Scottish Junior Championships

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The Border Raiders from Carlisle Wrestling Club at the Scottish Junior Championships: from left Jack Ewart, Megan Gibson, Thomas Gibson, Abigail Marston, Joe Thompson.

Five wrestlers from Carlisle Wrestling Club competed in the Rikon Maintenance Scottish Junior Championships in Glasgow, and came South with an impressive haul of trophies. The two female wrestlers Megan Gibson and Abigail Marston are used to wrestling against heavier opposition in our home rings because of the limited nature of the female classes. Only Grasmere has a weight restricted class for female wrestlers. We at the Carlisle Club know how skilled they are, but that quality is all too often snuffed out by weight. Megan Gibson, after years of trying, is becoming strong enough to prosper in open competitions, but Abigail Marston is a wisp of a lass, and finds it hard in the grass rings. In Glasgow , Abbie took full advantage of wrestling against girls roughly her own size and age, and won at both 5 ½ st and 6 ½ st Under 13 Years. Megan Gibson, too, was unstoppable in her own weight and won the 8 ½ st category at both Under 18 and Under 21. She also came second in the heavier weights. Brother Thomas Gibson continued his fine season in our rings with a win at 7 ½ stones. The other two wrestlers from England were older and much heavier, used to travelling far for only a few chances to compete. Most restricted of all was Jack Ewart who enjoyed the round-robin system and came second in the Under 21 Opens. His conqueror was that other substantial Englishman, Joe Thompson, who was unstoppable in both the Under 18 and Under 21 Open categories.

High tension on the indoor mats continues tomorrow, when Milnthorpe Academy hosts the Academy Shield. Teams from Rothbury, Waberthwaite, Carlisle , Kendal and Milnthorpe are expected to do battle for the silver shield which was originally given for the Academy League in the forties and fifties. After a lapse of more than a decade when all the academies, except Kendal closed their doors, the shield is now given for a one-off event when thirteen wrestlers from each academy compete with each other in a round robin. The format means that the full range of wrestlers, from 6st to heavyweight, and two female categories, have an equal chance to gain points for their team. The venue is Leasgill Atheneum, a village hall, near Heversham in the Kendal area. (Post-code LA7 7ET, for those of you with sat-nav) and industrial quantities of meat-and-tatie pies have been ordered, so all are welcome. A veteran of the old Academy League has died recently at the age of 81 years. Tom Nicholson of Roweltown was in the famous Gilsland team. In 1950 he won the 11st Championship and reached the final in the following year when he was felled by Cyril Bragg. He was one of the main men for a number of years with his inside-hiping, and for all his life he was noted for his droll sense of humour.

The present Academy Shield Competiton is directly linked to the opening of Carlisle Wrestling Club.

Now, forty years on, the club is to hold a celebration evening with wrestling, pictures, a meal, a bar and lots to talk about, at 7pm on Saturday, 11th December. We want as many of the wrestlers of the past forty years to return and see how the Club is still producing the best of wrestlers.

Tickets are available from Alan Jones, Linda Scott and me (016974 73559).

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (November 25 th 2010)

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