West Cumbrians' Open Night

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Richard Dixon legs-up Michael KnowlesNathan Birdsall fells Craig NaylorJason Davidson gets a good hold of Richard Dixon

Waberthwaite Village Hall is an unlikely place for a rendezvous for all five wrestling academies. There are some long and winding roads to it from Carlisle, Kendal and Milnthorpe, but surely no-one in his right mind would drive all the way from Rothbury in North Northumberland...a cheerfully mad car-load of wrestlers duly arrived from Rothbury at Waberthwaite for the West Cumbrians' Open Night and took the event by storm. There were some big lads in that car, but it was the diminutive Joe Hale who set the pace with wins in the Under 11 Years and in the 7 stones. He may be small, but he has good power/weight ratio, twists off the chest at high speed and has the temperament of a veteran.

The much larger Nathan Birdsall took over for Rothbury in winning the Under 18 Years, felling the powerful, stocky figure of William Hayhurst twice off the right side. The even bigger, and older, Jason Davidson rounded the night off by winning the All Weights.

In the heavyweights Waberthwaite had a real contender in Joe Lowery, and he showed his talents in the first round when he outside-hiped Ross Wilkinson as he tried to inside-click. Wilkinson did better in the second fall with a back-heel, but Lowery clinched it by reverting to type and winning with a buttock. Jason Davidson met Lowery in the second round and the big Northumbrian felled him in straight falls with a right side buttock and a back-heel. This set up the final with lightweight Richard Dixon, who had been the class act in the lighter weights. The first fall of the final was won by skill, not weight advantage. Davidson got Dixon circling and resisting, when with perfect timing kicked both legs from under him and left him with no visible means of support, flat on the ground. The second fall was more conventional. Davidson gained a strong hold and then twisted back over. Richard Dixon may have lost out in the All Weights final, but he had already been successful in the previous two weights. He did lose a surprise fall to local novice Kevin Hartley who caught him napping with a right side cross buttock. Apart from that, Dixon was in a class of his own, buttocking and hiping and twisting with great confidence.

Keswick's Theatre by the Lake is staging Melvyn Bragg's "Maid of Buttermere" at present, and I was delighted to be in the audience last week, for the production is a tour de force. The wrestling scene involves the character, Richard Harrison of Caldbeck who eventually marries Mary after the tragic main action of the play. He has walked thirty miles to compete in the Buttermere wrestling against a local champion. The action was nicely tense and dramatic, capturing the atmosphere of such a bout. As far as the play was concerned it was perfect, but it was a shame they had the wrong hold: left arm under right, instead of t'other way on.

Waberthwaite Academy Open Night
Girls 1, S Woodend; 2, L Herron; 3, L Hartley.
Under 11 Years 1, Joe Hale; 2, R Farrer; 3, S Wilson
Under 13 Years 1, D Fleming; 2, S Farrer; 3, W Atkinson
Under 15 Years 1, W Hayhurst; 2, M Atkinson; 3, T Johnston.
Under 18 Years 1, N Birdsall; 2, W Hayhurst; 3, C Naylor.
7st 1, Joe Hale; 2, A Lashley; 3, S Wilson.
9st 1, A Woodend; 2, T Johnston; 3, B Thompson.
11st 1, R Dixon; 2, A Killip; 3, M Knowles.
13st 1, R Dixon; 2, K Hartley; 3, M Knowles

Sunday 5 th April 2pm - European Championship Selection bouts in the Gym at Currock House, Carlisle

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

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