Once upon a Time ...........................


Friday 25th April, 7.30pm Referees and Judges meeting at Carlisle Rugby Club
Saturday, 26th April, 7.30pm Kendal academy Open Night in Grayrigg Village Hall, U13 / U15 / U18 / Girls 10, Open, 5st (mixed), Males 7 , 9 , 11 , 13 , AW Pies and peas and a big raffle.
Sunday 4th May (1.00) Hethersgill Vintage Club, Carlisle Airport U12 / U15 / U18 / Ladies Open / 12st Championship / AW.

Once upon a time the main discussion about Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling refereeing took place in the middle of the ring amongst the three officials when there was a close bout, or in the crowd on the fringes where men with remarkable eyesight felt free to put them right. Now, inexorably, year by year, the rules have tightened and gained in logic. Now, the referee is not allowed to over-rule the two judges if they are agreed on a decision. Before an event starts the referee is responsible for checking the safety of the ring. The rules concerning the initial “tekkin hod” have been transformed and then tightened further.

And, perhaps most important of all, there is an annual workshop meeting of referees and judges to ensure that the rules are consistently applied. The meeting serves to remind officials what the written rules are and gives them the chance to comment on issues which arose last season. That meeting is tonight at Carlisle Rugby Club at 7.30pm and next weekend the season begins with the wrestling at Carlisle Airport when Hethersgill Vintage Club fills the air with steam and noise of engines.

The noise was indoors recently when nine wrestlers from Rothbury and their coaches had an early morning getaway to reach the 10am weigh-in for the Angus Backhold Championships at Frazer Hirsch’s Carnoustie Club. Rothbury dominated the middle boys’ weights with wins for Thomas Davidson, Harry Bertram and Cade Whitfield.

Thomas Davidson has one of the best pedigrees in wrestling, with father Jason, granddad Kenny, and other close forebears, Alan and Geordie Davidson all champions in wrestling, running and jumping. He came to notice at the recent Academy Shield where he was unbeaten in his category, and at Carnoustie won his class and wrestled up in the next event.

 In the lightweights and the men’s events they had to be content with places after some top level wrestling. Joe Hale was beaten three falls to two by a “Fred”newcomer to the sport, Ryan Ferrey from Hamilton, who also happens to be a regular in the Scottish Judo team. Joe’s big brother, Jack met the tall RyanDolan. Organiser, Frazer Hirsch commented that he thought “it was going to be a very close contest but Jack used the wrong tactics trying to swinging hype the 6½ foot giant, Dolan easily riding them and hiping Hale once he had landed.”


Not many female wrestlers are called “Fred”, but a Breton wrestler Frédérique Menesguen, who has done her stint of camping in my paddock during a past wrestling season was on a family holiday in Scotland and called in to take the top female honours.



Written by © Roger Robson ..... Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (2014)

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