Young Benson on high after double success at Patterdale

PATTERDALE had its share of low flying when the Parachute Regiment dropped onto the cricket pitch, a Hercules transport plane trundled by just above our heads before turning right for Pooley Bridge, and a yellow helicopter bared its belly as it passed low over the wrestling ring where Graeme Benson of Langdale was flying higher than ever before by winning both the Under 15 and Under 18 years wrestling.

He is a big lad – a rugby player at Kendal – so his win against Sam Wilkinson was not unexpected, even though he lost the first when a knee touched before he completed the throw.

But his win in the older age group against the skilful and equally big Joe Harrington was a surprise.

Harrington struck first with a twist over the knee, but Benson struck back with two decisive chips: firstly, a throw borrowed from freestyle wrestling – the salto – where he fell back and threw his opponent over his right shoulder.

Then for the decider he went for a back-heel which chopped Harrington's leg out.

Another high-flyer was David Atkinson who won both at 13st and All Weights. The double champion was on his best form, though pushed hard by Andrew Carlile, David Barnes and John Harrington.

In the final of the 13st he had to depart from his usual pattern and mix it with David Barnes of Dearham. My notes for the final fall say 'heads back.' The All Weights final with Andrew Carlile was simpler: 'inside hipe....ditto'. What that meant was that Atkinson went for his trademark favourite chip, his version of an inside hipe which is akin to a right-leg cross-buttock executed in mid air, twice.

John Harrington had a tasty victory in the 11½ stones when he jumped ahead of Andrew Carlile's swinging hipes, landed and then twisted to win. And right at the beginning, Jack Ewart once more showed that he is the lad to beat at Under 12 Years.

The coming weekend has two new venues – Alston Gala and the West Cumbria Vintage Club at Distington. A long established meeting at Chapel Stile, Langdale, has asked wrestlers to wear the traditional strip if possible.


Patterdale Country Fair

Under 12 Years: 1, J Ewart; 2, J Brown; 3, S Lashley.

Under 15 Years: 1, G Benson; 2, S Wilkinson; 3, D Parsons.

Under 18 Years: 1, G Benson; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, S Wilkinson.

11½st: 1, John Harrington; 2, A Carlile; 3, G Benson.

13st: 1, D Atkinson; 2, D Barnes; 3, Joe Harrington.

All Weights: 1, D Atkinson; 2, A Carlile; 3, John Harrington


Tomorrow: 3pm Alston Gala U12/U15/U18/111/2/13/AW

Sunday: 1.30pm West Cumbria Vintage Club, Distington U15/U18/121/2/AW; 2pm Langdale Gala (traditional strip requested)

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

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