Pride of the Hill - Battle of the Counties - Grand Final - 18/11/06
The band travelled to attend the grand final of the Battle of the Counties event hosted by Pride of the Hill Carnmoney. We had previously progressed through the Belfast Heat just a fortnight before and thus gaining a place in tonight’s final.
Over the past 6 weeks the bands had been taking part in Heats and now everyone looked forward to the final which had a fantastic line-up and was going to be a fantastic event for the many spectators whom came to the Cottonmount Arms in Mallusk.
The winners of the previous heats where: Newtownards Protestant Boys, Whitewell Defenders, Ballykeel, Kilcluney Volunteers, Castlederg Young Loyalists and my own band. Quite an impressive line-up and any band on the night could be crowned the champion and lift the 1st prize of £500.
First up on the stage where the Newtownards Protestant Boys, small in umbers tonight which surprised me but they played well and first up isn’t easy at all but they certainly set the trend for the rest of the night’s events.
We where the next band up on the night and we plated a set routine and I thought we plated as good as we could have, in full uniform it is not easy in the sweltering heat but overall a good display and I was very happy by the attitude by all my band members tonight and I want to thank them all for attending week in week out this year.
Below are a selection of photographs and video clips of the band in action.
Clip 1, Clip 2, Clip 3, Clip 4, Clip 5 & Clip 6
THE QUALITY OF THESE CLIPS HAVE BEEN REDUCED AS THE HOST BAND ARE PRODUCING A DVD OF THE EVENT
Next on the floor where Ballykeel from Ballymena, great outfit by any standards and playing indoors suits their style to a T, they where looking to end the season on a high after a very successful season back on the road. I was not able to see their set as we where packing away our equipment but from listening to them they sounded very well.
Whitewell Defenders took the floor and they have done great to get to the final and they didn’t let themselves down; they played a good Blood & Thunder set and got a great ovation from there many fans that packed out the hall.
Kilcluney Volunteers took to the floor and there was a lot expected from the Armagh boys, big band with them and they played a good routine on the night with there 3 bass drummers all going well; they also played in their full uniform with the flute corps wearing white fingerless gloves a nice touch but one that you would see with melody bands. Great set and a great crowd pleasing band.
Last to take to the stage where Castlederg young Loyalists, they are one of the most travelled outfits on the road and they really do impress me a lot, flute and drum solos mixed with a good arrange of tunes really got people singing along and with their very smart looking uniform they are really the part. Good performance for the Derg boys.
This is the first time that the host band has held an indoor event like this, over the weeks a lot of hard work has paid off greatly. Big crowds and great bands every week with no trouble and great craic between bands and supporters. Credit indeed is due to the host band Pride of the Hill Carnmoney.
The judges conferred and tallied up the final points and the winners of the Battle of the Counties where…
1st - EAST BELFAST PROTESTANT BOYS
2nd - BALLYKEEL LOYAL SONS OF ULSTER
3rd - CASTLEDERG YOUNG LOYALISTS
Every band that contested this event where the real winners and it really did make this a great final and we would like to thank everyone for their support and their many kind words about my bands performance during this event.
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