Harrington's four trophies

WRESTLERS and supporters from Lancashire, Cumbria and Northumberland gathered in Carlisle to honour the most successful wrestlers of the 2004 Grass Season.

Normally there would be six wrestlers receiving trophies at the CWWA Presentation Dinner, but this year there were only three, for the simple reason that John Harrington won four categories. At the age of seventeen he is a prodigious talent capable of felling anyone, but a main factor in this monopoly of trophies is his persistence and willingness to travel. At each level there were wrestlers who felled him more than he felled them. For example, in the 111/2st section Andrew Carlile felled him in many finals at the beginning and end of the season. At 13 stones, David Atkinson ruled the roost. And in the All Weights there were at least three wrestlers, Russell Housby, David Atkinson and Robert Leiper, who had more wins than he did.

Wins in the All Weights section were especially dispersed this year, and Russell Housby was most prolific with ten first places. John Harrington did have spectacular moments, such as when he felled Joe Threlfall at Patterdale and took a fall from Rab McNamara at Alwinton, but his surprise win of the Points Trophy for the season came from a steady accumulation of second and third places.

The Wrestling Association trophies were originally introduced to reward wrestlers who performed consistently throughout the long haul of the Grass Season from May to late October and this is exactly what they did this year. Thirty years ago, when the CWWA trophies were first introduced, big Wilf Brocklebank was a winner. This year his grandson Graham Brocklebank was the clearest winner of all in the under 15 section. Graham, who trains at Kendal Academy, was virtually unstoppable in his age group. He is no giant, but has the strength and activity level to unsettle any opponent, and the range of chips and skills to make the most of any opportunity.

The biggest surprise at the actual Dinner was the winner of the Under 12 Years trophy. Until he heard his name called out Daniel Ewart from Westward had no idea that he was a winner. He should have known, though, for he had accumulated a steady flow of wins throughout the season as a reward for his years of training at Carlisle wrestling Club

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

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