2023 Mens National Tug of War Championships Results
This year saw Army, Upper Eden, York, Lincoln, Bosley, Felton Eccles, Sandhurst, Oxney Vines Cross, East Anglia, Bedfordshire, St Enoder and Kilroe take part. Following a proposal that was accepted at the TOWA AGM at the beginning of the year, the format of the mens national championships was changed this year, with the 4 representative weights being held first in the following order – 560kg, 640kg, 600kg and 680kg. These weights were pulled as points competitions followed by semi-finals and finals. These weights were then followed by the mixed 580kg competition and then the 720kg and catchweight competition. The new ruling allows the 720kg and catchweight to be pulled as either a points competition or a knock-out competition, and this year it was determined that the 720kg and catchweight be pulled as a knock-out competition.
Photo: Felton Eccles
Lincoln, Upper Eden, Army, Felton Eccles, Bosley and Sandhurst competed in the 560kg competition which was a lively weight class to start the day on top of the ground. The first matches saw Lincoln defeat the Army, Sandhurst defeat Felton Eccles and Upper Eden defeat Bosley. Lincoln went through the group rounds unbeaten, although they were run very close by Upper Eden who had Lincoln very close to the line on one of their ends, and Sandhurst also gave Lincoln a decent pull. Sandhurst finished as group runners up and Upper Eden followed in first place. Felton Eccles and Bosley were tied on 4th place, but after the criteria was applied it was Felton who progressed.
In the semi finals Lincoln overcame Felton Eccles by 2 ends to 0, but there was a great battle in the second semi-final between Sandhurst and Upper Eden. Upper Eden took a close first end and Sandhurst then managed to level the score to take it to a third end. Upper Eden won the toss for the choice of the third end. After around a minute and a half of pulling, it looked as though Sandhurst were gaining momentum and had Upper Eden close to the line only to run out of steam and Upper Eden held on to take the rope all the way back to make it through to the final. In the bronze medal match, Felton and Sandhurst faced each other and Felton took the initiative to take the bronze medal by 2 ends to 0. In the final, Upper Eden reached their second final in a row and were hoping for gold with Lincoln standing in their way. Upper Eden made a decent fight of it, but Lincoln had the upper hand on both ends and took a well deserved gold medal by 2 ends to 0.
The 640kg competition was split into two groups with the top two teams from each group progressing to the semi finals. In group 1, Lincoln won all of their matches to profgress in first place ahead of York who finished as group runners up. In group 2, Felton Eccles were caught by surprise on the very first end by a young Kilroe team to lose the first end but win the second end and the built up momentum as the weight progressed to finish first in the group, with Bedfordshire finishing as the eventual group runners up. In the semi-finals, Lincoln met Bedfordshire and Felton Eccles met York.
Photo: Oxney Vines Cross
The first semi-final saw Lincoln defeat Bedfordshire by 2 ends to 0, and Felton Eccles defeated York by the same score. In the bronze medal match, Bedfordshire faced York in a repeat of the bronze medal match from 2022. It was a very close battle with York taking the first end and then Bedfordshire levelling the match by taking the second end. The third end was another exciting match with Bedfordshire managing to generate momentum from the drop and after getting over half way back, started to run out of steam and York managed to wrestle the rope all the way back to take the third end and the bronze medal. In the final, Lincoln met Felton Eccles and it ended up with a well deserved 2 ends to 0 win for Lincoln.
Photo: St Enoder
The 600kg competition was run as a straight group of 8 teams with Army, Felton Eccles, Upper Eden, Bosley, Lincoln, Oxney Vines Cross, East Anglia and Sandhurst taking part. There were lots of good ends in this competition and a few 1-1 pulls as well. The final standings at the end of the group stage saw Lincoln progress in first place, followed by Felton Eccles, Upper Eden and Oxney Vines Cross. In the semi-finals, Lincoln met Oxney Vines Cross and Upper Eden met Felton Eccles.
The semi-finals saw Lincoln defeat Oxney Vines Cross by 2 ends to 0, and Felton Eccles defeated Upper Eden by the same margin. Onto the bronze medal match and we had another good three end battle. Upper Eden took the first end and Oxney Vines Cross took the third end. Upper Eden won the toss for the choice of the third end and both teams gave absolutely everything to try and take the bronze medal. Upper Eden were the eventual winners of the third end and the bronze medal. In the final, Lincoln took a quick first end, but Felton made them work a bit harder on the second end, but the end still went Lincoln’s way and they took their third gold medal of the day.
Photo: Upper Eden
The 680kg saw Lincoln, Felton Eccles, York, Bedfordshire, Sandhurst and Army take part. After the group rounds, It was Lincoln, Felton Eccles, York and Bedfordshire who progressed, with Lincoln competing against Bedfordshire in the first semi-final and Felton Eccles competing against York in the second semi final. Lincoln and Felton both won their respective semi-finals by 2 ends to 0 with Bedfordshire and York facing each other for the bronze, which York won by 2 ends to 0. In the final, Lincoln and Felton Eccles met for the third final in a row and this time it was a more straight forward 2 ends to 0 win for Lincoln.
The 720kg competition was run as a knowck-out competition. Originally there were 8 teams entered in this weight, but following a withdrawal, Bedfordshire, Army, Lincoln, York, Felton Eccles, St Enoder and Upper Eden took part. Bedfordshire receive a bye on the first end, so the competition started with Lincoln vs Army, Felton Eccles vs St Enoder, and York vs Upper Eden. Felton Eccles and York won their semi finals, however Lincoln had to work very hard against the Army to take their 2 ends to 0 win to progress to the next round. In the semi-final, Lincoln met Felton Eccles and York met Bedfordshire. York defeated Bedfordshire by 2 ends to 0, and Felton and Lincoln had a great battle in the other semi-final with Felton getting several good lifts in against Lincoln, but just couldn’t generate enough momentum to take the ends and progress, so it was Lincoln that went through by 2 ends to 0.
Photo: East Anglia
The bronze medal match saw Felton take a good 2 ends to 0 win against Bedfordshire to win the bronze medal. In the final, Lincoln met York. On the first end, York managed to get Lincoln moving, but couldn’t keep up the momentum and Lincoln eventually dragged York back to take the first end. There was another good battle on the second end, with Lincoln taking the second end and the gold medal.
The final weight of the mens competition was the catchweight with Lincoln, York, Bedfordshire, and Army taking part. A straight semi-final, it was Lincoln vs York and Army vs Bedfordshire. Lincoln defeated York by 2 ends to 0, and Army managed to pull off a great 2 ends to 0 win against Bedfordshire to progress to the final. The bronze medal match saw York and Bedfordshire meet for the third time in a bronze medal pull with York taking the win and the bronze medal by 2 ends to 0. In the final, Army met Lincoln and despite their best efforts didn’t have enough to match Lincoln, and Lincoln went on t take their 6th gold medal of the day and a clean sweep in the mens weight classes – the first time that this has ever been achieved at an outdoor national championships.
Mens National Championships Results Summary
Men 560 kilos – Gold – Lincoln – Silver – Upper Eden (Cumbria) – Bronze – Felton Eccles (Somerset)
Men 600 kilos – Gold – Lincoln – Silver – Felton Eccles (Somerset) – Bronze – Upper Eden (Cumbria)
Men 640 kilos – Gold – Lincoln – Silver – Felton Eccles (Somerset) – Bronze – York
Men 680 kilos – Gold – Lincoln – Silver – Felton Eccles (Somerset) – Bronze – York
Men 720 kilos – Gold – Lincoln – Silver – York – Bronze – Felton Eccles (Somerset)
Men Catchweight (no weight limit) – Gold – Lincoln – Silver – Army – Bronze – York
You can watch all of the group pulling and finals via the recording of the live streaming on YouTube below: