Glorious Buttermere


Friday November 9th - Wrestling Association Presentation Dinner, Low Hesket Hall. Tickets £15, Jumiors £10 - from Alf Harrington (ASAP)
Sunday, 11th November - Scottish Wrestling Bond Under 21 years Scottish Open Championships in Possilpoint Community Centre 130 Denmark Street, Possilpark, Glasgow G22 5LQ .................
Weigh-in 9am to 10am -
Under 14 yrs Male - 5½st / 6½st / 7½st / 8½st / 10½st / Open.
Under 14 yrs Female - 5½st / 6½st / 7½st / 8½st / 10½st / Open.
Under 21's Male - 8½st / 10½st / 12½st / Open.
Under 21's Female - 8½st / 10½st / 12½st / Open.
British championships at 12½st / 13½st.
Scottish Championships at 11½st / AW (weigh-in 10 – 12noon).

Many years ago I wrote in this column that the sun always shone at Alwinton Show. That was the year when there was so much rain that the wrestling was scrapped. Last week I promised the last wrestling of the season "will take place on a sunny mountainside in West Cumbria at Buttermere Show"; and it did.

But on a glorious day in a glorious place, with the biggest wrestling ring of the season waiting, where were the wrestlers? Then, slowly a little crowd focused round the car window where the entries were being taken; the local lads were keen to compete. In the end there were only two recognised wrestlers, John Harrington and far-travelled Jack Brown, but the locals made up for that, and put on a grand show.

The main event, though, was the series of bouts between Harrington and Brown, the two most successful middleweights of the season: Harrington the 12st champion; Brown the 10½st champion; both with major wins at the likes of Ambleside, Grasmere and the Westmorland Show, and both with serious petrol bills for the season.

Jack Brown had warmed up with a win in the Under 18 Years, and went on the offensive against Harrington in the final of the 12½ stones. After some tough sparring for an advantage, Brown suddenly lunged and swung with a hipe and finished with a twist. In the second bout Harrington turned in and got a headlock on Brown's head keeping him low to the ground and unable to lift his man. Yet, still Brown managed to get his long right leg in front to rush Harrington forward to the grass.

Inevitably there was a re-run of their encounter in the All Weights, for though the local opposition was strong and enthusiastic, there was no-one to fell them. Their second final of the day was epic in its intensity and took four holds to secure a result. For the first Harrington made a strong attempt with a hipe but Brown rode it, jumped ahead and on landing struck with a buttock. The closeness of their wrestling was reinforced by a dog-fall next when they hit the ground in a muddle and set the judges wondering. Then Harrington equalised efficiently with hold and a back-over hipe. And then it was all over, both the final and the season, and Jack Brown was the winner.

Even though the wrestling focus was on the main men, the contribution of the local wrestlers, one at least still wearing the waterproof leggings from handling Herdwicks, cannot be overlooked; Rhys Cawood, Alex Bland, Pollyanna Bell, Jason Loan and the father and son duo of Russel and Josh Blackhurst all stirred the crowd and gave a good account of themselves.

Results ( * signifies 'not eligible' for The Victor Ludorum 2012)

Buttermere Show

Event First Second Third
Under 13 Years J Blackhurst P Bell A Bland.
Under 15 Years C White J Blackhurst A Bland.
Under 18 Years J Brown J Loan R Cawood.
12½ Stone J Brown J Harrington R Cawood.
All Weights J Brown J Harrington R Blackhurst.
Written by © RogerRobson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott(2012)
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