Waberthwaite's Open Night


Saturday March 23rd -7.30 pm - Kendal Academy Open Night

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling was focused at a small village hall in West Cumbria last week when wrestlers from all four of the Cumbrian academies gathered for the Waberthwaite Open Night.
The sense of a wrestling community was quickly established when in the first category, the Under 10s, Jason Southward of Waberthwaite was first, Jack Threlfall of Milnthorpe second and Connor Wharton of Carlisle third. Then Harold Wilson of Kendal won the next group, the Under 12s, to complete the circle.
The visiting stars added to the quality of the occasion, but it was Waberthwaite's night. Their light blue T-shirts were everywhere in abundance, and a credit to the club organiser, Tom Porter. In the academy newsletter he pointed out how solitary he is: "Having lost the services of Ashley Killip and Craig Naylor for this winter season. I am desperate for more assistance with the coaching on Monday nights next year, to allow more tactical coaching to the different size and age groups, which will also help in keeping the wrestlers interested."
The absence of young home-grown coaches such as Ashley Killip who used to work away seasonally, but now has a permanent job on a huge arable farm in Bedfordshire, and Craig Naylor who has spent the Winter working in Spain, puts a heavy burden on Tom who is just a bit beyond falling around on the mat with his protégés.
Nevertheless, at the Open Night and Prize Giving 48 different wrestlers participated in 13 events. All the Waberthwaite wrestlers come from a very close area round the village, unlike Carlisle, Kendal and Milnthorpe which all attract wrestlers from big distances. The difference is most stark at Carlisle where three of the best wrestlers of the past forty years, Tom Harrington, Alan Jones and Andrew Carlile are all there on the mat each week dealing with the same number of wrestlers as Tom Porter all on his own at Waberthwaite.
The fact that wrestlers and parents are willing to travel many miles to training sessions in the Winter means that they continue that travelling to the outdoor events during the Summer. The wrestlers of West Cumbria are generally unwilling or unable to travel to such venues. Tom Porter is acutely aware of this and pleads in the newsletter: "With the summer outdoor season starting after Easter PLEASE try and support as many wrestling events as you can during the outdoor season."
Meanwhile, on the mat, there were particularly strong performances from home-grown wrestlers Michael Kirkham, Andrew Woodend, and Wayne Rothery. Michael Kirkham, who won at Grasmere last year, still weighs under 7 stones and shows great potential and was hiping well. Andrew Woodend is only an occasional wrestler Winter and Summer, but he is always a dangerous opponent and sent Sam Wilson flying back onto the mat with a right-leg back-heel in the 10½st final. Wayne Rothery must be getting to the veteran stage amongst all the youngsters, but his leg-up buttock of Andrew Woodend in the 12 stones was a classic.
In the end Stuart Mason of Milnthorpe won the prestigious BNFL Cup for the 13 stones, and Jimmy Hall of Carlisle, after a long wait, felled Joe Threlfall who had travelled with two of his sons all the way from Preston.

This week it is Kendal Academy's turn to host an Open Night. At 7.30 tomorrow night at Grayrigg Village Hall all the action starts again.

Written by © Roger Robson ............. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (2013).


Waberthwaite Open Night





Under 10 Years J Southward Jack Threlfall C Wharton
Under 12 Years H Wilson Jack Threlfall C Connor
Under 14 Years J Lashley Josh Threlfall G Wilson
Under 16 Years J Hayhurst A Phillips S Wilson
Under 18 Years J Hayhurst K Miller B Fox
6 Stone R Patterson Jack Threlfall J Wrigley
7 Stone M Kirkham D Connor R Patterson
9 Stone A Phillips M Kirkham C Connor
10½ Stone A Woodend S Wilson L Wilson
12 Stone W Rothery K Miller B Fox
13 Stone BNFL Cup S Mason D Hodgson A Mason
All Weights J Hall Joe Threlfall J Hayhurst
Ladies Open S Woodend V Saunders A Hopkins

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