milnethorpe Academy Shield Match

Fifty wrestlers and a goodly crowd converged on Milnthorpe for the Academy Shield Match. Milnthorpe Academy's boys were reinforced by some Lancastrians. Kendal and Waberthwaite were there in force. Carlisle fielded two teams and even the Northumbrians, with their new academy at Rothbury only two weeks old, were there to compete.

The loudest academy was Waberthwaite, and their Joe Lowery enthused himself into a corner with his dynamic encouragement of anything in a pale blue t-shirt. As each Waberthwaite wrestler competed, his unbridled encouragement brought out the best in the most inexperienced of wrestlers, then, all at once, it was his turn in the final category of all, the All Weights. Facing him were Carl Clark with his head scraping the ceiling, Thomas Brocklebank with a double helping of shoulders, Darren Whitfield, the Northumbrian pele-tower, and Joe Threlfall with prodigious power and experience. What hope had la'al Joe who was small enough to have had ambitions (failed) to weigh in for the 15 stones?

Against all odds Joe Lowery went back to the basics of his wrestling success; one by one he buttocked all his massive opponents and so impressed that fine former champion, Alan Coulthard, that he awarded him the cup for the best individual performance of all in this feast of wrestling. Unfortunately for Waberthwaite, that was the peak of their achievement.

Kendal Academy had four wrestlers, Ben Brocklebank (6st), Sam Wilkinson (10st), John Wilson (14st) and Joseph Robson (15st) who were good enough to win all their bouts.

But Carlisle Wrestling Club were even better with five wrestlers unbeaten: Adam Ridley (8st), Watchai Noimai (9st), Richard Dixon (11st), Andrew Carlile (12st) and John Harrington (13st). After three sections Carlisle was in the lead and stayed there despite a late rally by Kendal. Although Carlisle Wrestling Club earned the right to engrave their name on the Academy Shield for 2005.

The chief winner was Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling in a crowded evening of excellent competition.


Academy Shield 2005 - 1. Carlisle 44; 2. Kendal 39; 3. Waberthwaite 26; 4. Milnthorpe 21; 5. Northumberland 20; 6. Carlisle 2nds 14.

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (November 16th 2005)

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