Spring League 2018 Comp report

What is the Spring League?

The Spring League is one of two lead climbing competitions we run here at TX each year. While the autumn's leading ladder features specific age categories, a set piece grand final and some fantastic prizes the spring league is much more leisurely paced. The routes are still testing but the leaderboard is only split into boys and girls, but a mixed board will always be posted so you can see exactly where you fit in! With a grade range beginning at 5+, a raffle every round and FREE entry, there really is something for everyone so please join in the fun! As it stands TX is the only wall in Scotland offering lead climbing open competitions so you really cant get this feeling anywhere else!

Ben Winter at the 2017 Leading Ladder Final. Photo: Robert Stokes Photography

Round 1

Round 1 kicked off with 32 competitors entering scorecards, a massive increase on least year which is great to see. On the female side of the draw two members of the TX Youth Squad shot to the top of the leaderboad with young Emma Heslop leading the way. In fact, 4 of the top 5 females were representing for the Squad. A sign of things to come perhaps? Alicia Ledo split the group with some impressive climbing on a return from her travels.

Emma Heslop cruising during the 2016 Leading Ladder Final. Photo: Robert Stokes

In the men's side of the draw we saw 2016 Leading Ladder champion Ben Winter take the top spot with 8 flashes. He was closely followed by 3 time Leading Ladder finalist Phil Hall and local strongman Dave Cowan who tied for second place in Round 1. Nathan Noble was the only person to top route 8, a crimpy test of endurance on the Dream Tower which leaves him alone in 4th place. With Round 2 already underway there could be a real fight to top the chart come the end of the competition.

Round 1 Scores

Your Round 1 setting team were Matt Berry, Joe Saunders and Scott Donaldson.

round 2

Round 2 saw many of the same faces we have become accustomed to seeing around competition time return to the fray along with some newer faces eager to join in what has been an excellent competition so far. 31 individuals threw down in Round 2 to continue the momentum from the initial round, its amazing what the offer of a raffle will do!

Laurie Barclay in the 2015 Leading Ladder Final. Photo: Robert Stokes

In the female draw we saw defending Leading Ladder Champion Fiona Stalker take the round win after placing 5th in the first round. She still has some ground to make up on the two young guns of the TX Youth Squad leading the way overall in Emma and Rosie who placed 2nd and third respectively in Round 2. Alicia Ledo continued her strong Spring League entry to finish 3rd in the round and hold onto 3rd overall in the competition. Round 3 is shaping up to be a furious finale in what is no doubt one of the most competitive fields we have ever seen. Will this momentum continue through the year for a grandstand finish at the Leading Ladder in the autumn, we can but wait and see!

Emma crushing in the 2016 Leading Ladder. Photo: Robert Stokes

In the men's event last years overall Spring League champion returned to the top of the table where he was joined by Nathan Noble, earning 100 points each in the overall standings. Round 1's winner slipped back to join a group of 3 other competitors with familiar names of Phil Hall, Laurie Barclay and Kevin Monachan in 3rd place. With only 2 points separating the top four overall in the standings it looks like the 2018 Spring League is going to go down to the wire. It's also fantastic to see Fraser Wilson of the TX Youth Squad holding down a top 8 spot overall in a loaded men's field. The winner of the Round 2 raffle was Fraser's fellow TXYS member, Allan Player!

Neil Shepherd in the 2016 Leading Ladder Final. Photo: Robert Stokes.

Your setting team for Round 2 were: Ashley Dean, Michaela Howett and Diane Toal.

Round and League Overall Scores after Round 2

round 3

The final round of Spring League 2018 is now in the books. It was a hotly contested affair that went right down to the final night with competitors cheering each other on and fighting for the last top that could make all the difference in the standings. Round 3 featured some powerful routes on steep ground which certainly managed to separate the pack out and ensure that we had found the true top dogs for the spring of 2018.

Ben Winter in the Leading Ladder 2016 Final

The ladies side of the draw provided only one question going into Round 3, could anyone catch young Emma Heslop for the title? It seemed like the 2nd and 3rd pairing of Rosie Wilson and Alicia Ledo would be the ones to watch on the final day and they managed to score the same number of points as Emma, but not enough to surpass her in the round or the overall standings. In fact, 6 women all scored 120 points and joint second in Round 3 with only Cerys Jakeman breaking the tie and winning the round with a score of 140. In summary this means that Emma Heslop takes the Spring League crown and prize for 2018 with Rosie Wilson in second and Alicia Ledo in 3rd place.

Fiona Stalker in the 2016 Leading Ladder Final

As we all knew it would the men's event went right down to the wire with some scores being submitted as late as 2155 on the final night of competition. Heading in there were 4 climbers within 2 points of the top spot occupied by Ben Winter. Would anyone do enough to dislodge him? 2 time Leading Ladder Champion Neil Shepherd gave it everything he had, topping 7 out of 8 routes to take the round win. However, it was not enough to close the gap to the top spot as Ben, Phil Hall and Nathan Noble all scored 120 points to tie for second in Round 3. This kept Ben a single point clear at the top of the leader board to earn him the Spring League title and prize for 2018 while in joint second place we have Phil Hall, Nathan Noble and Neil Shepherd. With such an exciting end to the series the Leading Ladder now looms large in the Autumn, we can't wait to see how it turns out!

Phil Hall at the Leading Ladder Final 2017

Finally we would like to thank everyone that took part in the Spring League 2018 and for all the feedback we have received so we can make next years event even better! Your setting team for Round 3 were: Ashley Dean, Noah Thorpe and Diane Toal. You can find the full Round 3 and League standings below. Don't forget, the Leading Ladder will return in the autumn with big prizes and Grand Final spots on offer, see you then!

Round 3 Scores
Final Scores and Winners!
Created By
Matthew Berry

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