Eden Valley Vintage Rally

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David Atkinson and Joe Thompson Andrew Carlile and Watchai Nomai Richard Dixon and Chris Potts Richard Dixon - Wigton YFC

Watchai Noimai wrestles in a vest with both the English and the Thai flags on his back. On Sunday at Dalemain, amongst the shining tractors and vintage cars of the Eden Valley Vintage Rally, he was given a Cumberland accolade by a spectator: What a lish lad thon is. After some years of training at Carlisle Wrestling Club, Noimai knows his hanks from his hipes, but in winning the Under 18 Years, he went for basics: survival twists which turned certain defeat into improbable victory. As he was swung or pushed into the ground, he would somehow emerge at the other side without touching down. His Houdini style only ended, when in the senior wrestling he met one of the Carlisle coaches, Andrew Carlile. Carlile has made a perfect start to the season, hiping when he has to, but mainly winning with neat twists and turns which are the hallmarks of wrestling efficiency and experience. His Main Challenge came in the All Weights when his friend and rival of many years, David Atkinson, put in a holiday appearance up North from his work in Bristol. Atkinson reminded the crowd of his wrestling pedigree when he so neatly hiped and crossed Joe Thompson in mid-air. The final was close, but it was appropriate that the wrestler who has trained all winter was jut too sharp for the holiday maker. As usual, the wrestling at the North Cumbria YFC Field Day, this year held near Gosforth, was a wonderful mixture of innocence and experience. The innocents are the fall guys volunteered by others so that a point for entering can be added to the club's total; the experienced are those who have spent many years training and competing at home and abroad. Paul Murray representing Greysouthern showed how to neutralise bigger and stronger lads with his well honed skills. Richard Dixon of Wigton and John Harrington of Caldbeckcut a swathe through the 11 ½ st men before Harrington won a close final; and Joe Lowery of Drigg and Richard Fox of Longtown did the same in the All Weights. There is, however, a third category of YFC wrestler lying between naivety and professionalism: naturally strong and athletic individuals whose main wrestling experience is their annual participation in the Field Day. This is especially so in the women's sections where Katie Wigham of Kirklinton felled a real battler Mica Graham of Carlisle in the All Weights. In the 10 stones Ellyn Groat of Egremont fought the toughest of campaigns before she felled Fiona Reed of Brampton in the final. Reed last year, in the dialect competition, wrote about bin med t' diu Cummelan' wrustlin'. This is her last year of YFC competition and she can look back with pride on her career limited though it has been to an annual outing at the Field Day.


Eden Valley Vintage Rally, Dalemain
Under 12 Years 1, A Dent; 2, D Roberts; 3, S Wilson. Under 15 Years 1, J Thompson; 2, M Fisher; 3, A Dent. Under 18 Years 1, W Noimai; 2, P Murray; 3, J Thompson. Women 1, L Murray; 2, S Bendle; 3, J Bendle. 12 ½ st 1, A Carlile; 2, J Thompson; 3, M Fisher. All Weights 1, A Carlile; 2, D Atkinson; 3, J Thompson.


Saturday, May 17 th 2pm, Sedbergh Gala, U12/U15/U18/12½/AW

Monday, May 26 th 1.30pm, Northumberland County Show, Corbridge. U12/U15/U19/11½/13½/AW

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

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