The Celtic Meeting

One of the liveliest meetings in the BLBS calendar is the annual Celtic Meeting held over a weekend in June, a friendly home international competition with the emphasis on "friendly" rather than "competition". It takes place in Scotland in odd-numbered years and Northern Ireland in even-numbered years and it's notable not only for the quality of the craic but also for the wicked and highly inventive gamesmanship indulged in by the teams and especially by their Captains (who really should know better).

Ailsa Trophy match, Stormont
The 2006 Ailsa Trophy Match, Stormont Castle, Belfast

The original contest in the Celtic Meeting was the Ailsa Trophy Match, still shot on the Saturday of the weekend. Here BLBS members from Scotland and all-Ireland shoot a Western round in competition for the Ailsa Trophy, a fine Burns Crystal rosebowl. The best eight from each side on the day comprise the teams. On the Saturday evening, a dinner is held where the awards for Saturday are made. It's not unknown for the celebrations to continue into the wee small hours of the Sunday.

Celtic Clout, Culzean
The 2005 Celtic Nations Clout at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire

A more recent but very welcome addition is the Celtic Nations Clout where senior and junior teams from Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Isle of Man and Cumbria are invited to compete with the Scots and the Irish. This is held on the Sunday morning and is followed by a lunch before everyone goes their separate ways for another year.


Below are images of some of the beautiful and unusual annual trophies awarded at the Celtic Meeting. Click on the thumbnail to see the full-size image.

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The Ailsa Trophy
presented by the late Archibald David 7th Marquis of Ailsa and awarded to the winning senior team in the Ailsa Trophy Match
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The Pretanni Trophy
presented by the Traditional Archery Society of Ireland and awarded to the winning junior team in the Ailsa Trophy Match
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Am Fear Iùlmhor and Tè an Fhir Iùlmhoir
carved by Bill Wiseman and awarded to the winning lady and gentleman in the Ailsa Trophy Match
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An Boghadóir Óg
sculpted by Seán Moore and awarded to the winning junior in the Ailsa Trophy Match
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The Dennis McGinley Quaich
presented in memory of a fine Irish longbowman by Scottish and English members and awarded for the Best Gold of the Ailsa Trophy Match
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The Celtic Nations Trophy
sculpted by Seán Moore and awarded to the winning senior team in the Celtic Nations Clout
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The Junior Celtic Nations Trophy
sculpted by Seán Moore and awarded to the winning junior team in the Celtic Nations Clout


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