds.

Boley and Valliatrekkers met in the Bronze final with Boley taking both ends in 2.57 and 3.01 minutes.

Engelberg and Eibergen was a longer affair with Engelberg coming out in Gold place after pulls lasting 4.31 and 1.18 minutes


Competition has got harder and all of our teams performed as well as could be expected against some exceptionally hard and difficult teams.  Congratulations to all of them on their achievements.

560 CLOSED Championships

Derryogue were our representative team in this weight class and were up against some exceptional teams from across Europe.  9 teams in total were entered and the pulling was scheduled for one group making for an excellent event.  NI came up against the Swiss team in the first end holding out for 1.33 and 1.39 minutes before the Swiss took them over the line.  The team from England had a mighty reputation and so it proved in our next foray with England taking both ends in 1.01 and 1.43 minutes.

Just getting warmed up the Swedish were next and in the first end the local boys put on a good show, holding onto their opponents for 2.35 minutes before being taken over the line  The second end was a much shorter affair and lasted for 1.12 minutes allowing Sweden the three points.  Last year’s winners of this event, Netherlands were next and they managed to deal with our team in 1.55 and 1.07 minutes.  Belgium would have been regarded in the past as one of the teams that we could have beaten easily but they have changed dramatically and are very strong taking the two ends required from us in 1.49 and 1.24 minutes. 

Ireland rivals, in the form of Killylough came up next and following earlier encounters this year confidence was good.  Unfortunately they were the stronger on the day and once again we lost both ends and the points.  There were two teams left to meet from Wales and Italy and it was necessary for our lads to get some points on the scorecard.  Wales were very strong and improving all the time.  They had drawn with Belgium and had already beaten Italy in previous ends.  The first end proved to be a long affair with our boys taking the first pull in 2.17 minutes.  The second end lasted 1.07 minutes and our first points went up on the board.  Italy, an ever improving team were the last team on the list and it was necessary for our team to show what they were made of.  They never faltered in their task and took both ends in around 1 minute.  Another three points on the scoreboard.

The top four teams in the event were England in first place with Sweden second, Switzerland in third and Ireland in fourth.  One and four were in one semi final whilst the battle for the second semi final place was between Sweden and Switzerland.  In the first semi between England and Ireland, the host team defeated Ireland in .28 seconds.  The second end was a tougher affair but dealt with in a time of 2.34 minutes by a very confident England team.  In the other semi Sweden and Switzerland had a right good go at one another and the first end ran out in 4.06 minutes in favour of the team from Sweden.  In the second end they took 2.06 minutes to take their place in the final against England.

Bronze pull off was the next event on the field between Ireland and Switzerland.  In the first end nothing was given by either team in the early stages with both being able to counter one another at each attack.  This lasted for some time and eventually ran out to the team from Switzerland in a time of 4.06 minutes.  In the second end, tiredness showed and Switzerland took the bronze medal in a time of 1.57 minutes.

In the final between two very good teams from England and Sweden there was a stage of stalemate for a short time before England began to dominate the proceedings, putting on a display of sheer power to take the first end in 4.10minutes.  The teams changed ends and got down to business again and in this end England powered their way to Gold medal position in 1.26minutes.

Northern Ireland finished in seventh place out of nine countries after meeting some exceptional teams from across the continent.

640 CLOSED Championships

There were eleven entries in this weight category and we were represented by the team from Garvagh.  All of the team were well up on the weight limits and this was to be run in one straight competition with 55 ends of tug of war.  NI were one of the first teams out onto the rope meeting one of our nearest rivals from Wales.  This was a tense affair with the first end going over the line in .47 seconds and the second in 1.22 minutes giving each team a point apiece.  Switzerland were next up and proved to be too strong for the local boys taking both end and the three points.  Italy have been improving over the years and once again proved to be stiff opposition holding on for 1.06 and 2.00 minutes before being beaten by NI and our boys gaining a valuable  points.  England took all three points in quick succession leaving our boys empty handed once again.

In the past we have beaten Scotland but on this occasion they turned the tables on us and took all three points in 1.52 and 1.34 minutes.  As previously we would have held our own against the Belgium teams but they have improved over the past couple of years and once again proved to be too strong, taking all three points.

The two ends between Ireland and NI were good ends with the first going in 1.00 minute.  The second end was a much tighter affair and it took 2.42 for our near neighbours to take the three points.  In the ends against Germany and Netherlands we were well beaten with the longest pull lasting .31 seconds and all six points going to the opposition.

Sweden and Northern Ireland proved to be good end with the first pull lasting 2.47 and each team receiving two cautions each.  The second end was over in .39seconds.

Onto the top four teams and the semi finals where Switzerland qualified after losing just one pull.  Netherlands were close behind in second place with England in third and Sweden in fourth place.

Switzerland defeated Sweden by two straight ends in 1.25 and .48 minutes to take their place in the final alongside Netherlands, who managed to dispose of the strong team from England in 2.04 and .57 minutes.  The bronze pull of between Sweden and England went to England in 1.55 and 1.36 minutes.

In the final the first end was once again a mighty tussle between two very good teams.  It was 4.40 minute before Switzerland took the first end.  In the second end for the gold medal, tiredness set in and this was won in a time of 1.29minutes by Switzerland.

9th place out of eleven teams was to be our lot and again just ahead of Wales and Italy as in the 560 event. 


Written by:  - 26 Sep, 2011