Amidst the High hills at Alston and Patterdale


Saturday 2nd July - 12 Noon Skelton - U13 / U16 / U18 / 11½st / 13st / AW
Sunday 3rd July - 2pm Langdale Gala - U15 &6st / U15&8st / U18&10st World Championship / U18&12st / U21 Open / Girls 10st / Girls Open / 13st / AW
Sunday 10th July - Haltwhistle - TBA
Sunday 16th July - Cumberland Show (Carlisle Racecourse) - Entries 3.15pm - U12 / U15 / U18 / Girls U18/8st / 12st / 14st / AW

.The High Pennines and the Ullswater Fells provided the handsome backdrop for the week's wrestling at Alston and Patterdale.

Although Alston is a long and winding road from Carlisle and its Wrestling Club, two locals in the draw had trained regularly in the Currock House Gym for a few years, and showed that they still had what it takes in the wrestling ring. Joe Thompson, the present Under 18 Years Champion, reached the final of the Under 18s, and took a good fall off the weighty James Hall with a twist back, but lost the decider when Hall went full bore for the wrench buttock off the right hip.

Craig Ridley, the other local lad, went one better by winning the 11½ stones, and then wrestling up in the 13 stones. In the 11½st final he was closely matched by James Hayhurst, who took the middle fall by countering the leg-up. The decider was a delicious bit of close skill when Ridley tapped Hayhurst off balance with an outside-stroke and then immediately twisted him down.

The 13st final proved to be one of the most spectacular of the week-end when Matthew Atkinson launched Ridley on a full swinging hipe before making him crash land. In the next hold they got into a more intricate wrestle and Ridley won by countering the inside-click. In the decider Atkinson returned to Plan A and sent Ridley gyrating at high speed before landing him.

Andrew Ord, in the All Weights, continued his imperious form. He had some big lads against him, but in the end it was the excellent lightweight, Jack Brown, who faced him, unsuccessfully, in the final.

Two lads from Kendal Academy made their mark at both Alston and Patterdale. George Wilson had local wrestlers to beat at both places in the finals of the Under 12 Years. James Hayhurst had the same wrestle, Haydn King, to beat in both Under 15 finals. They are friends and travel together, but that does not stop them having a real go at each other, so much so that King suffered a nasty cut lip as they fell together in a close bout at Alston. To his credit King, despite his injury, was in action the following day at Patterdale.

Each of the winners of the men's wrestling at Patterdale was a class act, but in different ways. Lightweight Andrew Carlile is a bamboozler, using as little energy as possible to win with little twists and nudges at the crucial moment. He even took a fall from Graham Brocklebank in the 13st final with a sneaky back-heel and twist. Middleweight Graham Broccklebank has the power and control to hoist the opposition high and then land them cleanly as he forward rolls over them. Heavyweight Joseph Robson is an enigma, one of the most difficult wrestlers to read, and his All Weights final with Graham Brocklebank was a good illustration. Although two stones heavier than Brocklebank, Robson eschewed strength and won by timing. The first was an outside stroke, and in the second he allowed Brocklebank all the hold and then swiftly buttocked him.

Amongst all this well trained action at Patterdale, one of the best bouts of the day came when a tiny local lad came too late for the boys wrestling and wittered on until a suitable opponent was found for a best-of-five match. Isaac Pitchford and Darrel Thwaites fought five bouts of full-out action. I think Pitchford won, but does it matter? Each went home with a pound in his pocket and the roars of the appreciative crowd in his ears. MORE IMAGES

Results ( * signifies not eligible for The Victor Ludorum 2011)

Alston Gala
Event First Second Third
Under 8 Years H. Snowden J. Reid J. Gibson
Under 12 Years G. Wilson B. Carr J. Wilson
Under 15 Years J Hayhurst H. King J. Wilson
Under 18 Years J. Hall J. Thompson J. Brown
Ladies M. Gibson J. Holt  
11½ Stone C. Ridley J. Hayhurst J. Brown
13 Stone M. Atkinson C. Ridley J. Brown
All Weights Andrew Ord J. Brown J. Thompson
Ullswater (Patterdale) Country Fair
Event First Second Third
Under 12 Years G. Wilson D. Thwaites J. Wilson
Under 15 Years J. Hayhurst H. King S. Wilson
Under 18 Years J. Hall M. Atkinson B. Brocklebank
11½ Stone A. Carlile J. Brown B. Brocklebank
13 Stone G. Brocklebank A. Carlile W. Atkinson
All Weights J. robson G. Brocklebank J. Hall
Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (June 5th 2011)

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