Skelton Show

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Wrestlers and crowd, Skelton ShowReferee Joe Harrington ensures a fair start for John Gibson and opponent at Skelton Show

Skelton Show, on its earlier date, had a big crowd basking in the sun. Langdale Gala, a day later, had mud-ruts in the field and spectators were sparse and soggy. A stormy morning cancelled the wrestling at Distington and there was no-one there, anyway. At Skelton the wrestlers were competing with the horses in the main ring. Wrestlers were in full flow in one part and yards away Clydesdale horses were stamping white cosmetic powder off their fetlocks. And all round the big ring, crowds of spectators focused on the wrestling. After the thin attendance of wrestlers last year, this year they saw the sport at its best. Richard Dixon of Lessonhall made a welcome return to the ring after an agricultural lay-off, and he was in fine fettle. In the 11½ st Final he reminded John Harrington how he deals with the hank, by throwing himself and his opponent backwards with arched back in a freestyle salto; then he buttocked him for the next fall. Richard Fox, fresh from sheep-shearing and an appropriate hair-cut, had the last laugh with his trade-mark power and skill when he felled John Harrington in the 13st final, firstly with a back-hel and then with what my father used to call “a twist off the breest”. One of the best bouts of the day was in the 13st semi-final when Andrew Carlile swinging hiped John Harrington from a standing start for the first fall, and just failed to do the same in the next two bouts as Harrington countered the attacks. David Atkinson, after a bit of sweaty running, was still unable to beat the scales for the 13 stones, so he could only compete in the All Weights. All was going fine until he met Joe Threlfall in the final and succumbed to the weight and power. Threlfall chested down as Atkinson attacked for the first fall and felled him with his trade-mark twist over the knee for the second. Local wrestler Thomas Gibson won the Under 13 Years from a good turnout of youngsters ahead of two other Thomases: Messrs Wales and Greenbank. After that the boys wrestling was dominated by the fine contingent from South Cumbria . In the Under 16 Years, William Hayhurst twisted and screwed Matthew Atkinson into the ground. And Jimmy Hall, with his Milnthorpe Academy vest, flung everyone around in the Under 18 Years.

Matthew Atkinson back-heels to win at Langdale

The trip to Langdale Gala the next day took me past a shrunken Thirlmere reservoir to a soggy field at Chapel Stile. Kendal Academy was there in force and did themselves and their coach, John Wilso, credit with their spirited and skilful wrestling in wet conditions. Best of all was Graham Brocklebank with his hoists and hipes and a double win. William Atkinson, too, had a double by winning an age event and then the 11 stones.

The 12st CWWA World Championship, held by John Harrington, is top of the bill at Haltwhistle Carnival this Sunday, so that is the focus for wrestlers and fans this week-end.


Skelton Show

Under 13 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, T Wales ; 3, T Greenbank. Under 16 Years 1, W Hayhurst ; 2, M Atkinson; 3, P Potts. Under 18 Years 1, J Hall; 2, W Hayhurst ; 3, S Mason. 11 ½ st 1, R Dixon; 2, John Harrington; 3, A carlile 13st 1, R Fox; 2, John Harrington; 3, R Dixon . All Weights 1, J Threlfall; 2, D Atkinson; 3, John Harrington.

Langdale Gala

Under 12 Y ears 1, S Wilson ; 2, J Wilson; 3, T Hayhurst. Under 15 Years 1, W Atkinson; 2, S Wilson ; 3, J Hayhurst. Under 18 Years 1, W Hayhurst ; 2, M Atkinson; 3, W Atkinson. Girls 1, C Hodgson; 2, A Beswick; 3, E Hayhurst . 11st 1, W Atkinson; 2, B Brocklebank; 3, J Hayhurst. 13st 1, G Brocklebank; 2, M Atkinson; 3, G Benson. All Weights 1, G Brocklebank; 2, M Atkinson; 3, W Hayhurst .

(The wrestling at Distington was cancelled because of stormy weather)

Dates:Sunday, 11th July 2pm - Haltwhistle Carnival U12/U15/U18/Nov/12st Ch'ship/13 ½ /AW/2xGirls

Saturday, 17th July 3.15pm - Cumberland Show U12/U15&7st/U15/GirlsU15/U18 Ch'ship/12/14/AW

Sunday, 18th July - Coniston

- Great Eccleston

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (July 8th 2010)

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