Wright crowned champion at Erwin Memorial match

Killead Ploughing Society ladies who provided refreshments at the annual match, from left: Erin Faloona with baby Scott; Margaret Erwin, Wiemy Erwin, Ruby Erwin, Jennifer Johnston, Eleanor Pinkerton, Muriel Fleming and Gloria Wallace.
Killead Ploughing Society ladies who provided refreshments at the annual match, from left: Erin Faloona with baby Scott; Margaret Erwin, Wiemy Erwin, Ruby Erwin, Jennifer Johnston, Eleanor Pinkerton, Muriel Fleming and Gloria Wallace.

More than 30 ploughmen turned out to compete at Killead Ploughing Society’s Erwin Memorial Match, recently held on land kindly granted by the Blelock family at Crosskennan on the outskirts of Antrim.

Killead Ploughing Society celebrated its Centenary last year, and since then has lost two of its highly esteemed stalwarts, Norman Erwin, president; and Gerald Erwin, vice-chairman.

Patricia Erwin chats to Killead Ploughing Society chairman Samuel Pinkerton at the Erwin Memorial Match, held at Crosskennan near Antrim. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Patricia Erwin chats to Killead Ploughing Society chairman Samuel Pinkerton at the Erwin Memorial Match, held at Crosskennan near Antrim. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Society chairman Samuel Pinkerton said: “Generations of the Erwin family have been turning the sod at Killead Ploughing Society. Norman and Gerald were life-long members, and this year the committee decided to host the 101st match in their honour.

“We are very grateful to local farmers Denis and Mark Blelock for putting their land at our disposal. Thanks also to our sponsors and judges, and everyone who supported this year’s event.”

Members of the Erwin family mingled with competitors and spectators during the ploughing match, and a minute’s silence was observed following the lunchtime interval.

Judges for the Erwin Memorial Match were William King MBE, president, and Wilson Holden, chairman, Northern Ireland Ploughing Association; George Murphy and Harold Simms.

Landowner Denis Blelock is pictured at Killead Ploughing Society's Erwin Memorial Match with David Wallace.

Landowner Denis Blelock is pictured at Killead Ploughing Society's Erwin Memorial Match with David Wallace.

Samuel Pinkerton added: ”It is encouraging to see a number of teenagers competing in the novice, vintage and commercial classes.“

Champion-of-the-field was David Wright from Loup Ploughing Society. The runner-up was Ian Simms.

Thirteen-year-old Jonathan Lemon won the award for the youngest ploughman.

The prize for the best turned out tractor and plough was won by Raymond Clifford.

Enjoying the Erwin Memorial Ploughing Match are, from left: George Taggart, Councillor Mervyn Rea MBE; and Denis Minford. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Enjoying the Erwin Memorial Ploughing Match are, from left: George Taggart, Councillor Mervyn Rea MBE; and Denis Minford. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Killead Ploughing Society’s annual dinner and prize distribution takes place in the Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick, on Friday, November 17. Tickets are priced at £20 per person, and are available from society treasurer David Wallace on tel: 028 9443 2238; or chairman Samuel Pinkerton on tel: 028 9082 5257.

Darren and Sara Lucas from Dunadry pictured at Killead's Erwin Memorial Ploughing Match near Antrim. Picture: Julie Hazelton

Darren and Sara Lucas from Dunadry pictured at Killead's Erwin Memorial Ploughing Match near Antrim. Picture: Julie Hazelton