With a record 185 entrants packed into the Wirksworth Leisure Centre, Middleton and Wirksworth Freestyle Wrestling Club knew it was going to be a long day as they hosted their annual competition, the Derbyshire Open 2012 last weekend.
With two mats running consistently for nine and a half hours and 275 bouts to get through, the club’s coaches had their work cut out but when Grace Doxey turned her opening bout into a solid win, the pressure was lifted slightly and, with two wrestlers in the 24kg female category, it was M&W that took both top spots with Grace getting gold and Laila Brown with silver.
Also taking a perfect gold after four dominant performances was 27kg Thomas Phillips, back to the top of his group, Thomas looked unstoppable throughout the long and tiring day, and this also earned him wrestler of the competition.
Absent Jack lawley and Katy Colebourne, missing through injury, left the spotlight to fall on the younger ones with female wrestlers Raina Cooper 60kg, Abbi Lawley 56kg and 36kg Harriette Phillips all taking silver on home soil.
After making a fantastic start, 29kg Lewis Brown was commanding his group until his last bout that snatched his first place away, leaving him to accept silver.
Grapplers Max Walker 46kg, Kyle Hunt 66kg and 39kg James Colebourne all suffered defeats in their opening bouts but established themselves for the rest of the competition by winning their remaining bouts to take more silvers.
With two wins under his belt, 48kg Brandon Harrison was wowing the spectators with every bout, until time ran out on the youngster and he lost his remaining fights, but he was pleased with a bronze medal.
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56 kg Rueben Walker enjoyed the day with some solid performances that earned him a respectable bronze.
Shaun Thorpe 38kg and Mikey Bevan-Beirne wre drawn again into some hard large groups. The pair battled well all day and just missed out on the silverware with fourth places in their respective categories.
On their first outing for the club were Ewan Mackie 32kg and George Bowan 56kg. Both impressed the club’s coaches and were victims of experience but wrestled well and got fourth place.
M&W would like to thank all that sponsored the event and made it another great success.