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Tug of War: Holland pull their way to the front with double gold

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 14, 2014

TAKE THE STRAIN ... Holland TOWC in action representing England (from left): Ian Murphy, Aidan Wheeler, Emily Cook, Zoe Young, James Kerry, Marion Goss, Lucie Gray, Gavin Corden. Coach: Brian Wheeler.

TAKE THE STRAIN ... Holland TOWC in action representing England (from left): Ian Murphy, Aidan Wheeler, Emily Cook, Zoe Young, James Kerry, Marion Goss, Lucie Gray, Gavin Corden. Coach: Brian Wheeler.

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HOLLAND Tug of War Club struck double gold in Belfast at the UK Outdoor Tug of War Championships.

The Barton under Needwood club represented England B in the 600kg 4+4 class (four men and four women collectively weighing no more than 600kg) against teams from all the home nations.

After a difficult start in the group stages losing to England A and Scotland A, Holland made it through to the semi-finals where they were drawn again against England A.

The rivalry between the two England teams could not be understated and made for a terrific battle.

England A went on the attack from the start but Holland absorbed the pressure and drove their heels into the ground to bring their opponents over the line and eventually win two ends to nil.

Scotland A – represented by Scottish national champions Cornhill – beat Wales A in the other semi-final.

The Scots attacked from the very start in the final and while Holland defended valiantly, the first end was lost.

After the change of ends, Holand went on the offensive and dragged the Scottish team over the line to take the second end.

England coach Brian Wheeler won the toss for the decider and chose to stay at the winning end.

After a great battle, England B broke the Scottish team as they collapsed and were pulled over the line giving gold to England.

Wheeler said: "I knew we had the power to win, the team trained hard during the season and were the fittest team there.

"Pound for pound, our ladies are probably the strongest in the country and the power provided by the men meant we were a force to be reckoned with."

Not content with winning the international competition, Holland TOWC entered the open club competition the next day in the same weight class.

This time, teams from southern Ireland were eligible to take part.

On a high from the previous day, Holland were looking at doing the double.

The conditions were appalling due to the relentless rain which made the ground very muddy and slippery.

Holland topped their group which meant they had to pull arch rivals Bedford in the semi-final. This was a very tough pull for the team but they eventually overpowered Bedford to gain their place in the final.

This time Holland faced Irish national champions Lakehill in the final and put in a tremendous effort to win two ends to nil and complete a fantastic double.

Holland team chairman Bill Kerry said: "I am so pleased we managed to win the double. It just goes to show what a team can do with training, determination and loyalty".

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