Lisburn & Castlereagh City Pipe Band Championships at Moira Demesne

Moira Demesne provided the perfect setting for the 2017 Lisburn & Castlereagh City Pipe Band Championships on Saturday 5th August.  Organised in partnership with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch (RSPBANI), 48 pipe bands and 47 drum majors took part.

By Gilbert Cromie; pix by John Kelly

Gilbert Cromie reports: Moira Demesne was the venue for the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Pipe Band Championships and despite a heavy shower of rain after the last band played and before the finale began it was a brilliant day. Despite the contest clashing with a number of major events throughout the country I have a feeling that this was possibly the best attended of all the contests this season and with a predominantly warm and sunny day everything pointed to a great contest and so it was.

The Chieftain of the Day was Cllr Hazel Legge [Deputy Mayor] and she welcomed the bands especially Auckland & District from New Zealand who competed in Grade 1 (pictured top). Presentations were made to the band by both the Council and the RSPBA NI Branch. Congratulations are due to the local RSPBA NI Branch and their team of volunteers who saw to it that everything went smoothly.

Drum Sergeant Keith Orr and Pipe Major Richard Parkes MBE of Field Marshal Montgomery pictured after receiving the Grade 1 band and drum corps trophies

Field Marshal Montgomery lifted the Grade 1 band and drum corps title and yes of course this result was expected however this band take absolutely nothing for granted and so they treated the large crowd of spectators to a pipe band masterclass. County Donegal’s Manorcunningham also did the double in Grade 2 a feat repeated by Marlacoo & District in 3A and Quinn Memorial in 3B. St Mary Derrytrasna won Grade 4A however the drum corps title went to Tullylagan who have hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks. It was good to see Ballycoan make the prize list in Grade 4A as they rebuild. Things most definitely didn’t go according to plan in Grade 4B with Lisnamulligan from Rathfriland lifting first prize ahead of IPBA band Cullen with regular winners Gransha and Kildoag in the minor placings along with Sgt Walker Memorial.

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While some of the band results are fairly consistent from week to week the same could not be said about the Adult drum majors section which this week saw Andrea McKeown winning and as a result put herself into a four-way tussle for the Champion of Champions (CoC) title in a fortnight with Lauren Hanna, Jason Price and Alicia Dickson Hamilton. Emma Barr’s win in the Juvenile sealed her first place in that CoC competition. Rebecca Hamilton was the Junior winner while  Leanne Crooks’ win in the Novice ensures a  CoC head to head with Louis Anderson in Portrush on the 19th of August. All the best to all of our bands next weekend as they compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow.

Grade 1: 1st Field Marshal Montgomery (also Best Drums), 2nd Vale of Atholl, 3rd Police Service of Northern Ireland (also Best Bass Section), 4th Bleary & District. M&D: Auckland & District.

Pipe Major Adrian Cramb and Vale of Atholl pictured entering the competition arena

Grade 2: 1st Manorcunningham (also Best Drums), 2nd Closkelt, 3rd Annesborough, 4th Drumlough. Best Bass Section: Thiepval Memorial. Best M&D. New Ross & District.
Grade 3A: 1st Marlacoo & District (also Best Drums), 2nd New Ross & District, 3rd Drumlough, 4th Matt Boyd Memorial. Best Bass Section: Upper Crossgare. Best M&D: Ballybriest.
Grade 3B: 1st Quinn Memorial (also Best Drums), 2nd St Mary’s Derrytrasna, 3rd Battlehill, 4th McNeillstown. Best Bass Section: Major Sinclair Memorial, Best M&D: Battlehill.
Grade 4A: 1st St Mary’s Derrytrasna, 2nd   McNeillstown, 3rd McDonald Memorial, 4th Ballycoan. Best Drums and Bass Section: Tullylagan. Best M&D: Cullybackey.
Grade 4B: 1st Lisnamulligan (also Best Bass Section), 2nd Cullen, 3rd Gransha (also Best Drums), Sgt Walker Memorial, 5th Kildoag. Best M&D: Letterkenny & District.

Annsborough Pipe Band pictured wearing their new uniforms at Moira. Included is Pipe Major Brendan Mullen (far left, standing) and Eddie Mullen, Band President (right, standing)

Drum Majors: Adult. 1st Andrea McKeown Gibson, 2nd David Brownlee, 3rd  Vikki Singer, 4th  Lauren Hanna, 5th  Lauren Abraham.
Juvenile: 1st Emma Barr, 2nd Kathryn McKeown, 3rd Jason Nicholl, 4th James Kennedy, 5th Lana Gibson.

Adult Grade Drum Major winner Andrea McKeown Gibson (Battlehill Pipe Band) pictured with John Kelly (RSPBANI Honorary Vice-President) at Moira after Andrea was presented with a shield which John donated to the RSPBANI in 2015 in memory of his mother, the late Mary Emily Kelly, who died 27 years ago

Junior: 1st Rebecca Hamilton, 2nd Kathy Hunter, 3rd Lucas Adamson, 4th Abigail Wenlock, 5th Charlotte Ruddock.
Novice: 1st Leanne Crooks, 2nd Louise Smiton, 3rd Carys Graham, 4th Louis Anderson, 5th Katie Clarke.

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