Northumberland County Show

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John Gibson of Souhwaite strains for hold. Referee, Jimmy Pringle hides under his hat Last year was a marvel for Richard Fox of Hethersgill when he won three World Championships of Cumberland and Westmorland Style wrestling. Last week, in front of a big crowd, he retained the first of those titles, the 13 stones. He may not be the cleverest wrestler in the draw, but his combination of technical skill, power, determination and general wrestling instinct put him well ahead of the opposition. He was well tested out in the first two rounds when he met John Harrington of Bewaldeth and David Atkinson of Carlisle . Harrington had struggled to weigh in for the 11 ½ stones, then went on to win it, but presumably with an empty stomach and some nervous tension. In the championship Fox was able to manoeuvre him around in their first bout until he was in the right position to back-heel. Another back-heel gave him the second fall, too.

David Atkinson, who is not a regular in the ring these days, pushed Fox even harder and more noisily in the second round, unsettling Fox with his attacking hipes, but in the end winning the first fall with hold and a rush forward. Fox then fell back on his knockabout wrestling style, a man nearly impossible to knock off balance and able to turn defence into attack in an instant. He won the second bout by countering Atkinson's hipe and then finished him off with a twist over the knee for the decider.

David Atkinson in full voice against Richard Fox John Harrington and Richard Dixon in the final of the 11½ stones The final moment of the 13st Championship final John Harrington and Richard Dixon in the final of the 11½ stones

Frazer Hirsch travelled down from Dundee to compete, and gave a good account of himself winning with both attack and counters. He hiped Alan Walton of Haltwhistle off a back-heel and took falls with a strong straight-in-front hanks. But, when he tried to do that to Richard Fox, he failed and Fox twisted him down. The second hold was a rushing, riving, twisting bout with a premium on survival and reaction rather than neatly executed techniques. In that style of wrestling Richard Fox was always ahead of the game and put in the final winning twist. In an email to me on a different matter, Frazer Hirsch commented that “ The best man won on the day. Richard is a cracking wrestler.” Well said Frazer; well wrestled Richard.

In the All Weights, Andrew Ord of Morpeth, who was close to winning the CWWA Points trophy for the All Weights last year, demonstrated again his no frills, efficient style in disposing of the lighter wrestlers and then showing his power in the final by hiping the substantial frame of Jimmy Hall of Langwathby. Hall had won the Under 18 Years in fine style when he twice hiped the slighter frame of Craig Ridley of Slaggyford.

One of the best performances of the day came from Thomas Gibson of Southwaite who felled his great rival Sam Wilson of Kendal in the final of the Under 12s despite losing out to a neat hank for the middle fall. He then went on to take the Under 14s, too, showing how well schooled he is by the Carlisle Wrestling Club coaches.

Results:

Northumberland County Show, Corbridge ...........Under 10 Years 1, J Stewart; 2,D Duncan; 3, H Bertram. Under 12 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, S Wilson; 3, J Wilson . Under 14 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, A Wragg; 3, S Kyle. Under 18 Years 1, J Hall; 2, C Ridley; 3, W Hayhurst 11 ½ st 1, John Harrington;2, R Dixon ;3, C Ridley. 13st World Championship 1, R Fox; 2, F Hirsch; 3, R Walton. All Weights 1, A Ord; 2, J Hall; 3, W Hayhurst .

Dates:

Saturday, 12th June Roman Wall Show

Lowgill Sports

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (June 3rd 2010)

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