Middleton & Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club cashed in again at the Southern Region Open Tournament in Bristol, with a total haul of 13 medals being taken by the club.
After many disruptions, it took F.I.L.A-qualified M&W coach Richard Phillips to take charge of the mats as the refereeing was felt to be sub-standard and the coaches were anxious about the safety and welfare of their young charges.
With the right officials in place, the squad members put in solid performances, as expected off the back of their recent success in Belgium.
On top off his game at the present time is 28kg Lewis Brown, who was unstoppable throughout the day.
Both super siblings Thomas (25kg) and 32kg Harriette Phillips returned to the top step on the podium with good counter moves and dominating performances.
With little opposition in the female category, M&W coaches also decided to place Harriette in with the lads, where she also earned third place and, to top it all off, took the coaches’ wrestler of the competition award. After far too long an absence from picking up gold medals, 34kg James Colebourne and Erik Walker (65kg) were all smiles on the road back with a pair of shiny golds.
It was a M&W lockout in the 20kg female mini group with a mean-looking Laila Brown taking on a hardened Shannon Harrison in one of the most entertaining bouts of the day.
In the second round, it was Shannon who was caught off guard in a lightning leg attack and instantly powered over into a winning pin with a look that said “I’m in charge”.
With many of the club’s wrestlers putting in fine displays, there was a possibility that the early morning start and the travelling down to Bristol had taken the edge off a few with Jack Lawley (62kg) and 40kg Brandon Harrison picking up silvers.
A jubilant 56kg Georgia Ward overcame a psychological hurdle when she beat stablemate Raina Cooper. A fired-up Georgia went head on in the finals but couldn’t upstage her foe and took silver, leaving Raina in third.
Shaun Thorpe opened up in the 39kg category with a second round pin and, with eight in his group, and did himself proud with a bronze.
After a few years’ absence, John Bell 80kg, 54kg Kane and 60kg Kyle Hunt noticed how much had changed and realised it’s not a good idea to take a sabbatical in freestyle wrestling. But a resilient Kyle got the job done to take silver.Kane and John missed out on the silverware with fourth and fifth places respectively.