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Caithness News Bulletins July 2005

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Halkirk Tug O' War Team Are Scottish Champions 2005
A team from Halkirk Tug of War came home triumphant from the Scottish Tug Of War Championships on Sunday 10th July. The Amateur competition is held annually at the Stirling Games. The Halkirk boys took top honours in the 680kg weight category. Amateur pulling is different from the more traditional Highland Games pulling which is seen in the North of Scotland. The main differences are the footwear which is permitted and the technique used. It could be likened to the differences between Rugby Union and Rugby League.

The newly Crowned Scottish Champions at the 680 kg weight limit were all past or present Halkirk Young Farmers members with coach Bruce Swanson Snr also a former member.

The victorious team was Michael MacGregor, Danny Budge, Jonnie Campbell, Bruce Swanson Jnr, John Murray, Andrew Swanson, Graeme Gunn and Bryan Sinclair.

Having qualified for the semi-finals, Halkirk overpowered last yearís champions, East Kilbride by 2 pulls to nil, and then faced North-East opposition in the form of Cornhill in the final. After being a feet from defeat in the first end, the boys recovered to win and then take the 2nd end to be crowned Scottish Champions. The win now means Halkirk qualify to represent Scotland at the British Championships to be held on 20th and 21st August at Bearsden in Glasgow. Being the ladsí first appearance at the competition makes the feat even more remarkable.

The success also resulted in the boys being invited to represent Scotland at the European Championships in Italy which are due to take place in September this year. Planning is underway but it is hoped sponsorship can be found to fund the trip.