Westmorland Show

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The Westmorland Show has become one of the showpiece events of the wrestling calendar, with big prizes, big ring and big crowd. With so many wrestling categories and limited time, the organisers have to resort to “sudden death” as it always used to be: one slip and you're out. This increases the tension for each bout and means that a clever stratagem which works once is sufficient to take a wrestler to the next round.

John Harrington goes for the leg-up buttock at the Westmorland Show Sam Wilkinson hoists John Harrington in the final of the 14 stones

In the 12 stones semi-final John Harrington lost to Graham Benson who bundled him forward off hold, and that was that. Benson went through to the final with Andrew Carlile, and Harrington was left to regroup for the heavier weights. Carlile, the holder of three championships, was on his best form, and won both the 11 stones and the 12 stones. Twice, and with difficulty, he had to beat Richard Dixon in the early rounds. By the time of the 12st final, he was in full flow and took Benson away on swinging hipes. In the 13 stones, John Harrington again fell by the wayside, but only to come out in the 14 stones full of determination and leg-up buttocks. His opponent in the final, Sam Wilkinson, always seems to do well at this venue, but even his height, strength and long legs were unable to stop John Harrington. The big shoot-out of the day, though, was between Graham Brocklebank and Richard Fox who contested two finals with a blur of fast action and close falls. Fox won the 13 stones; Brocklebank gave the last word to the Kendal wrestlers when he won the last bout of the day, the final of the All weights.

The wrestling at Stanhope and Whitfield was much lower key, with a smattering of trained wrestlers in all categories enhanced by enthusiastic local lads who were vocally received by the crowd. At Whitfield in particular lots of young lads were local heroes until Thomas Gibson cleaned up. He won five events over last weekend, as did John Harrington.

Just as I write this, I have received news of the death of a neighbour, Jimmy Nichol of Knightslodge. He was a tough competitor in his day, and his father and uncle, Billy and Tommy Nichol were amongst the best wrestlers of their day, a hundred years ago.

Results:

Westmorland Show

Under 12 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, G Wilson ; 3, H Mason. Under 15 Years 1, W Atkinson; 2, J Hayhurst; 3, T Gibson. Under 18 Years 1, S Mason; 2, J Hall; 3, J Thompson. Girls Under 14 Years 1, M Gibson; 2, L Wilson ; 3, E Hayhurst . Ladies 1, C Hodgson; 2, H Hodgson; 3, M Gibson. 11st 1, A Carlile; 2, J Hayhurst; 3, D Miller. 12st 1, A Carlile; 2, G Benson; 3, John Harrington. 13st 1, R Fox; 2, G Brocklebank; 3, G Nichol. 14st 1, John Harrington; 2, S Wilkinson; 3, R Dixon . All Weights 1, G Brocklebank; 2, R Fox; 3, T Brocklebank.

Stanhope

Under 12 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, D Buttrefield; 3, T Hodgson. Under 15 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, L Richardson ; 3, A Grey. Under 18 Years 1, J Thompson; 2, J Brown; 3, L Richardson . Ladies 1, C Hodgson; 2, H Hodgson; 3, M Gibson. 11 ½ st 1, John Harrington; 2, J Brown; 3, T Gibson. 13st 1, John Harrington; 2, D Parker; 3, J Brown. All Weights 1, John Harrington; 2, D Parker; 3, J Brown.

Whitfield

Under 15 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, J Rutherford ; 3, M O'Neil. Under 15 Years 1, T Gibson; 2, S Reid; 3, J Rutherford . Under 18 Years 1, J Thompson; 2, J Brown; 3, T Gibson. Ladies 1, C Hodgson; 2, M Gibson; 3, H Hodgson. 12 ½ st 1, John Harrington; 2, A Ridley; 3, J Brown. All Weights 1, J Thompson; 2, John Harrington; 3, A Ridley

Dates:

Saturday 18th September 11.30pm Walton, nr Morpeth U10/U13/U18/12/14/AW

2.30pm Egremont Crab Fair U12/U15/U18/11½/13/AW/Girls

Sunday 19th September 2pm Borrowdale U12/U15/U18/11½/13/AW/Girls/Costume

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (September 16th 2010)

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