THEY had been hoping to give him the elbow this time around, but All-Ireland Arm Wrestling champion Peter Dunlop was again giving the thumbs up after retaining his title last week.
A strong field of competitors were unable to loosen Peter’s mighty grip on the trophy at the Flagship Centre in Bangor.
The 30-year-old quickly set about dispatching the best Ireland had to offer in the sport to set up a final with the deceptive Richard McAvoy.
And to the delight of his local fans, Peter trousered the £200 prize money and title of the island’s number one for another year.
His successive title triumphs are made more remarkable considering the towering ace’s first foray into the sport was last year’s maiden shot at the All-Ireland crown.
Prior to that the joiner’s only other experience was arm wrestling with pals in bars in Ballymoney.
“I went to the gym about three years ago and was told I should try strongman events as I had a bit of potential,” he said.
“Martin Campbell said he would train me up and I won a novice title.
“He then trained me up for the arm wrestling and I thought I’d give the All Ireland championships a go and ended up winning.
“I only did it last year for a bit of craic and boys were saying I should go again this time around and I’m glad I did.”
Asked what made a champion arm wrestler, Peter said brains rather than brawn go a long way.
“A lot of it is technique,” he said.
“The boy I arm wrestled in the final was about 6’2 and 14 stone and has won a title in the past.
“He has excellent technique and took some beating.”
Peter has been hauling loads around since he was pint-sized. The 26 stone arm wrestling maestro hails from a farming background and says there was always plenty of work for him to do.
And he says he hopes to put his natural Incredible Hulk-like strength to the test in an effort to get his hands on more silverware.
The British title is contested shortly and while he plans to sit this one out he intends to compete at that level in the future.