For many years ......................

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mature, masterful wrestlers such as Tom Harrington, Alan Jones, Alan Walton and Alf Harrington dominated Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling.

While we may bemoan the lack of numbers of senior wrestlers at present, the sport is by no means in the doldrums for there is a new wave of young wrestlers filling the vacuum.

At Eskdale Show there was probably one wrestler over the age of 21 yet there was excellent sport for an hour and a half.

The competitors in the main were not far-travelled wrestlers, but they were not just coming out of the crowd for a laugh.

The Academy at Waberthwaite has produced young wrestlers scarcely known in other areas, but full of skill and action. The 10½ stones was where the local lads flourished most and was won by Ashley Killip in a final with Josh Graves.

Two regular wrestlers, however, were ahead of the local field. Scott Brocklebank is a big lad for twelve, but he does not just rely on power.

Week by week his technique improves so that he was a stylish winner in the Under 15s and the Under 18s. Previously he would rely on hold and twists; now he is hiping for clean falls. His hardest bouts came against Jack Ewart in the semi-final of the Under 18s when Ewart took the first fall with a cross-click. Brocklebank struck back with a rush off the right hip to set up a tense decider.

Once more Ewart turned in and tried to buttock but Brocklebank weathered the storm. Ewart then went for the cross-click which had worked for him in a similar position in their first hold, but Brocklebank had obviously been making notes for he stepped smartly over the chip and twisted Ewart down to the grass.

John Harrington has been winning prolifically in the second half of the season, and he continued doing so at Eskdale. Magisterial is not a word worn out by over-use, but that was what came to mind when I reflected on Harrington's performance for he was the Master Artist, the man who set the standards.

Even when he unexpectedly lost a fall to Egremont schoolteacher, Alex Price in the All Weights semi-final, you just knew that he would turn the heat up a bit in the next hold and so he did.

The first prize for keenness had to go to Jack Brown and his father, Joe, who travelled all the way to Eskdale from Haydon Bridge in Northumberland. They knew when they set out that there was no Under 12's for Jack, but they set out anyway. Sadly they turned off one valley too soon and found themselves in Wasdale, so they were late even for the Under 15's and thus his first bout of the day was with a large lad in the Under 18's. Although vastly over-weighted Brown used all his considerable skills to take an excellent middle fall before being obliterated in the decider.

The final arrangements are coming together for the European Espoirs Championships to be held at Lime House School in the last week of October.

Teams are expected from Brittany, Leon in Northern Spain, Scotland, Austria, The Netherlands and our own English team. Andrew Carlile and David Atkinson are coaching an excellent home team with a real chanceof winning the trophy.

At the end of that momentous week, on Friday 27th October, a special Centenary Dinner for the Wrestling Association will be held at the Shepherds Inn, Rosehill, Carlisle. Anyone wanting tickets should contact Alf Harrington or myself (016974 73559)

Carlisle Wrestling Club will be in action soon. The academy's Annual General Meeting will be held tonight at Currock House, Carlisle. (8pm). Anyone with an interest in our traditional wrestling style is invited to attend.

Results:

Eskdale Show

Under 15 Years: 1, S Brocklebank; 2, S Denwood; 3, T Jennings.

Under 18 Years: 1, S Brocklebank; 2, A Killip; 3, J Ewart.

10½st: 1, A Killip; 2, J Graves; 3, C Naylor.

12st: 1, John Harrington; 2, C Naylor; 3, R Benn.

All Weights: 1, John Harrington; 2, P Wake; 3, A Price.

Dates:

Oct 6th (Fri) 8 pm Carlisle Wrestling Club AGM, Currock House

Oct 7 (Sat) 2pm Yetholm U9/U13/U16/U18/11½/14½/AW

Oct 14 (Sat) 2pmAlwinton ShowU10/U13/U15/U21/11½/14/AW

4pm Wasdale HeadU11/U12/U13/U15/U18/10½/12/AW

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (October 5th 2006)

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