Middleton and Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club competed in Nottingham at the Midlands Invitational and continued its good form from last year with another impressive medals haul.
Being the first competition on the wrestling calendar, it always attracts a large entry with well over 200 wrestlers from all over the UK, taking it from a being decent little competition to a major player with over ten hours of freestyle wrestling to get in.
The Dales club was looking at continuing its recent surge in success from the latter half of last year, and was well on track with ten of their 15 wrestlers entered making it through the early preliminary rounds and semis, then on to their category finals.
Looking at a potential barrow full of golds, the youngsters fought some fantastic battles but it was 28kg Lewis Brown who, after four great bouts, stormed to the club’s only gold to keep him at the pinnacle of his group.
More great fights followed. An improving Shaun Thorpe and Brandon Harrison finished in second places in their categories.
Battlers Thomas Phillips and Troy Hunt entertained the crowd as usual with a determination that normally carries them through to victory but were also down to silver.
Jack Lawley met his match from an Albanian champion. His age was questionable but his champion status wasn’t as they fought an aggressive bout where the foreign star was the victor but Jack’s effort was rewarded with coach’s choice of wrestler of the competition.
The club’s female wrestlers fought hard and the medal haul was plentiful.
Unfortunately they weren’t in the club’s favourite colour of gold with Katy Colebourne, Abbi Lawley, Harriette Phillips and Grace Doxey all taking silver.
Another place down was Laila Brown in third. Shannon Harrison’s expectations of a medal were sadly thwarted as she was just off the podium in fourth place.
Again drawn in a tough group, Mikey Bervan-Beirne was let down in the early stages by his defensive skills but settled himself down, challenged well and earned a commendable bronze.
Never taking the smiles off their faces and proving a joy to watch were Martin Heathcote and Kyle Hunt.
This pair will always be victims of experience but did the club proud with determination as they wrestled to third and fourth respectively.