Cullybackey Solo Piping & Drumming

By Gilbert Cromie

Cullybackey College on April 6th was the setting for the 32nd Cullybackey Pipe Band Solo Piping and Drumming Championships which had an entry of eighty three across the twenty one sections. This event has traditionally provided competitors with an opportunity to warm up ahead of the Ulster Solos, which take place on the April 20th, however many of the senior players particularly the drummers didn’t enter as they usually would.

This left the way for the cream of the NI Branch’s young players to strut their stuff and there was stiff competition amongst them. The following was the results of the adjudicator’s deliberations. 

Piping Competition: Novice Practice Chanter: 1st Samuel Rooney [McDonald Academy], 2nd Josh Anderson [Cleland Memorial], 3rd Jacob Tate [Syerla].

Advanced Practice Chanter. 1st Shaun Townsley [Cleland Memorial], 2nd Jake McAlister [Matt Boyd Memorial], 3rd Charlie McAlister [Matt Boyd Memorial].



Novice Piping (Pipe Chanter) 1st Sam Purvis [Tullylagan], 2nd Logan Steenson [Syerla], 3rd Tyler Gillespie [RSPBA].

Juvenile Under 14 Piping 1st Reece Doherty [Colmcille] 2nd Adam Brimage [Matt Boyd Memorial], 3rd Ewan Mitchell [Ballybriest].

Juvenile Under 16 Piping 1st Emma Ferguson [Matt Boyd Memorial], 2nd Jake McConnell [Matt Boyd Memorial], 3rd Lauren Boyce [McDonald Memorial].

Andrew Shilliday receives his third prize

Juvenile Under 18 Piping 1st Marc Warnock [Tullylagan], 2nd Fraser Rodgers [Upper Crossgare], 3rd Nathan Coburn [Ravara].

C Grade Junior Piping 1st Beth Preston [P.S.N.I.], 2nd Mark Hasson [Colmcille], 3rd Tim Wharton [Joseph Forde Memorial].



B Grade Intermediate Piping 1st Ryan Cupples Menendez [Field Marshal Montgomery], 2nd Desmond Smyth [Manorcunningham], 3rd Michael Harvey [PSNI].

A Grade Senior Piping 1stSean Moloney [St Marys Derrytrasna], 2nd John McElmurry [Scottish Power], 3rd Ben Greeves [Drumlough].

Piobaireachd Competition Juvenile Under 16 1st Ewan Mitchell [Ballybriest], 2ndAdam Brimage [Matt Boyd Memorial], 3rd Jake McConnell [Matt Boyd Memorial].

Ryan Cupples-Menendex receives his trophy

Juvenile Under 18 1st Emma Ferguson [Matt Boyd Memorial].

B Grade 1st Michael Harvey [P.S.N.I.], 2ndEmma Livingstone [Matt Boyd Memorial], 3rdAndrew Shilliday [Tullylagan].

A Grade 1st John McElmurry [Scottish Power], 2nd Ryan Cupples Menendez [Field Marshal Montgomery], 3rd Beth Preston [P.S.N.I.].


Open Grade Bass Drumming: 1st Rodney Cranston [St Marys Derrytrasna, 2nd Jay Hasson [Colmcille], 3rd Oisin McCartney [Colmcille].

Juvenile U14 Tenor Drumming: 1st Keeva Smith [Matt Boyd Memorial], William Currie [Cullybackey].

Juvenile U16 Tenor Drumming: 1st Sophie Thompson [P.S.N.I], 2nd Grace McIvor [Matt Boyd Memorial], 3rd Carla Withers [St Marys Derrytrasna].

Novice Drum Pad: 1st Scott Martin [Syerla], 2nd Kerry Anne Orr [Syerla], 3rd Jay Gillespie [RSPBA].

Advanced Drum Pad. 1st Benjamin Walker [Joseph Forde Memorial].
Unaccompanied Snare Drum. 1st Ethan Smith [Matt Boyd Memorial], 2nd Conor Gallagher [Colmcille],

Juvenile Under 14 Drumming. 1st Jamie Coffey [Major Sinclair Memorial], 2nd Samuel Hanna [Broughshane & District], 3rd Matthew Steenson [Gransha].

Juvenile Under 16 Drumming. 1st Arren McWilliams [P.S.N.I.], 2nd Brady Sayers [Mountjoy], 3rd Alex Buchanan [P.S.N.I.].

C Grade Junior Drumming 1stAshley Fyffe [PSNI], 2nd Brian Hughes [St Marys Derrytrasna], 3rd Richard Black [Syerla].

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