Little Dunkeld was bathed in warm sunshine for the 133rd Gathering of the Birnam Highland Games.
The venue proved to be a happy hunting ground for the athletes who had made the long journey to Perthshire from the Scottish Borders, particularly those from Kelso who won four of the races on the card.
The Open 90 metres which carried a first prize £100 was won by David McKay, Kelso who only got the decision after the judges had to consult the photo finish equipment, it showed he had just edged out Lee Goodfellow, TLJT and Connor Gillon,Kelso in 9.86 seconds. McKay's only other win on the highland games circuit came in a 200 metres at Markinch three years ago.
Goodfellow who won the 100 metres at Oban 48 hours earlier was once again in the winners enclosure when he got up in the last stride to pip veteran Sam Bates,Tullibody in the 200 metres handicap, in 21.88 seconds, backmarker Leon Ali,Hawick finished strongly to take third place.
Borders success continued in the 400 metres handicap with Kyle Potts, Hawick running down Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen and Craig Bell,Forfar in the home straight before breaking the tape in 49.37.
Bell who is having his best season for a number of years followed up his Oban win by once again leading from start to finish in the 800 metres handicap, coming home in 1:58.3 ahead of Wallace McGown,Sauchie and Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen.
The Forfar veteran looked to be on his way to landing a double, he held what looked like an unassailable lead in the 1600 metres, however over the final half lap he began to tread water and was overhauled by Matt Dougall,Gala who put in a strong finish to take the win in 4:31.47. Bell hung on for second with Dean Whiteford in third.
The scratch 800 metres was won in good style by Craig Robertson,Logierait who stretched clear of the field with 200 metres to run before breaking the tape in 2:06.86, Matt Dougall and Kyle Potts filled the minor berths.
Fife put a win on the board with Jack Beattie,Rosyth taking the Veterans 90 metres in 9.67 seconds, Open 90 winner Dave McKay finished runner up with Sam Bates,Tullibody in third.
Both the Open and Youth 100 yards scratch races were won by Kelso athletes, The Open race was won by Connor Gillon who edged out Craig Bruce,Selkirk and Lee Goodfellow with Douglas Young the victor in the Youth equivalent winning from Angus Bryce,TLJT and Struan Wells,Leithenburn.
The Leithenburn club were well represented at the meeting and they were rewarded by taking the first two places in the Youth's 90 metres handicap with Eve Rathie holding on determindly from the fast finishing duo of Struan Wells and Donald Young.
There was further Kelso success in the Youths 200 metres with Ben Lyall snatching victory on the line from Steven Bates,Tullibody and Angus Bryce TLJT.
Eduard Lecrivain,Aberdeen followed up his previous weeks win at Stirling with victory in the Youth's 800 metres, getting up close home to deny the diminuative Jason White,TLJT who was making his games debut, Gaspard Lecrivain the brother of the winner finished in third place.
A barnstorming last 200 metres from Sean Bates,Tullibody saw him get the better of front marker Lucy Nuttall,Anstruther to win the Youth's 1600 metres, Gaspard Lecrivain again finished in third place. Bates' win virtually assures him of winning the SHGA season long league for youth athletes in events over 400 metres.
Seven cyclists contested the four bike races on the card, Stevie Jackson,Glasgow claimed victory in the opening 800 metres before Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey won the 1600 metres from the scratch mark, Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy and James Melville Dumbarton filled the second and third spots in both.
There was a Newburgh 1 – 2 – 3 in the 3200 metres by virtue of Ryan Keir,Davy Mathieson and Daniel Clark. The concluding Deil tak the Hindmost was won by Charles Fletcher from Jackson and Melville.
With 5 diffirent highland games taking place on Saturday the heavy athletes were well spread around the country, at Birnam, it was Sebastien Wenta who ruled supreme winning all eight events, David Cothart jnr and Stuart Anderson shared the second places.
Published: 2016-08-27 22:05:33