Ulster Championships bring season to a close – almost

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Closkelt's George Crooks, Colin McLean and Syd Moore at Newcastle on Saturday.
Closkelt’s George Crooks, Colin McLean and Syd Moore at Newcastle on Saturday.

The Ulster Championships took place on Saturday (24th) at Donard Park in Newcastle, County Down, writes our correspondent.

This was the second time in five years the town had hosted the event. With good weather conditions and some fine performances from the bands, visitors to the seaside venue had a great day out.

There were no real surprises with the results. The Grade 1 champions for 2019 are PSNI with Closkelt taking Grade 2. It certainly has been a good year for the County Down band with firsts at the British Championships in Paisley, Enniskillen, the Belfast Championships, the UK Championships, Antrim and the Scottish Championships at Dumbarton. The band is Grade 2 Champion of Champions for 2019.

On the subject of Champion of Champions, it’s certainly been another good year for the branch. The Grade 3A Champion of Champions went to St. Mary’s Pipe Band, Derrytrasna and Ravara’s drum corps took the Grade 2 Champion of Champions Drum Corps. When one adds Emma Barr of Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band into the equation – she is the Adult Drum Major Champion of Champions – this means that four 2019 Champion of Champions titles are in Ulster.

Further down the grades, it was interesting to note that McNeillstown had a good run in this its first year in Grade 3B after being upgraded last year from Grade 4A. It placed second on Saturday, a great achievement. Likewise, Gransha was in the prizes in Grade 4A in its first year in the grade after promotion last year from 4B.

RESULTS:

Grade 1 – (MSR) – 1. Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Judges: Colin Moffett, John McCarlie (piping), Ian Lawson (drumming) and Nat Russell (ensemble).

Grade 1 – (Medley) – 1. Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Judges: Mark Faloon and Alan Ronaldson (piping), Adrian Hoy (drumming) and Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble).

Grade 1 – (Final) – 1. Police Service of Northern Ireland

Grade 2 (MSR) – 1. Closkelt; 2. Ravara.
Judges: Colin Moffett, John McCarlie (piping), Ian Lawson (drumming) and Nat Russell (e ensemble).

Grade 3A (Medley) – 1. Clogher & District; 2. St. Mary’s Derrytrasna; 3. Battlehill; 4. Upper Crossgare; 5. Quinn Memorial; 6. Matt Boyd Memorial.
Judges: Colin Moffett, John McCarlie (piping), Ian Lawson (drumming) and Nat Russell (ensemble).

Grade 3B – 1. Tullylagan (ensemble preference); 2. McNeillstown; 3. Major Sinclair Memorial; 4. Cleland Memorial.
Judges: Mark Faloon and Alan Ronaldson (piping), Adrian Hoy (drumming) and Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble).

Grade 4A (MSR) – 1. Cullybackey; 2. Gransha; 3. Kildoag; 4. McDonald Memorial; 5. Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 6. Augharan.
Judges: Colin Moffett, John McCarlie (piping), Ian Lawson (drumming) and Nat Russell (e ensemble).

Grade 4B (March) – 1. Broughshane & District (ensemble preference); 2. William Kerr Memorial (ensemble preference); 3. Mountjoy; 4. Altnaveigh Memorial; 5. Syerla & District; 6. Joseph Forde Memorial.
Judges: Mark Faloon and Alan Ronaldson (piping), Adrian Hoy (drumming) and Ciaran Mordaunt (ensemble).

It’s been another great season and it’s not over yet. A few of our bands will be going to Cowal this Saturday but for most of us we now have the All Ireland Solo Piping And Drumming Championships next. This takes place on Saturday, September 21 at the National School in Lusk, Co. Dublin.