'Merci beaucoups, mes amis'

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Eight Breton wrestlers, including a girl called Fred, have lit up the wrestling events over the busiest week-end of our season. All of them are excellent wrestlers in our style which is quite different to Gouren, their own jacket style of wrestling, and two of them, Tudy Le Meur and Mathieu Le Dour produced moments of brilliance which verged on the impossible.

Le Dour in the final of the All Weights at Bellingham particularly seemed able to lift and twist from any position. That form continued at Grasmere, and Keswick where he also won to oohs and aahs from the crowd

Le Meur is a hanker, which means that several wrestlers thought they were winning as Le Meur fell backwards under them, only for him to disappear and swing up on top as the coiled spring that he calls a leg came into play. Once his hank is wrapped round an opponent's leg it is nearly impossible to remove, and when he sees his chance the chip is immediately in play.

Not only did the Bretons have great success over the week-end, but they also made our wrestlers raise their game. The common wisdom at Grasmere was that you must not play a waiting game with the Bretons, but go for your chips early and at full throttle. Andrew Carlile did just that and put in one of the finest displays of attacking wrestling you could hope to see. His method was to hipe, hipe and hipe again, and the result was two wins at Grasmere and the Guinness Cup for the best performance in six hours of dynamic wrestling. A thousand spectators encircled the ring on the tiered seating, and behind that they stood ten deep, all engrossed in the action.

Carlile's success continued at Silloth, where he won twice, and at Keswick where he won the lightweights but was felled by Le Dour in the final of the 13 stones. One of his hipes at Keswick was so enthusiastic that he not only launched his opponent into the air, but he also became airborne.

David Atkinson also knew how to deal with the Breton threat. He won the 13 stones at Grasmere in fine style despite being so short of competition as he returns to the ring after breaking his leg at Ambleside last year.

Rab McNamara doesn't do fancy footwork if he can help it, but he has no need for it when he is in the powerful form he showed in winning the All Weights at Grasmere, again. His well-rehearsed style shoots an opponent high into the air. For a brief moment the victim checks out the view, his legs flick sideways and the quick descent begins.

In a busy week-end my other unconnected memories are of Stuart Mason injured with a broken collar-bone (get well quickly); William Hayhurst keeping the two stars, Jack Brown and Ben Brocklebank at bay to win the Under 12s; Craig Ridley hanking opponents at Silloth and Keswick after observing how the Bretons did it; the marvellous fun at Bellingham with so many Novices giving their all; Fred (Frederique Nouvel) winning in style five times; two Grahams, Brocklebank and Benson, improving every time I see them; and that massive crowd circling the ring at Grasmere.


Holm Show, Newcastleton

Under 13 Years: 1, J Brown; 2, J Dickinson; 3, J Ovington.

Under 15 Years: 1, F Robb; 2, A Ridley; 3, L Miller.

Under 18 Years: 1, A Ord; 2, G Flaux; 3, A Brough.

12½st: 1, John Harrington; 2, G Evenou; 3, A Fox.

All Weights: J-M Menesguer; 2, T Le Meur; 3, M Le Dour.

Ladies: 1, F Nouvel; 2, M Taylor.

Bellingham Show

Under 12 Years: 1, J Brown; 2, M Irving; 3, C Davidson.

Under 16 Years: 1, W Noimai; 2, D Crane; 3, A Ridley.

Novices: 1, T Le Meur; 2, G Evenou; 3, S Hamilton.

12st: 1, T Le Meur; 2, G Evenou; 3, S Hamilton.

14st: 1, G Evenou; 2, T Le Meur; 3, A Ord.

All Weights 1, M Le Dour; 2, R Leiper; 3, R Younger.

Ladies: 1, F Nouvel; 2, R Carson; 3, F Linsell.

Millom & Broughton Show

Under 12 Years: 1, B Brocklebank; 2, W Hayhurst; 3, J Hayhurst.

Under 15 Years Local: 1, S Brocklebank; 2, B Brocklebank; 3, T Barnes.

Under 16 Years: 1, S Brocklebank; 2, W Hayhurst; 3, T Barnes.

Under 18 Years 1, G Brocklebank; 2, R Cleasby; 3, S Brocklebank.

12st: 1, G Brocklebank; 2, P Cowell; 3, S Brocklebank.

All Weights: 1, R Lowery; 2, T Brocklebank; 3, J Lowery.

Grasmere Sports

Under 12 Years: 1, W Hayhurst; 2, B Brocklebank; 3, J Brown.

Under 15 Years: 1, A Ridley; 2, C Ridley; 3, J Lashley.

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

11st: 1, A Carlile; 2, L Boucher; 3, J Pattinson;

12st: 1, A Carlile; 2, T Le Meur; 3, D Blair.

13st: 1, D Atkinson; 2, M Le Dour; 3, G Evenou.

14st 1, M Le Dour; 2, J Robson; 3, A Jones.

All Weights: 1, R McNamara; 2, J Hirsch; 3, T Brocklebank.


Under 15 Years: 1, K Brown; 2, L Jones; 3, H Hodgson.

Under 18 Years: 1, T Hodgson; 2, M Taylor; 3D Thompson.

10st: 1, F Nouvel; 2, B Ridley; 3, M Sharp.

All Weights: 1, T Hodgson; 2, D Thompson; 3, D Turley.

Silloth Carnival

Under 12 Years 1, J Brown; 2, J Johnston; 3, R Graham.

Under 15 Years 1, A Ridley; 2, C Ridley; 3, A Hird.

Under 18 Years 1, G Benson; 2, W Noimai; 3, A Ridley.

11½st 1, A Carlile; 2, G Benson; 3, P Barnes.

13st 1, A Carlile; 2, T Le Meur; 3, D Barnes.

All Weights 1, J-M Menesgou; 2, T Le Meur.

Ladies 1, F Nouvel; 2, T Hodgson; 3, D Thompson.

Keswick Show

Under 12 Years: 1, J Brown; 2, B Keeler; 3, G Reade.

Under 15 Years: 1, S Brocklebank; 2, C Ridley; 3, A Ridley.

Under 18 Years: 1, G Benson; 2, G Flaux; 3, B Farrow.

11½st: 1, A Carlile; 2, M Salaun; 3, T Strong.

13st: 1, M Le Dour; 2, A Carlile; 3, T Le Meur.

All Weights: 1, R Threlfall; 2, J-M Menesgou; 3, Z Swan

Ladies: 1, F Nouvel; 2, D Thompson; 3, H Hodgson.


Sept 1 (Fri) 7pm Rothbury Centenary Challenge Under 12 Years (£500 prize money), 13½st (£1000)

Sept 2 (Sat) 3.30 Hesket Newmarket U15/U18/12½/12½

Sept 2 (Sat) 3pm Lowick U12/U15/U18/12½/AW

Sept 2 (Sat) Harbottle

Sept 3 (Sun) 1.45pm Wolsingham U12/U15/U18/11/12/14/AW/Ladies

Sept 3 (Sun) Loweswater

Sept 7 (Thu) 3pm Grayrigg U12/U15/U18/11½/13/15/AW

Sept 10 (Sun) 12noon Stanhope U12/U15/U18/11½/13/AW

Sept 10 (Sun) 3.30pm Whitfield U12/U15/U18/12½/AW

Sept 14 (Thu) 2pm Westmorland Girls U14/Ladies/ U12/U15/ U18Centenary Challenge(£500)/ 11½CC(£1000)/ 12/13/13/ 14st Ch'ship/AW

Sept 16 (Sat) Egremont 13st Ch'ship

Sept 17 (Sun) 2pm Borrowdale U12/U15/U18/11½/13/AW

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


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