Belfast Telegraph

Pipe band on victory march yet again as they win third Grand Slam

BY CLAIRE GRAHAM

The mighty Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band have played a victory march once again.

The Lisburn-based outfit, renowned as the best in the world, have broken yet another world record, becoming the first in history to collect three Grand Slams.

The accolade means Monty's tartan army claimed every championship title available to them in 2013. This includes Scottish, British, European, Ulster, All Ireland, Cowal, and World Champions as well as scooping the Scottish Champion of Champions as a band and the Scottish Champion of Champions Drum Corps award.

The full season of firsts was rounded off on Saturday at the Cowal Games in Dunoon, Scotland.

Only two other bands have won a Grand Slam in their lifetime, that being Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band in 1958 and Strathclyde Police Pipe Band in 1985.

Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band have won the coveted Grade 1 Grand Slam accolade in 1993, 2011 and and now in 2013.

Chairman of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch, Ray Hall, said: "I want to pass on the best wishes of all associated with the pipe band community in Northern Ireland to our Grade 1 Championship pipe band, Field Marshal Montgomery.

"This is quite an achievement and to win a grand slam once would be fantastic, but to win it on three occasions is a phenomenal achievement.

"I would further like to congratulate other Northern Ireland bands who made it into the prize list today in their respective grades being, Whitewater in Grade 4B, Cleland Memorial in Grade 4A and Raffrey in Grade 3A.

"Also winning at the Cowal Games was Northern Ireland's top Drum Majors Emma Barr from Ravara winning the Junior title, Laura Abraham winning the Juvenile title and Paula Braiden winning the Adult Drum Major title."

Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association branch secretary David Scott said it was a huge honour to see three grand slams for the group.

"To do it once was fantastic, but three occasions is phenomenal."

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