The Games Park was bathed in glorious sunshine as Blackford provided the traditional pipe opener for the 2018 SHGA season. There was excellent entry numbers in running,cycling,heavy events and highland dancing. On the downside it was slightly disappointing to see only three teams contest the Scottish Tug o.War Championship.
It was great to see almost six full heats in the Open 90 metres Handicap with the final producing a thrilling finish in which a trio of runners flashed over the line in unison. After a lengthy debate by the judges the verdict went to Greg Turnbull of Jedburgh who edged out New Year Sprint winner Calum McWilliam,East Kilbride by the width of a vest with Kieran Reilly,Lasswade close up in third. McWilliam again had to settle for the runners up spot in the Open 200 metres which was won by Josh Abbott, Chirnside who was competing in senior competition for the first time on the circuit. The Turnbull sisters Natasha and Samantha both reached the final with the latter finishing in third place.
There was a big field of 18 runners in the Open 400 metres Handicap which was won by Ross Borthwick,Hawick who had also reached the final of the 90 metres earlier in the day, he was chased all the way to the line by Greg Turnbull and Kyle Potts,Hawick.
There was further Borders success in the Open 800 metres Handicap where Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen showed good early season form to come home ahead of Matthew McKenna,Cambuslang and Bruce Donald,Banff.
Fraser Logan,Belgrave has been competing consistently in mainstream events and he brought that form to the games circuit as he came with a well timed run to win the Open 1600 metres Handicap from Rebecca Burns,Edinburgh AC and John Thomson,Glenrothes. It was good to see the latter back in action on the circuit after having missed two seasons through injury.
Owing to the games clashing with the Forth Valley League meeting for under 16 athletes only half a dozen runners contested the Youth races, all three races however produced close finishes with three different winners. The 90 metres saw a Central AC 1 – 2 with Daniel Ferguson breaking the tape ahead of Euan Smith with Hawick duo Jay Patterson and Charlie Rae in third and fourth.
The first two placings were reversed in the 200 metres with Smith getting the better of his club mate Ferguson who ran from a reduced handicap for his 90 metres win.Sean Bates, Tullibody finished in third place.
The 800 metres saw Bates and Gaspard Lecrivain Aberdeen eye ball each other all the way up the home straight, in a sprint finish it was the latter who prevailed by inches to emulate his brother Edouard who won the race the previous year. Jay Patterson,Hawick finished in third place.
There was big entry of 21 cyclists 13 in the Open races and 8 youths with a few of them using the bikes recently purchased by the SHGA to encourage youth cycling on the circuit.
The opening race of the new season was won by Paul Anderson of Perth who raced to victory in the 800 metres ahead of Ian Hepburn,Cairneyhill with games debutant Alexander McCrae,Glasgow in third.
Fifer Ryan Keir,Newburgh slipped the field to take the 1600 metres ahead of the fast finishing backmarker Charles Fletcher,Granton on Spey and first season senior Jamie Penny,Newport.There was a thrilling finish to the 3200 metres, Stevie Jackson,Glasgow appeared to have the race won as they entered the home straight, Charles Fletcher however had other ideas and as he saw the leader begin to flag as they approached the finish he made a late lunge to land the spoils by the width of a tyre.
The Cairngorm rider went on to land a double with vicory in the Deil tak the Hindmost from Alex McCrae and Stevie Jackson.
Hopefully the promising turn out of youth bikers augurs well for the rest of the season. The 800 metres was won by Simon Small,Grampian from Rory Thiel, Gauldry and Roubens Thomson Grampian.Thiel then went on to land a double with wins in the 1600 metres and Deil, on both occasions he was followed home by Roubens Thomson and Simon Small.
Jordan Charters,Dolphinton was the man in form in the jumps events with a clean sweep of victories in the Long,Triple and High Jump. Ewan Bradley, Ross County was runner up in all three with Stewart Clark,Stonehaven third in the High and Triple with Bruce Donald occupying the same position in the Long.
The Scottish Tug o War Championship saw the team from Strathardle retain their title, Elgin finished runners up with Moffat in third.
Still awaitg heavy event results.
Published: 2018-05-26 21:36:10