The David Atkinson Master Class at Dalston

DAVID Atkinson put on a master class of wrestling to win the 13st World Championship at Dalston Show, once he got going.

His first bouts did not augur well for him as Alan Walton put him on his back with a back-heel just as he went to hipe. A cagey, dour second hold had to be stopped and restarted after the wrestlers paid a visit to the crowd. Then he woke up. He hiped Walton twice even though Walton knew what to expect and strove hard to keep ahead of the attack. His next opponent was the highly rated Scot, John Taylor of Yoker who won the 13 stones at Grasmere last year. Caution is not a concept known to the young Scot, so the action was instant, violent and skilful with Atkinson surviving attacks and countering decisively. For the first fall he threw Taylor forward off the hank. The second fall was as good as anything you are likely to see in a wrestling ring. Taylor catapulted Atkinson high into the air on a left leg inside hipe but failed to turn him. Instead, Atkinson dropped to his feet and went for the full buttock. He was perilously near to overloading himself with Taylor up near his neck rather than over his lower back, but the old rule of wrestling came into play that if you pull a man's head into the right position the rest of him is likely to follow. Taylor's feet disappeared briefly in some low cloud before completing a wide arc onto the long grass of the showfield. That fall took Atkinson to the final where he had to contend with a completely different style of wrestling.

Alan Jones was intent on denying Atkinson any hold to work from and this resulted in two untidy bouts with each wrestler having a minimum of hold somewhere around the ears and the result was more like Judo than backhold wrestling. Atkinson, however, found the mental and physical toughness and the speed of thought to win the day felling Jones twice with the buttock. David Atkinson has already held the 11st and 15st titles and is proving to be an excellent coach, too. In the Autumn he goes to university in Newcastle, and already there is talk of training sessions in the North East this winter. John Harrington has one of the coolest wrestling heads around, but even he can be riled sometimes.

At Dalston he thought that he had won the Under 18 Years final against David Barnes with a leg-up buttock, but it was adjudged a dog-fall. He puts everything into his wrestling anyway, but the next fall had some extra zip and adrenalin as he took all the hold and lifted an opponent three stones heavier than him high in the air before twisting down.

At the Lakeland Country Fair at Torver the following day the adrenalin must still have been working for he won no fewer than four wrestling categories. Oh, and he won the costume prize as well.


Dalston Show

Under 12 Years: 1, D Ewart; 2, L Ross; 3, R Harrison;

Under 15 Years 1 , C Lowry; 2, A Quinn; 3, W Noimai;

Under 18 Years 1, John Harrington; 2, D Barnes; 3, R Fox;

11st 1, A Carlile; 2, John Harrington; 3, R Fox.

13st World Championship 1, D Atkinson; 2, A Jones; 3, John Harrington;

All Weights 1, R Housby; 2, S Robson; 3, John Harrington


Under 12 Years: 1, D Ewart; 2 J Aikrigg; 3, J Harris;

Under 15 Years: 1, G Brocklebank; 2, E Fox; 3, M Harrington;

Under 18 Years: 1, John Harrington; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, E Fox;

11st 1, John Harrington; 2, J Park; 3, G Brocklebank.

13st: 1, John Harrington; 2, J Park; 3, Joe Harrington;

All Weights 1, John Harrington; 2, T Brocklebank; 3, W Fleming


21st August (Sat) 1pm Allendale U14, U16, 11, 13, AW also 4pm Skelton U13, U16, U18, 11, 13, AW

Sunday 22nd, Grasmere Boys U12, U15, U18. Girls U15, U18. Men 11, 12, 13, 14, AW. Women: 10, AW (£2033 prizemoney including £530 for female wrestling and £113 costume prizes)

Wednesday 25th, 2pm, Ennerdale U12, U15, U18, 12, AW

Saturday 28th, Newcastleton

3.30pm Bellingham U12, U16, Nov, 12, 14, AW (335) and Millom & Broughton

Monday 30th, Silloth (U15yrs Champ), Keswick (11st Champ) also Muncaster

Thursday September 2nd, Grayrigg

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (May 4th 2011)

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