Egremont Crab Fair and Borrowdale Show

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Richard Fox and John Harrington are the keenest of rivals in the wrestling ring with each bout fought at a high level of intensity and skill, but they are also friends and, occasionally, team-mates. Both train at Carlisle Wrestling Club and are members of the club's Academy Shield team. They trained hard together for the European Championships of the International Federation of Celtic Wrestling when they were part of the English team. And last Saturday, at Egremont Crab Fair, they set the world of Wheelbarrow Racing alight as they finished half a lap ahead of the opposition. As the commentator, Alf Harrington, said; being farmer's sons, they have had plenty of experience with the equipment. After that interlude, they resumed hostilities in the wrestling ring. John Harrington had already felled Andrew Carlile in the final of the 11 ½ stones, when he met Fox in the final of the 13 stones. The encounter followed the pattern of their recent bouts with Fox winning with confidence in straight falls. The second fall was typical in that having missed with a hipe and inside-click, Fox then saved the day with a buttock. The same two wrestlers met in the All Weights final, and Fox kept up the momentum by taking the first fall with a very full buttock. Then the normal pattern disintegrated as John Harrington struck with a back-heel for the first and an inside hipe for the second fall, which gave him two wins at the same event, so the judge for the Guinness Trophy had little need for deep thought before awarding it to John Harrington. The wrestling at the Crab Fair was greatly enhanced by the willingness of the local lads to enter the fray. They enjoyed the sport, pleased the crowd and then they found they had won money, too.

The same level of local and active support was evident at Borrowdale, too, where local entries put in the foundations for a good competition for the big crowd to enjoy. After the early enthusiasm of the local lads, the standards move up several levels as the champions, Richard Dixon, Andrew Carlile, John Harrington and Richard Fox gave a master class in the local sport.

One fall in particular stands out for me. In the final of the All Weights John Harrington and Richard Fox were once more the protagonists. Harrington had all the hold for a change and was in control with his man held up in the air. The classic move in that position is to outside-hipe, knocking your opponent's legs high and sideways before bringing him down suddenly on his backside, and this is what Harrington, a brilliant exponent of the outside hipe, did. Fox was thrown out almost horizontally and all seemed lost for him, except that he squirmed in mid-air and spun in Harrington's arms so that instead of landing submissively on his heels and back, he landed on his toes and instantly twisted Harrington to the ground.

Results:

Egremont Crab Fair

Under 12 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, C Kinrade; 3, A Calander, Under 15 Years 1 D Caine; 2, S Chorley ; 3, J Hewitt. Under 18 Years 1, S Rush; 2, D Caine; 3, A Chorley . Girls 1, D Gibson; 2, M Gibson. 11 ½ st 1, John Harrington; 2, A Carlile; 3, D Caine.13st 1, R Fox; 2, John Harrington; 3, A Carlile. All Weights 1, John Harrington; 2, R Fox; 3, C Naylor. Guinness Trophy: John Harrington.

Borrowdale

Under 12 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, F Grove; 3, J Gibson. Under 15 Years 1, J Brown; 2, L Grove; 3,R Weir. Under 18 Years 1, J Tonkin; 2, S Rowley ; 3, J Brown. Girls 1, D Gibson; 2, M Gibson; 3, J Swanson. 11 ½ st 1, R Dixon ; 2, J Brown; 3, A Carlile.13st 1, R Fox; 2, A Carlile; 3, D Hewitt. All Weights 1, R Fox; 2, John Harrington; 3, D Hewitt.

Dates:

Saturday, 26th Sept 12.15pm Langholm Show U12/ U15/U18/Girls/12 ½ /AW

3pm Eskdale Show U15/U18/10 ½ /AW

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

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