Northumberland County Show at Corbridge

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The Northumberland County Show at Corbridge was swamped with sun and people. The wrestling ring is no longer at the edge of the main ring where the main throng is, but a good circle of spectators assembled and stayed to watch some first-rate action between the wrestlers from Rothbury Academy and those from Carlisle Wrestling Club, with Joe Threlfall from Lancashire and various visitors and novices to add to the fun.

Rothbury Academy provided the winners in all the boys' categories (Cade Whitfield, Joe Hale and Jack Hale) to give due warning about what might happen in the next few years. Carlisle wrestlers took all the men's events when John Harrington won at 11 ½ stones and Richard Fox excelled by winning both the 13 ½ st and the All Weights.

Peter Hunter presents the David Palmer trophy to Richard Fox, winner of the All WeightsRichard Fox had to work hard for his success as he rarely won in straight falls. In the course of the afternoon he was buttocked by Andrew Carlile, outside-hiped by Andrew Ord and John Harrington, twisted over the knee by Joe Threlfall, and he also lost a fall to Jason Davidson. But he always won twice whenever he lost a fall.

His main and safest option is the back heel, and that was a constant theme of his bouts. He even used the left leg hank to control his opponents' right leg and then manoeuvred a position where he could strike decisively with the right leg back-heel, a new strategy to me. He usually attacks, but he is also the master of defence, which was just as well when Joe Threlfall set out twist him into the ground. Fox gained one fall by stepping ahead of the twist to strike with his own, and then took the deciding fall by jumping hard at Threlfall as he began to hipe. Instead of finding a heavy lift, Threlfall had thirteen stones launched at his upper chest, which over-loaded him and sent him onto his back.

Final fall: Richard Fox finishes off Andrew Ord

In the final of the All Weights, Fox, the 15st Champion, met Andrew Ord of Morpeth, who won the 14st title at the Cumberland Show last year. He had to resort to the buttock to get rid of Ord's long legs for the first fall. Ord then struck with his outside-hipe. A fall then landed outside the marked ring, before Fox knocked Ord of balance with a back-heel, then followed up to chest him down for the decider.

Some of the best wrestling of the day was in the 11½ stones where John Harrington felled young Watchai Noimai in the final in two straight falls.

John Harrington (facing) puts on the pressure on Andrew Carlile

Before that he had to subdue Andrew Carlile who is in good form and always liable to launch unexpected attacks.

The Hale brothers from Rothbury almost monopolised the boys wrestling, with young Joe winning at both Under 12 and Under 14 Years. Although not a big lad, he has the wrestling skills and enough strength to fell much bigger lads. In the Under 12s final his opponent was a young Turkish lad, Burak Gulmen, now living in Newcastle, whose father used to do the Turkish style with oiled bodies and leather trousers.

Big brother, Jack, was in good hiping form, but his Under 18 final ended in an anti-climax when Bryn Rolley broke hold.

Results:

Northumberland Show, Corbridge
Under 10 Years 1, C Whitfield; 2, E Robson ; 3, A Law.
Under 12 Years 1, Joe Hale; 2, B Gulmen; 3, A Tiffen.
Under 14 Years 1, Joe Hale; 2, C Whitfield; 3, A Tiffen.
Under 18 Years 1, Jack Hale; 2, B Ridley; 3, C Ridley.
11 ½ st 1, John Harrington; 2, W Noimai ; 3, A Carlile.
13 ½ st 1, R Fox; 2, John Harrington; 3, Jack Hale.
All Weights 1, R Fox; 2, A Ord; 3, J Davidson.

Dates:
Saturday, 13 th June Roman Wall Show
Lowgill Sports
Sunday, 14 th June Morpeth Gala

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

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