MARTIAL ARTS: ELLESMERE Port Karate Club has secured a major domestic title by clinching top spot in the Bukonkai National Championships in Rossett.
It was the second year running that the EPIC-based squad collected the winners' trophy after wrestling the cup away from London in 2003.
The victorious team of five competitors consisted of Rob Ellison, Dave Morris, John Capper, Simon Francis and Rob McDowell. More than 20 clubs from across both England and Wales took part with a 200-strong field of competitors.
Head instructor Lee Williams said: 'I'm extremely proud with the team's achievement as they had to overcome some top-class opposition to retain the title. Domestically, it's our biggest and most prestigious tournament and the competition was stronger than ever. We were determined to keep the trophy and ensure it didn't go back to the capital.
'Taking top spot for two years running is a vast achievement and our club seems to be going from strength to strength. Most of the squad who brought us first place this time were the same lads who represented England for me when we overcame Europe's best to re-cord a one-two finish at the Malta Open Championships in July.'
As well as securing the overall team title, there were individual successes at the Bukonkai National Championships for two of Ellesmere Port's members.
Rob Ellison struck gold in the individual kata section while Dave Morris picked up first place in the kumatai division.
Williams, whose late father Colin founded Bukonkai Karate International, has been involved in the martial art for more than 30 years. He has 12 clubs across the country under his jurisdiction, including Chester, Crewe and Wrexham. Ellesmere Port Karate trains at the EPIC between 7-8.30pm on Mondays and at Sutton High School between the same times on Wednesdays. More details are available on www.bki.org.uk