Scottish Youth Championships

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Five wrestlers from Carlisle Wrestling Club spent a successful day last weekend in the John Paul Sports Centre in Glasgow where the Scottish Youth Championships were held.

Left to right: Donna Thompson, Megan Gibson, Joe Thompson, Thomas Gibson, and Paul Murray

A plethora of ages and weights, and the pool system of competition meant that Donna Thompson of Alston had a long wait before she was in action. In both the Under 21 Years Open and the Scottish Ladies Open Championship her chief opponent was Gemma McNeil of the Red Road Wrestling Club in Glasgow . The two had met in the Ladies All Weights final at Grasmere Sports in August when Donna Thompson won. This time she won again, but not without a long and tough battle. The local support for the Scottish girl was deafening but Thompson kept cool and won the day to become Scottish champion twice over, and the award of the best wrestler in the whole of Under 21 Years section. Her little brother, Joe Thompson, who is a big lad these days, achieved much the same in his categories, as he won the Open weight at both Under 17 and Under 21 Years. In addition he, too, was awarded the best wrestler trophy for the Under 17 Years. In many ways he had the biggest task of the day for there were more wrestlers in his section than in any other, and he had to fight his way through the round-robin pool stage before wrestling in the cross ties and, eventually, the final. All bouts were best-of-five, so his fitness was fully tested as well as his skill. The good news is that he seems to have shrugged aside the injuries which dogged his season, and be on the best of form.

Another set of siblings, Megan and Thomas Gibson of Southwaite, set the ball rolling for the English in the Under 13 Years section. Megan competed well in both the 7 ½ st and 8 ½ st Girls to take bronze and silver medals, but she found herself up against some of the best wrestlers in the whole event, especially Jasmin Carson of the Hamilton Club.

Megan's brother, Thomas, in the Under 13 Years Boys, had a perfect score, winning at 7 ½ st and 8 ½ st. and taking the best wrestler award for his section.

The fifth Carlisle wrestler was Paul Murray of Arlecdon who had dazzled the opposition in the previous event two years ago. In the Under 17s he showed little sign that his wrestling year has been dogged by injury and illness, and he won trophies at both 9 ½ st and 10 ½ st and, of course the best performance trophy, too. However, when he raised his ambitions to the Under 21 Years, he found the Dundee wrestlers too powerful for him, and he wisely, withdrew to keep fit for this weekend's Academy Shield Competition.

The best wrestler of the whole tournament was one of those Dundee lads, George Reid, who wrestled well at Rothbury and Harbottle earlier in the year.

This Saturday is the night when the wrestlers from our whole region foregather for the Academy Shield at Bootle Station in the far West of Cumbria. Weighing-in begins at 7pm.

A CD of photographs of the majority of wrestling events in the CWWA 2009 season will be previewed and on sale at 7.30pm on Sunday, 13 th December in the lounge at Currock House, Carlisle. All profits go to CWWA funds.

Joseph Robson of Kendal Academy remains gravely ill and has been moved to the Cardiac Unit at the Blackpool Hospital where he has shown signs of improvement after surgery.

Saturday 5th December Academy Shield, Bootle Station Hall, weigh-in at 7pm

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

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