Monty men gain solace but All-Ireland drum prize stays south
IT won't erase all the pain from their Worlds woes, but at least the smile was back on FM Montgomery faces on Saturday when their pipers dominated the prize list at the All-Ireland Solos in Dublin.
In the drumming divisions, though, it was St Laurence O'Toole (whose combined band percussionists are world champions) and Cullybackey who hogged the limelight in the top grades.
Ballyclare man Kris Coyle (pictured), who has been a member of FMM since 2005, took the senior piping crown by the narrowest of margins ahead of his band colleague and All-Ireland holder Ashley McMicheal, with another 'Monty', Jonathan Lamberton, taking third
Coyle previously played with the Monkstown Mossley band, leading them as pipe major to runners-up in the juvenile grade at the Worlds, and he has featured in many solo prize lists in Ulster and Ireland.
In the senior drumming division it was a case again of the pupil outfoxing the professor as Mikey McKenna of St Laurence O'Toole, for the second year running, usurped his band boss Stephen Creighton to retain his crown. The Dublin duo were split in the top three by Cullybackey's William Glenholmes.
When you study the pipers and drummers who made the winners’ rostrum, there are two common strands which stand out - inherent musical talent of the soloists backed up with a skilled team of tutors and mentors.
In the early learning years these elements are so vital in establishing the foundation on which to build essential technical and musical awareness. It is normal to expect that pipe majors, leading drummers or other band tutors will be the key facilitators of the necessary ground work which each beginner piper or drummer needs.
However, it has long been recognised that any boy or girl revealing high level skills and wishing to progress in the solo piping or drumming scene will need to have a dedicated ‘coach’, usually a mentor who has also successfully graced the solo boards.
So congratulations to all backroom personnel who give of their time and experience so freely to ensure the soloists do not stand alone. All-Ireland results:
:: Senior - 1 Kris Coyle, 2 Ashley McMichael, 3 Jonathan Lamberton (all FM Montgomery).
:: Piobaireachd A - 1 Kris Coyle (FM Montgomery), 2 Ashley McMichael (FM Montgomery), 3 Peter Donnan (Cloughfin).
:: Piobaireachd B - 1 Jonathon Simpson (Boghall & Bathgate), 2 Jason McAlister (St Laurence O'Toole), 3 Paul Brown (Boghall & Bathgate).
:: Intermediate - 1 Ross Hume (FM Montgomery), 2 Chris Earls (Arklow), 3 James Frazer (FM Montgomery).
:: Junior A - 1 Jonathon Simpson (Boghall & Bathgate), 2 Simon Grace (St Laurence O'Toole), 3 Sean Moloney (Dr O'Hurley).
:: Junior B - 1 John McElmurry (Matt Boyd Memorial), 2 Mark Hasson (Colmcille), 3 Matthew Moore (Drumlough).
:: Juvenile (under-16) - 1 Ryan Couples Mendez (Cleland Memorial), 2 Samantha Coburn (Ulster Scots Agency), 3 Simon Thompson (Drumlough).
:: Juvenile (under-14) - 1 Emma Livingstone (Matt Boyd Memorial), 2 Cian Flanagan (New Ross & District), 3 Emma Ferguson (Matt Boyd Memorial).
:: Certificates of Merit (gold) winners - practice chanter under-12: Rebecca Hicks (Ulster Scots Agency), Jonathan Gibson (Portavogie). Novice pipes under-12: Jack Hamill (McDonald Memorial), Jake McConnell (Ulster Scots Agency).
:: Senior - 1 Michael McKenna (St Laurence O'Toole), 2 William Glenholmes (Cullybackey), 3 Stephen Creighton (St Laurence O'Toole).
:: Intermediate - 1 Marcus Wenlock (Cullybackey), 2 Nicholas Harvey (RSPBA), 3 Blake McVeigh (Inveraray & District).
:: Junior A - 1 Craig Brown (Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate), 2 Matthew Wenlock (Cullybackey), 3 Glen Creighton (St Laurence O'Toole).
:: Junior B - 1 Craig Lawrie (Lomond & Clyde), 2 David Murphy (New Ross & District), 3 Matthew Cole (RSPBA).
:: Juvenile (under-16) - 1 Eoin Rogers (St Laurence O'Toole), 2 Richard Black (Tullylagan), 3 John McClean (RSPBA).
:: Juvenile (under-14) - 1 Lee Montgomery (Tamlaght O'Crilly), 2 Fionn Murphy (New Ross & District),3 Daniel Lynn (Cullybackey).
:: Certificates of Merit (gold) winners - novice drumming under-12: Stephen Walker (Arklow), Ryan Rogers (Gransha), Jamie Kerr (Major Sinclair Memorial); drum pad under-12: William McMullan (Harry Ferguson Memorial), Jake Boyd (Altnaveigh), Josh Hanna (Harry Ferguson Memorial _.