Every cloud had a silver lining for Burnley’s Black Knights as they ended the year with a medal haul at North Solihull Sports Centre.
A small team from the club joined hundreds of other competitors from all over the continent for the European Championships.
Nearly 600 mixed martial artists took part in the event - travelling from England, Scotland, Wales, France, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Kosovo, Romania, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Latvia - which was a joint venture between the WKO, World Ring Sports Association and the ASFO.
The tournament was a last hurrah for 49-year-old athlete Gareth Beck, who signed off with silver against a much younger opponent.
Harvey Wilkinson added another silver in continuous kickboxing while Keira Slater, with only five months experience, also took silver in light contact kickboxing.
Christopher Egerton-Jones, who won bronze in light contact kickboxing, claimed the final silver medal in the amateur K1 discipline.
However, the locals weren’t finished there. Aiden Tregay finished up with a couple of bronze prizes after narrowly losing out to his French opponent in the semi-finals of light and full contact kickboxing.
Evan Thompson came out of a very tough group in Low Kick rules with bronze and Ben Thornton added a couple of podium finishes to their success with bronze medals in K1 mats and in light continuous kickboxing.
Bradley Shaw suffered great misfortune when sustaining an injury during the first round of his first event, but William Tregay capped off a successful day when becoming the undisputed European Champion in Low Kick, winning on points against an experienced French competitor.
“They have all done really well,” said coach Allan Clarkin.
“A lot of the kids have fought for the first time ever this year.
“We’ve been super busy, competing in British, World and now European Championships. It’s been a fantastic year and we’ve competed in a lot of disciplines that we haven’t done before. We’ve got a few things lined up for next year.”
In 2020 the Black Knights will compete in MMA, Submission Grappling and Kickboxing styles.
The club will host it’s annual presentation evening at St Peter’s Centre tomorrow.