Another big night in the competition calendar as 56 bands converged on the town of Rathfriland. The host band, Pride of the Hill, have been setting the standards in Blood and Thunder for many years, and the support that they receive at their annual parade and competition is a reflection of the respect in which they are held by bands across the country.

There is only 1 negative comment about this parade, and it is something over which Pride of the Hill have no control. Yes, it's the Hill at the end of the parade. It's a killer, Rathfriland is located on the top of a hill, all roads leading to it are hills, so inevitably at some stage you are going to have to parade up 1 of them. What a relief to get to the top.

The organisation of this particular parade was fantastic, with 2 separate areas for bands finishing to entertain the crowds and also speed up the whole process.

We had a big band on parade again with 8 in the colour party, 9 drummers and 30 fluters. We decided to let Willie John take on the role of Drum major once again, that particularly pleased Adele in the Colour party as Willie John Kindly hit her with the mace as we finished off in the square. She is considering making a claim and told this column exclusively that she will be seeking legal advice before contacting Mr Heaney.

The drum corps was particularly tight on Friday night, may have something to do with the fact that the 2 Davy's were missing, or maybe it's just coincidence.

Anyway as for the results, Another good night with 5 first prizes. Best Colour Party, Best Melody Drum Corps, Best melody Flute, Best Senior Drum major (That must be a mistake) and once again best overall band against Stiff opposition from East Belfast Prod Boys who were also excellent.