McNeillstown secure World title success

McNeillstown Pipe Band.
McNeillstown Pipe Band.

Portglenone pipe band McNeillstown captured the Grade 4A World title and also took the Grade 4A World Drum Corp title. at the World Pipe Band Championships.

Two-hundred-and-fourteen pipe bands from New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, Canada, Oman, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Ireland, USA, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland took part in the event in Glasgow.

McNeillstown’s Pipe Major Darren Frew said: “We’d had a very successful season up to the World’s winning 10 of the 11 competitions. This included UK, All-Ireland, Ulster and NI Champion of Champions titles, any of which on their own would constitute a great season but to win them all has been extraordinary playing against some very good pipe bands.

“The Worlds is always a special day and the big one that every band aims to peak for.”

Twenty-nine bands competed across two heats for a place in the 12 band final, and Darren added: “We were pretty happy with our qualifying performance but it’s always a nervous wait until the finalists are announced.

“We were happy to make it through and it was great to see five NI bands make the final including Cullybackey, Tamlaght O’Crilly, Kildoag and McDonald Memorial.

“Thankfully the performance in the final was close to the best we could do and then it was a case of the long wait for the results to see if it would be good enough.”

Leading Drummer Jason Todd is in his second season with the band and added: “We’re always looking to stretch ourselves and improve but given the pressure of the Worlds we felt we’d given it our best shot and would have no regrets regardless of the outcome.”

He added: “A super day and a real team effort, we’ve got a great bunch of people in the band who are all pulling in the same direction.

“We’re all in pipe bands for the love of the music and you just hope to get a few days like Saturday.

“A day that will be remembered by all, for a long time to come.”