Haltwhistle Carnival


Saturday 16th July - Cumberland Show (Carlisle Racecourse) - Entries 4.15pm - U12 / U15 / U18 / Girls U18/8st / 12st / 14st / AW
Sunday 17th July - Great Eccleston - U12 / U15 / U18 / Girls Open / 13st / AW
Saturday 23rd July - 1.15pm Penrith Show -
All Weights World Championship

"Am I still in?" asked Alan Walton as he took a drink of water at the edge of the crowded wrestling ring at Haltwhistle Carnival. The answer was "Yes", even though he had been swinging inside-clicked onto the back of his head by Matthew Atkinson in the first bout of the 13st final. Until that point it had all been going so well, as he eliminated two of the best current wrestlers, John Harrington in the first round and Andrew Carlile in the semi-final. Harrington won his first bout with a leg-up buttock, but after that Walton took over with a mixture of basic throws executed with strength and perfect timing: a cross-click, an outside stroke and lots of twists. In the semi-final, he was too strong and canny for Andrew Carlile taking the winning fall with a buttock by the shoulders from a difficult position.

The knockout blow: landing imminent as Matthew Atkinson swinging inside-clicks the eventual winner, Alan Walton

So, here he was, dazed and damaged, and one fall down in the final of the 13 stones. The Romantic script-writers, of course, would have him fight his way back from this adversity, in front of his noisy home crowd: the old warrior giving his all in a ring redolent with affectionate memories of his son, Chris, a Grasmere champion, who died so tragically….and that is exactly what happened.

On automatic pilot, he gained a good hold of Atkinson and twisted him over the knee for the equalising fall, then went on to win the top prize with a flourish: a swinging inside-click, slightly less spectacular than Atkinson's, but just as effective. Peter Hunter rewarded him further with the trophy for the best performance of the day.

John Harrington had a day of losing the first fall and then fighting back to win. In the 11½ stones Craig Ridley of Slaggyford took him by surprise when he jumped right across him with a cross-buttock. An outside-hipe evened the score, then a long, closely fought bout ended in Harrington's favour with a hipe, a twist and a cartwheel.








The same happened in the final with Andrew Carlile. The first fall went to Carlile after a long, thoughtful bout was finished with a sudden rush when Harrington failed to buttock. The fight-back came from a hipe after Carlile failed in an attempt to swing, and then Harrington won the decider with back-heels and a twist over the knee.

The Kendal wrestlers had a good day, winning all the main boys' prizes, except for the Under 18s which went to Jimmy Hall who began wrestling at Milnthorpe Academy and now frequents the Carlisle club. He also reached the final of the men's All Weights, but Andrew Ord from Morpeth was strong enough to outside-hipe him twice.

"Are the Bretons coming this year?" has been a common question amongst wrestling fans, and the answer is that they will be around our rings between August 25th to September 5th.

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

Haltwhistle Show
Event First Second Third
Under 12 Years G. Wilson C. Ballouche J. Wilson
Under 15 Years J. Hayhurst H. King D. Galloway
Under 18 Years J. Hall J. Hayhurst M. Atkinson
Girls Under 15 Years M. Gibson E. Hayhurst A. Marston
Ladies Open D. Thompson M. Gibson A Beswick
Novices J. Balloch J. Hodgson H. Bradley
11½ Stone J. Harrington A. Carlile J. Brown
13 Stone A. Walton M. Atkinson A. Carlile
All Weights A. Ord J. Hall M. Atkinson
Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (July14th 2011)

Stock photography by Roy+Lomas at Alamy

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