Carlisle Wrestling Club wins the Academy Shield 2009

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Carlisle Wrestling Club was the clear winner of the Academy Shield 2009, when finishing ten falls clear of the second placed academy, the hosts, Waberthwaite.

Murdo Laurie receives the Academy Shield from CWWA President, Alan Coulthard, on behalf of the Carlisle team Carlisle Wrestling Club team: back row: Craig Ridley, Craig Naylor, Mudo Laurie, Richard Fox, Joe Thompson, Jack Brown, Jack Ewart. Front row: Paul Murray, Katy Brown, Dawn Gibson, David Miller, Thomas Gibson, Kieron Miller

Carlisle was lacking three of its star senior wrestlers, but the youngsters at the club had established such a lead after five weights, that the issue was scarcely in doubt from then on. Brothers, Kieron (6st) and David Miller (8st), smartly stripped in the traditional costume, looked the part and wrestled like veterans.

Jack Brown's chief adversary was gravity, and he spent considerable time running about in a black bin-bag and multiple layers of clothing before he squeaked into the 9 stones. Once weighed in, the rest was easy as he hiped his way through the opposition. Paul Murray had the toughest of groups, the 10 stones, but he has returned to his usual form and he also was unbeaten. His bout with the Waberthwaite star, Andrew Woodend, was one of the most intense of the whole night.

Two more Carlisle Wrestlers were unbeaten, Craig Ridley (12st) and Murdo Laurie (13st). Ridley has returned to training recently and he is well on the way to regaining his silky skills. Murdo Laurie is a newcomer, who began wrestling at an evening class at Brampton 's William Howard School . This year he wrestled occasionally at open events, and once the winter training began on the mats at Currock House, he made huge progress.

Three other wrestlers from other academies were also unbeaten. Connie Hodgson of Kendal amassed more points than any other wrestler, as she felled all her opponents in both the Womens's 10st and Women's All Weights. For Milnthorpe, Stuart Mason was the chief points winner when he felled all opponents in the 12 stones. The furthest travelled wrestler of the night was Andrew Ord who lives on a farm on the outskirts of Morpeth in Northumberland, which is further away than Ireland from Bootle Station Village Hall, and down some long and winding roads, too. He was unbeaten in the 15 stones and lost only to the Kendal wrestler, Sam Wilkinson, in the All Weights

Carlisle 's success came mainly from two sources: the quality of coaching at the club from Alan Jones, Andrew Carlile and Tom Harrington; and from having a full team of thirteen wrestlers, for any gaps meant that points were conceded.

Wrestling moves from action to image this weekend when the CD of the year's photographs and articles is previewed at a slide show in the main hall of Currock House at 7.30pm on Sunday 13 th December. Photographs of about forty events will be on display. Anyone interested in our traditional wrestling is invited to attend. All profits go to the Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling Association.

The Kendal wrestler Joseph Robson is still in intensive care, but is slowly improving day by day. He is now able to sit in a chair and he is no longer sedated and on a ventilator. Although he is unable to speak because of a tracheotomy, he is able to communicate by text message via his mobile phone.

Academy Shield 2009 ........... 1, Carlisle 38pts; 2, Waberthwaite 28pts; 3, Kendal 24pts; 4, Rothbury 20pts; 5, Milnthorpe 18pts

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

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