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World-class piping at Ulster Championship

By Rachel Martin

Published 25/07/2016

Alan Tully of St Laurence O’Toole with wife Michelle and kids Emilia and Alex
Alan Tully of St Laurence O’Toole with wife Michelle and kids Emilia and Alex
Chris Pollock
Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band take to the field
Ashley McMichael
Ashley McMichael, Richard Parkes and Ross Hume of the champion ensemble

Just two points divided the top teams at this year's Ulster Piping Championship in Antrim on Saturday.

Co Antrim band Field Marshal Montgomery fought off stiff competition from Dublin's St Laurence O'Toole.

The two finished neck-and-neck in the senior section, but Field Marshal Montgomery clinched the lead by just two points in the medley section.

Thousands turned out to cheer on the musicians as they played through the rain at Antrim Castle Gardens.

Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland branch president Winston Pinkerton said: "We had two of the best bands in the world playing each other and the competition was tight - they're two of the favourites to win at the world championships in Glasgow so the standard was very high."

Also heading to Glasgow are Ravara and Bleary and District.

The association marked the centenary of Private Richard Maybin's death with a competition to compose a tune.

The Broughshane piper was killed at the Battle of the Somme. The winning air was played on the pipes sent home to the soldier's mother after he was killed.

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