Best ever . . . Hokonui Pipe Band members hold the haul of cups they won at the Otago Southland Pipe Band Championships in Dunedin on Sunday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The Hokonui Celtic Pipe Band has had a successful build-up to the national championships next month.

At the Otago Southland Pipe Band Championships, held at Dunedin’s North Ground on Sunday, the band, competing in grade 4A, won eight cups including most improved band, most points in piping and drumming and overall winner of the grade.

Band president Jeff Shanks said band members were very pleased with their results at the weekend.

‘‘It was the biggest haul of cups we’ve ever collected.

‘‘We had a real good outing.’’

A second team was entered in the 4B grade. The 4B team was a mixture of experienced and less experienced to help the younger band members learn how to compete.

It was decided to join 4A and 4B bands together for the Sunday morning street march, he said.

‘‘The 4B players had to step up to play at 4A level.

‘‘This was also the first competition for some of our younger pipers and drummers as well.’’

Therefore it was ‘‘extra-special’’ when the band won the street march.

‘‘We were first out of 10 bands.’’

It was also drum major Andy Fraser’s first time leading the band in a street march.

‘‘He went well.’’

The day before, the 4A team had finished second to Canterbury in the Octagonal Day event held in Dunedin’s Octagon.

‘‘On the Sunday the tables turned.

‘‘We won everything.’’

The band will compete at the national championships in Hagley Park in Christchurch from March 10 to 11.

‘‘It’s a good result and a good lead-up to where we’re heading.’’