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The second #GridOff competition for Omega ceiling installers was held by Armstrong.

Two seconds. That was all it took for Interceil to scoop honours at their very first #GridOff competition, held for the second year running by Armstrong Ceiling Solutions to celebrate its national network of Omega contractors.

The “Curried bull” Interceil team of Graham Bullock and Steve Curry (pictured in action top left) beat fellow finalists Coyle Suspended Ceilings, who won last year, by two seconds in an incredibly close final at the NEC on Wednesday (March 14th).

Graham and Steve (pictured bottom right, Graham left and Steve right), who had travelled from Northumberland with their MD Steve Jones and other colleagues for the occasion, each walked away with an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch as well as the winner's belt from the boxing-themed ceiling installation competition.

“Team Coyle” consisting of Kevin Coyle and Thomas Goodfellow (pictured top right), who had travelled from Northern Ireland to defend their title, walked away with ringside tickets to the Haye versus Bellew grudge match.

Compered again by “The voice of boxing” Steve Bunce, this year's competition attracted more than 10 teams from the Omega network who competed in pairs to install a Prelude 24mm grid and Ultima+ board edge tile system to create a 600 x 600 module grid in a space of 7.2m2 with a floor-to-ceiling height of 2m.

The installations in a mock boxing ring with two ceiling rigs were judged by Sebastien Nalin, from Armstrong's suspension systems arm, and Ian Young, manager of Armstrong's installation training centre in Gateshead.

Interceil completed their installation in 06:00:37 in their qualifying round and then 05:14:80 (including 10 penalty seconds) in the final, all the more remarkable given these two do not usually work together.

Coyle did 5:39:34 (including 10 penalty seconds) in their first round and then 05:16:99 in the final.

Interceil's Steve Curry was “totally over the moon,” to win. He said: “We would have been happy to win second place so that took the pressure off.”

Can't take it off. Brilliant prize. Thank you so much for the opportunity.”

His fellow installer Graham Bullock added: “We felt at the time we were doing better than in the first round.”

Their MD Steve Jones told organisers: “We at Interceil are so very proud to be involved in this amazing day and social media in the north east has gone crazy. For Armstrong Ceilings to provide a platform to achieve this for the lads who make our industry tick is both fantastic and very rare.”

Kevin Coyle added: “It's great to be a part of it but obviously we are disappointed we didn't win.”

“It was a pleasure to be part of such a well-run and prestigious event. Looking forward to next year's #GridOff. Thanks again from team CSC.”

Last year's runners-up, the New Forest Ceilings team of brothers Jai and Carlo Kilford from NFC Contracts, were “gutted” when in the very first round of this year's competition they mis-measured the grid to start with and had to withdraw.

Their partnering competitors, Neil Ashby and Oliver Loftus from SCL Interiors, completed the build in 6:49:55. Oliver said: “It's tough. It was a bit nerve-racking being first up.”

In Round 2, DV McColl's “DVM Rescue Ranger” team of Gary Matthews and Eddy Richardson beat Derby Ceilings & Interiors' “Dangerball” team of Barrie Ball and Daniel Dangerfield by 6:46:37 to 8:44:41.

Round 3 saw Peveril Interiors' team of Lee Westwood and Carl Barnes complete the build in 6:51:56, in front of ISEC Interior Systems' “The Staffordshire Two” team of Phil Rowley and Keith Harley with 07.18.02.

Round 4 saw H+L Ceilings' “Dream team” of John Hunn and Lee Jones complete the build in 7:56:51 but lose out to the eventual winners Interceil.

In Round 5, CSH Interiors' first-ever team of Phil Goddard and Alex Marwood beat Bellwood Interiors' “The brothers grid” team of Jay Holden and Steve Halsey by 6:02:94 to 7:46:81. This was despite Bellwood supporters back home in the office watching all the action on the live blog by construction blogger Su Butcher.

“We were watching our boys The Brothers Grid live! Great effort team! #GridOff.

The final round saw last year's winners, Coyle, pitched against Armstrong's very own Dry Wall Grid (DGS) installation specialists Martin Dalby and Mark Kennedy, aka the Chuckle Brothers, who stood in at short notice and completed the task in 10:00:09.

Mark tweeted afterwards: “We gave it a good go! #drywallgridsystem is clearly our game.”

Attendees at the event also got to experience a fun virtual reality ceiling installation (pictured bottom left) which blended education with entertainment in an immersive showcase application featuring Axiom blind boxes, Axiom transitions, DGS margins, the TLS grid used during the #GridOff event and Ultima+ Vector tiles.

Hamza Abbas, director of VR company Lucas Studios, who has previously worked in events for an aluminium extrusions company, said of the #GridOff event: “It's taking the excitement away from the VR and that usually doesn't happen. The way it has been set up, the whole boxing thing, is the best way to glorify your partners. For a second they are the ones in the spotlight.”

Event organiser Isabel Blanco, marketing and sales coordinator (UK, Ireland and Southern Africa), said: “This year's GridOff was even more highly contested, and with the virtual reality experience, brought a whole new dimension to Armstrong/Omega relations.”

For an overview video of the event click here or go to https://goo.gl/F9RTdu.



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