Middleton and Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club took 11 wrestlers to London last weekend to compete in the British Junior championships and came away with a pair of title victories.
The facilities at Whitgift School were outstanding from a venue that has the reputation of producing many world class athletes throughout the whole spectrum of sport.
The Dales club won two titles during the day, with the first one going to Thomas Phillips, who at the moment is reaping the rewards of a more cautious and technical approach that has bagged him two golds in three weeks.
Back at the top again is a more confident Abbi Lawley, who has not dropped a single point in her last two competitions to equal Thomas’s recent success.
After eight hours of wrestling, seven-year-old Troy Hunt must have been saving the best until last as he went for his man as soon as the whistle was blown.
It was hard for watching spectators and coaches to believe that this was still his rookie year as he got stuck in as though his life depended on it, showing that what he lacks in technique, he certainly makes up for in desire.
He rose to the occasion magnificently but missed the win by one point, although in everyone’s eyes he was the real winner and was named as coaches’ wrestler of the competition.
A further three wrestlers were unfortunate not to be crowned champions as they went into their respective weight category finals.
Lewis Brown, Shaun Thorpe and Katy Colebourne fought hard as all the bouts went three rounds and again it came down to a single point that denied them the top spot success.
Brandon Harrison and James Colebourne missed the chance of golds early on but carried on throughout the day with Brandon starting to adopt his trademark move – including throwing his opponent off the mat – that is really getting him results at the moment.
Both James and Brandon pulled out all the stops in the third/fourth place wrestle-off, with the pair being named as the victors.
After putting in a solid day’s wrestling, including some great defensive countermoves, Harriette Phillips grew in stature as she fought bravely and gained more confidence as the day wore on, ending in fourth.
With so much catching up to do, returning siblings Kane and Kyle Hunt knew this one was going to be tough.
With more experienced and stronger challengers in their groups, they showed no fear when faced with the impossible, and both are showing signs of making inroads in catching up, doing a sterling job of getting as high as fourth place.