The Moira Demesne was the setting last Saturday (Aug 10) for the penultimate RSPBANI Branch contest of the 2019 season. It also served as a final outing for bands, drum majors and the panel of adjudicators who will be taking part in this weekend’s World Championships in Glasgow.
The contest escaped the worst of the heavy showers that seemed to pick out areas of Northern Ireland randomly throughout the day. Despite sustained periods of heavy rain during the past week the venue was well able to cater for the parking needs of the large attendance and the competition areas were sound underfoot.
The biggest disappointment for many of the spectators was the withdrawal of the Field Marshal Montgomery and Closkelt bands from the Grade 1 and Grade 2 competitions respectively, however the remaining bands served up some very enjoyable performances.
The biggest surprise of the day was perhaps Ravara (pictured top) winning Grade 1 on MSR Ensemble Preference they and PSNI had tied on 12 points accumulated after they each secured a win in the two disciplines, MSR and Medley.
Ravara have been in great form of recent and it was no surprise that they added the Grade 2 title to their prize list. The PSNI lifted the Grade 1 drum corps prize while Manorcunningham took the Grade 2 one.
Battlehill lifted the Grade 3A title edging out local rivals St Mary’s Derrytrasna and Quinn Memorial while fourth placed Clogher & District won the drum corps prize. McNeillstown’s total domination of 3B continued however close rivals Tullylagan tied with them on piping and it took better scores on drumming and ensemble to get them over the line.
Grade 4A was won by Kildoag thanks to their drum corps winning while Bessbrook Crimson Arrow edged out third placed Augharan who had won five of the previous seven local competitions. Fourth placed Cloughfin continued to impress with a top class piping performance that netted them top placings from both adjudicators.
In Grade 4B Broughshane & District produced a solid piping performance to lift the title ahead of IPBA band Carlow who won the drumming. William Kerr Memorial, Mountjoy and Ballyboley continue to provide strong opposition in this Grade.
The drum major winner’s rostrum had a very familiar look about it with Lauren Hanna, who is most certainly coming into form just ahead of the Worlds, winning the Senior section for the second week in a row.
Kara Gilmour won her first local Juvenile competition of the season while Benjamin Walker won the Junior for the third time to close the gap on Louis Anderson in the race to be Champion of Champions. Carys Graham made it six local wins in a row which is a magnificent achievement.
Novice: 1st Carys Graham, 2nd Mia Buckley, 3rd Harry Mills, 4th Rafaela Fields, 5th Christie Steele.
Junior: 1st Benjamin Walker, 2nd Louis Anderson, 3rd Grace Thompson, 4th Leanne Crooks, 5th Louise Smiton.
Juvenile: 1st Kara Gilmour, 2nd Jamie Cupples, 3rd Rachel Lowry, 4th Abigail Wenlock, 5th Kathy Hunter.
Senior: 1stLauren Hanna, 2nd Emma Barr, 3rd James Kennedy, 4th Andrea McKeown, 5th David Brownleee.
Grade 4B: 1st Broughshane & District, 2nd Carlow (also Best Drums & Bass Section), 3rd William Kerr Memorial (also Best M&D), 4th Mountjoy, 5th Ballyboley.
Grade 4A: 1st Kildoag (also Best Drums & Bass Section), 2nd Bessbrook Crimson Arrow, 3rdAugharan, 4th Cloughfin. Best M&D: Cullybackey.
Grade 3B: 1st McNeillstown (also Best Drums), 2nd Tullylagan (also Best Bass Section), 3rd Major Sinclair (also Best M&D), 4thCleland Memorial.
Grade 3A: 1st Battlehill, 2nd St Mary’s Derrytrasna, 3rd Quinn Memorial, 4th Clogher & District (also Best Drums & Bass Section).
Grade 2: 1st Ravara, (also Best Bass Section), 2nd Manorcunningham (also Best Drums & M&D), 3rd Thiepval Memorial, 4th Colmcille.
Grade 1: 1st Overall on MSR Ensemble Preference, Ravara (also Best Medley), 2nd PSNI (also Best MSR, Drums, Bass Section and M&D).