Harringtons on top

Last year, Loweswater Show was flattened by a storm that blew the cattle tent away. This year it merely rained all day.

Despite the conditions, a surprising number of people stayed to watch and compete. The highlight of the boys’ wrestling was Paul Murray’s win in the Under 12 Years, followed by a spirited performance in the Under 15 Years, when he made life difficult for some much bigger lads.

Then John Harrington took over, coping neatly with some strong local wrestlers to win the 12½ stones. In the All Weights he finally met his match in David Barnes of Dearham. Each wrestler struck successfully with a perfectly executed outside-hipe to set up the decider.

Barnes had all the hold but could not finish Harrington off going forwards, so he change direction in an instant and turned him back onto the sodden grass.

Egremont Crab Fair attracted few regular wrestlers, but those who did travel had to pick their way through a good entry of locals.

Quality and training came to the fore in the boys’ categories, with Carlisle Wrestling Club members, Paul Murray, and brothers Michael and Joe Harrington leading the way.

Paul Murray won because he could back-heel bigger lads. Michael Harrington used the hank to bamboozle the opposition. And Joe Harrington just sailed through everything, unchecked.

Then it was over to cousin John who won everything else. His biggest challenge came in the semi-final of the All Weights when he met heavyweight Carl Clark who can fell anyone on his day.

A skilful lightweight’s best ploy against a heavier man is the hank which often comes into effect at the last moment when the heavier man thinks the fall is already won, and that is what John Harrington used to great effect.

Bruce Haines who helped to set up the The Folk Archive Exhibition which is touring the country competed in the wrestling.

Gurning and wrestling are central to the 738-year- old Crab Fair and are reflected in the exhibition which comes to Manchester in July 2006.

The pick of the week’s wrestling took place at Borrowdale Show which drew wrestlers from the whole region.

In the Under 18 Years the Champion, Richard Dixon, had to pull out all the stops against Graham Brocklebank of Warton, culminating in a full buttock for the decider.

In the 11½ stones Brocklebank regrouped and felled Dixon, but could not make anything of John Harrington in the final.

The final of the All Weights was a fitting climax to an exciting programme of wrestling. Thomas Brocklebank has been making a habit of winning heavyweight events recently and he was not to be denied at Borrowdale.

Fox did bring him over the top with a spectacular buttock to set up a tense decider.


Loweswater Show

Under-12 Years: 1, P Murray; 2, D Kilby.

U-15:1, W Nixon; 2, P Murray; 3, I Todd.

Girls: 1, M Clark; 2, E Todd; 3, M Todd.

12½st: 1, John Harrington; 2, C Harrison; 3, G Kenyon.

All Weights: 1, D Barnes; 2, John Harrington; 3, E Steel.

Egremont Crab Fair

U-12: 1, P Murray; 2, R Lister; 3, F Clark.

U-15:1, M Harrington; 2, S Rice; 3, M Lister.

U-18:1, Joe Harrington; 2, M Wilson; 3, S Rice.

11½st: 1, John Harrington; 2, M Harrington;3, S Rice.

13st: 1, John Harrington; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, A Sullivan.

All Weights: 1, John Harrington; 2, Joe Harrington; 3, C Clark.

Guinness Trophy: John Harrington.

Borrowdale Show

U-12: 1, D Ewart; 2, J Brown; 3, P Murray.

U-15: 1, W Noimai; 2, J Ewart; 3, B Brocklebank.

U-18: 1, R Dixon; 2, G Brocklebank; 3, J Ewart.

11½st: 1, John Harrington; 2, G Brocklebank; 3, R Dixon.

13st: 1, John Harrington; 2, R Fox; 3, Joe Harrington.

All Weights: 1, T Brocklebank; 2, R Fox; 3, Joe Harrington.

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

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