Great grappling brings a glut of gold medals

John Peter Bell of the Middleton and Wirksworth Wrestling Club pins down his opponent at the first regional contest of the season at Wirksworth Leisure Centre.
John Peter Bell of the Middleton and Wirksworth Wrestling Club pins down his opponent at the first regional contest of the season at Wirksworth Leisure Centre.

A PACKED Wirksworth Leisure Centre was the setting on Saturday as Middleton and Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club hosted the eighth annual Derbyshire Open Competition.

In the day’s opening bouts, the home team’s wrestlers struggled to turn potential wins into home turf success and it took Thomas Phillips to stop the rot as he produced his best winning performance of the year, took absolute control of all his bouts, and brought home the club’s first gold of the day.

Success started to flow thereafter with Grace Doxey, Katy Colebourne, Troy Hunt, Abbi Lawley and Max Walker all putting in gold winning performances.

A fired up Jack Lawley was determined he was not going to be doing any overtime ahead of next weekend’s British junior championships in London, brushing aside allcomers and taking a rapid attack style in the final, to take his opponent apart in 12 seconds and earn the club its seventh gold.

Giving their best personal performances of the year were Raina Cooper and Brandon Harrison.

Both had crowd pleasing bouts as the pair traded points in two exhilarating matches with Raina taking the age and experience deficit with a shrug of the shoulders.

She took silver, after lifting the roof off the leisure centre at the joy of witnessing Brandon twice throw his foe out of the ring. Brandon finished his day winning his last bout to take silver.

James Colebourne, Lewis Brown, Shannon Harrison, Harriette Phillips and Rueban Walker all took silver too.

A little nervous in their debut competition were Cody Wood and Amy Booth, amazing their coaches with the ‘no pain no gain’ attitude that did the club proud, getting second places in their respective categories.

Laila Brown, Rowan Quigley and siblings Kane and Kyle Hunt were all unfortunate not to get higher than bronze.

The 30kg was possibly the hardest and most established group of the day. Mikey Bevan-Beirne pipped stablemate Callum Booth to fourth place and with a little bit more experience should start to visit the podium on a regular basis.

All in all, this was another successful day for the club with the many coaches on duty delighted by the way their young students rose to the challenge.