A STRONG Samurai squad finished in fifth place out of 135 clubs at the Midlands Open Championships, bagging three gold medals and four bronzes.

Nathan Gallacher defeated opponents from Crawley, Devin and Wigan to make the final, where he dominated against a Scottish fighter and went onto win gold.

Darcie Hancocks had all of the top British players in her category but was undeterred as she powered to gold.

She cruised into the semi-finals with some spectacular throws to come up against Scotland’s top player in her age and weight, where she booked her place in the final in with a throw.

Hancocks then defeated a physically stronger rival to seal gold.

Leah Grosvenor made it a hat-trick of victories with an assured display.

She comfortably disposed of players from Plymouth, London and Essex to make the final, before she saw off an opponent from Bristol in the final.

James Hemer overcame illness to battle his way to the semi-final, before losing to the eventual gold medal winner.

But he bounced back to beat a Birmingham player for the bronze.

There was also an excellent return to form for Frankie Marston, who had wins against players from Scotland and Aylesbury to reach the semi-final, where she was unlucky to have her throw countered by a Bristol player.

This left her needing to win her last contest against a Tayside player to win the bronze, which she did with an excellent score.

Charlotte Read and Sophie Deeming-Lane both recording bronzes.

Hetty Tinsdale was very unlucky to finish fifth after some controversial refereeing in her bronze play-off, and Cameron Hobby was also fifth.

Bryony Griffiths was one of several seventh places, she had several good wins in a difficult age band where she is still very young.

Lauren Fletcher, Rory Gulliver and Toni Poulsom all finished seventh, and there were good performances from Becky Hobby, Ellie Arnull, Sophie Pollitt and Sam Bravo.

Coach Andrew Haffner said: “To finish fifth out of 135 of the best clubs in the country was pleasing. We have made a good start to the year and need to keep that up.”