NORTHERN IRELAND GET SILVER AT 600 AND BRONZE AT 680
BANCRAN WIN TWO SILVER MEDALS AT 580 AND 640 IN THE CLUBS EVENT AGAINST NORTON.
2012 UK OUTDOOR TUG OF WAR CHAMPIONSHIPS –
HOSTED BY THE WELSH TUG OF WAR ASSOCIATION
Llandrindod Wells Rugby Club, Cefnllys Lane, Llandrindod Wells, Wales
SATURDAY 11TH AUGUST - UK (CLOSED) CHAMPIONSHIP –
Men 600 (incorporating under 23 teams) and 680,
Ladies 520 and 560,
Mixed 600 4+4
SUNDAY 12th AUGUST - UK Open Club Championships –
Mens 580, 640 and 700,
Ladies 520 and 560,
Mixed 600 4+4
Three teams from Northern Ireland travelled to Llandrindrod Wells in the beautiful Brecon Beacons for the United Kingdom outdoor Championships. The NI Championship teams from Derryogue (580Kgs) and Bancran (600Kgs) were weighed in for the 600 event which posted 9 teams in the championship, two from each of the home four nations plus the U23 team from England. Leos Boys also travelled and took their position in a seven team event in the 680kgs with two teams coming from England, Scotland and Wales.
With 9 teams in the 600 event it was going to prove a good competition and after the round robin stages the two local teams were running in second and third place with the England A and England B teams taking the first and fourth places respectfully. NI against NI and England against England. A silver medal at least coming home.
Onto the semi final pulls and the two teams from England took to the field against one another with the England A represented by Norton coming out on top going forward to the final having beaten Sandhurst. In the second semi the two local rivals once again gave nothing away and had a proper go against one another with the Bancran team just easing past their Derryogue rivals. A great contest and show of good tug of war.
The bronze pull off came next on the list and Sandhurst representing England were destined to take on the Mourne men from Derryogue. This proved to be a tight affair with both teams pulling with good pressure, unfortunately ending with the local lads being blown out. The second end was also a close affair but once again the Sandhurst team took the honours.
In the final England represented by Norton and Northern Ireland represented by the men from the Sperrins, Bancran, settled in well against one another holding for over 2.5 minutes before Norton were able to apply more pressure and take the first end. In the second end it was once again much of the same with England taking the Gold medal and Bancran the Silver.
In the 680 event Leos Boys were strengthened by pullers from Derryogue and Bancran. Following on from the round robin the England team came out with full points with Wales close behind on 15 points and the England B team running alongside N Ireland on 10 points. Following on from the count back the N Ireland team were placed in fourth due to the number of cautions gained.
Into the semi finals and the N Ireland team were destined to meet England A (Felton Eccles). This turned out to be very one sided affair with England A winning both ends with some ease.
The second semi final was a much closer affair with the Wales A team defeating England B to go through to the final. Prior to the final, the bronze event took to the field with neither team wanting or expecting anything to be soft. In the first end there was little movement for some time but the hard work put in by the N I team proved effective taking the pull in just over two minutes. In the second end the team from England gave it a go from the start but again through the determination of the N I team, they persevered and eventually took a deserved bronze medal.
With the bronze pull off out of the way it was then down to the pull for the Gold and Silver medals. The Welsh team were determined and from the start had a determined go at winning the gold. Craft, fitness, technique etc on the part of England A proved too much and they eventually took the pull by two ends to nil.
Great result from all our teams.
SUNDAY 580 AND 640KGS -
Two of the Northern Ireland teams, Derryogue and Bancran entered the fray of the 580kg open club competition making up the totals of eleven teams in the event alongside other teams from England, Scotland and Wales. This proved to be a good competition with Norton once again to the fore alongside Oxney Vines Crtoss, Sandhurst and Bancran in the top four.
Following on from the semi finals, Norton were destined to meet Bancran in the Gold medal pull off whilst Oxney and Sandhurst would pull off for the bronze. In the bronze pull off Oxney defeated Sandhurst taking the third place. Norton and Bancran challenged one another again and despite hard and determined pulling by both teams it was the domination of the Norton team that won the day.
Another well won silver medal for the Bancran team.
Onto the afternoon event and the 640kg teams again numbered 11, only this time the only representative team was Bancran from Northern Ireland. Down to the round robin and once again the Bancran lads were sandwiched amongst the England teams of Oxney Vines Cross, Felton Eccles and Norton.
Semi finals over and the bronze pull off was between Felton Eccles and Oxney Vines Cross with Felton coming out on top and taking the bronze medal. Now it was down to the final between Norton and Bancran and this was the one to watch closely. In the first end neither side gave very much away until after over five minutes the Bancran team took the first end.
Tails were up and after the turn around both teams once again got down to business of another long end. Fouls were spotted by the centre judge and this time both teams were placed on two cautions apiece before the Bancran lads were blown out. One end each. The coaches were called to the middle with the Norton coach winning the toss and deciding to remain in the same end.
This end proved to be a much shorter event with Norton running out as winners in what was a classic final.
Another silver medal for the Bancran boys.
A great weekend at both the closed and open events.
Having had time to speak with a number of pullers and coaches, they were greatly impressed by the set up for the UK Championships. The organisation and facilities along side the venue have had great reviews and our congratulations goes to the team from the Welsh Tug of War Association on the production of a great Championships. Well done to everyone in Wales.