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) beat fellow finalists Coyle Suspended Ceilings, who won last year, by two seconds in an incredibly close final at the NEC on 14 March.

Graham and Steve, from Northumberland, both walked away with an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch as well as the winners’ belt from the boxing-themed ceiling installation competition.

‘Team Coyle’, consisting of Kevin Coyle and Thomas Goodfellow, who came 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 said: “We would have been happy to win secod place so that took the pressure off. Can’t take [the watch] 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.”

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

Event attendees also got to experience a fun virtual reality ceiling installation 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.

GridOff 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.”

Click here for an overview video of GridOff 2018