Ullswater Country Fair, Patterdale.........

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.........wrestling conditions don’t get much better than this with the naturally formed ring of spectators on the springy outfield of the local cricket pitch, all encircled by mountains and trees … then it rained. But the wrestling continued to shine, with a series of close bouts.

Shaky start for under 12s

The wrestling had a shaky start when only two boys entered the Under 12 Years and Ben Keyworth felled Haydon Barnes. After that entries improved and the crowd was well entertained for more than an hour. The final of the Under 15 Years proved to be one of the best wrestling feats of the year so far, with Craig Ridley of Slaggyford felling the significantly heavier Scott Brocklebank from Kendal Academy. Brocklebank is a heavy, powerful youth, and he is also a good and experienced wrestler not easily taken unawares, but he was well caught by a cross-buttock from Ridley for the first fall.

Their second hold went along more predictable lines with Brocklebank going for hold, then flicking Ridley sideways and down. The decider was on a knife-edge for some time as Brocklebank once more gained all the hold. This time Ridley stuck in a hank and Brocklebank struggled to shake it out. Often such a hank is merely a defensive ploy designed to keep the hanker in the bout, but Ridley has shown already this season that he can use the hank as an exciting attacking chip. Eventually, Brocklebank bore down on him, and as they fell together Ridley popped out from underneath by straightening the hanking leg to pull himself on top.

Two more finals  for under 18 winner

Graham Brocklebank then showed what a good champion he is by sailing through the Under 18s, even though there were good wrestlers in the entry. In the final he inside-hiped Jack Lashley of Milnthorpe Academy, and then in the second hold twisted him back. Brocklebank’s day was far from finished, for he contested two more finals going down to John Harrington in the 13 stones and to big brother Thomas in the All Weights.

John Harrington kept his recent run of good form flowing with two wins. He felled Craig Ridley, carefully, in the 11½ stones, before moving on to more testing times in the 13 stones. David Barnes once more took the first fall from him with a bout which visited five or six chips of attack and counter, played one after the other as the wrestling flowed across the ring to end in a cross-buttock. After that Harrington took the initiative on the basis that the first to lift would be the first to win, and gained two falls with outside-hipes.

Harrington now has his strategy well sorted for Graham Brocklebank who had felled him in their first bouts of the season. In the 13st final a hipe for the first fall and an inside-click for the second did the business.

That same inside-click gained a consolation middle fall for him in the All Weights against Thomas Brocklebank, but Brocklebank relied on a right-side wrench-buttock, just like his dad’s, to win the day in an early round. After that it seemed that Brocklebank was striving to lift his opponents high enough to sit them on a nearby mountain before flinging them earthwards.



Under 12 Years 1, B Keyworth; 2, H Barnes.

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

Under 18 Years 1, G Brocklebank; 2, J Lashley; 3, A Ridley.

11½st 1, John Harrington; 2, C Ridley; 3, M Fisher.

13st 1, John Harrington; 2, G Brocklebank; 3, D Barnes.

All Weights 1, T Brocklebank; 2, G Brocklebank; 3, A Fox.


July 1st (Sun)  

Langdale Gala  U12/U15/U18/12½/AW

2pm Distington, West Cumbria Vintage Club U12/U15/U18/12½/AW

July 7th (Sat) Alston Gala U12/U15/U18/Ladies/11½/13/AW

July 8th (Sun) Haltwhistle U12/U15/U18/11½/13/AW/Novice

July 11th  (Wed) Plumbland  U12/U15/U18/13/AW

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


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