The wrestling ring.........

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was hard as rock; the air was perishingly cold; but the action in the ring transcended the conditions at the North Cumbria Young Farmers Club Field Day at The Howes, Calthwaite.

The usual subjects were there, wrestling with assured skill to win precious points for their clubs: Richard Dixon (Wigton) won the 11½st class, buttocking and hanking; and two of wrestling's best, John Harrington (Caldbeck) and Richard Fox (Longtown), needed three exciting bouts before Harrington came out on top.

But, the Field Day is also a place for excellence from unknown sources. Michael Norman (Carlisle) only wrestles at the Field Day, and he missed last year's event, but his 11½st semi-final bouts stick in the mind as the sort of intense violent action that can be switched on and off in the best of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. James Mattinson (Brampton) won the lightweights from a big field with instinctive skill. Fiona Reid (Brampton) seemed to be up against it in the Women's 11st, meeting significantly heavier opposition and suffering a jarred shoulder in the semi-final, but always getting the last twist to come out on top.

And, Katie Wigham (Kirklinton) straight from the final of the Women's Arm Wrestling, attacked the opposition with gusto. She lost a few falls, but persevered with her attacking style, and some burgeoning skill to win the Women's All Weights. It's rougher than rugby says she.

The season is poised to start in earnest in the coming weeks with four events in the next fortnight, including the 12st Championship at Morpeth Gala.

Results:

North Cumbria YFC Field Day

9½st : 1, J Mattinson (Brampton); 2, W Cartmell (Penrith); 3, S Wood (Drigg).

11½st : 1, R Dixon (Wigton); 2, M Norman (Carlisle); 3, John Harrington (Caldbeck).

All Weights : 1, John Harrington (Cadbeck); 2, R Fox (Longtown); 3, K Fox (Walton).

Women's 11st :1, F Reid (Brampton); 2, J Armstrong (Longtown); 3, S Ritson (Aspatria).

Women's All Weights :1, K Wigham (Kirklinton); 2, C Steele (Drigg); 3, L Atkinson (Aspatria)

Forthcoming Dates:

May 29th (Mon) Northumberland Show, Corbridge

June 1st (Thu) Killington Sports

June 10th (Sat) Roman Wall Show

June 11th (Sun) Morpeth, including the 12st World Championship.

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (February 10th 2011)

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