A Look Back at the Scottish PB Championships and a Review of Grade 1

A very busy week in the piping and pipe band calendar ended with the Scottish Pipe Band Championships at Dumbarton on Saturday. The championship, the fourth in the RSPBA roster, was won by Ireland’s St Laurence O’Toole.

Today we carry a review of the Grade 1 contest from editor Robert Wallace. Comments on his comments are welcome. The above picture shows a SLoT piper playing in front of Dumbarton Rock, the huge volcanic outcrop that looms over the picturesque venue of Levengrove Park.

It was a day of great success for Northern Irish bands with the local press quick to offer their congratulations. The Belfast Newsletter recorded:

‘Bleary & District, Closkelt, Colmcille and Marlacoo & District were all victorious in their respective grades ….. St Laurence O’Toole surged through to lift the grade one Scottish title ahead of the previously unbeaten Field Marshal Montgomery. St Laurence also lifted the prize for best drum corps. Six points was the margin of victory for St Laurence which marks a major success for pipe major Alen Tully and leading drummer Stephen Creighton. The Dublin band has featured in the top four at all the majors so far this season before stepping up to lift their first title of 2015.

‘A great season got even better for Bleary & District as they lifted the Scottish title in Grade 2 finishing a point clear of Johnstone, who were the winners of the drumming prize. The PSNI claimed third place – a result which represents the best finish at a major championship for the police band this season. 

‘Grade 3a was very close but ultimately it was Closkelt who collected the title a point clear of runners-up Ballybriest, winners of the prize for best drums. This result marks a great success for the Co Down band who were moved up from grade 4a into grade 3a over the winter.

‘Colmcille had a comfortable six point winning margin in Grade 3b ahead of second place Wallacestone & District. Upper Crossgare were also in the mix claiming third place and the prize for best drum corps. Marlacoo & District celebrated a grade and drum corps success in Grade 4a. The Co. Armagh band were victors on ensemble preference from Methil & District, in second with Tamlaght O’Crilly placed third. The Grade 4b title and drumming award went to Lanark & District – the only Scottish band to win a senior grade on the day….’

Highland games took place up and down the country last week and a full list of results is available by clicking on the relevant story on the home page. If you were at any of these contests and notice errors or gaps please forward the missing information. Equally, if you have photographs please do the same.

Earlier results can be checked out on our Results page. RSPBA results are all available on their website.

There’s still time to enter many of the solo contests that will take place in August and September and we would urge all competing pipers to get out and support them. The turn out at many games has been very poor and we know some organisers are already re-thinking their piping programmes for next year. Use the games contests or lose them.

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