''They're all in a straight line, this is going to be a hard one for the judges'' was the final utterances of Alva Games commentator Craig Dunbar as the six runners flashed over the winning line in the final of the Open 90 metres Handicap.
And what ensued minutes later certainly backed up his call, with hardly the time to draw breath 3rd placed runner Martyn Paterson, Clackmannan was lodging an official objection as to the decision of the judges who had awarded first place to Ryan Calder, Central AC with Cameron Smith, Tullibody in second.
Following a short deliberation between the officials and consultation with the photo equipment the objection was sustained with the 1st and 3rd places being reversed. It was a brilliant run from backmarker Paterson who came from the 4.5 metres mark to snatch victory on the line in 10.11 seconds, to edge out both Smith and Calder.
Another sublime performance from 2011 New Year Sprint winner Paterson in the 200 metres Handicap clinched him the Athlete of the Day award, running from a reduced start of 8 metres and with the first of his rivals 15 metres up the track ahead of him, he got a clear run on the rain softened ground and powered through in the short home straight to claim victory in the shadow of the winning post.
For a long spell in the 400 metres it looked like front marker Susan Young from Dundee was going to lead all her male pursuers a merry dance, running from the 60 metres mark it was only Graeme Gibson, DWF who managed to wear her down in the closing stages of the race, Susan held on for second ahead of the fast finishing Ewan Dyer, Pitreavie AC.
The 800 metres Handicap saw Michael Burns, Pitreavie AC maintain his recent fine vein of form to come through from the 30 metres mark to claim victory from Willie Bates, Tullibody and Dean Whiteford, Innerleithen.
There were local cheers for veteran Menstrie runner John Bates who made good use of his front mark of 490 metres to win the 1600 metres Handicap, there was a good tussle for the minor placings with Christina Rankin, Kilbarchan AC out battling John Thomson, Coaltown of Balgonie.
Thomson gained revenge in the 3200 metres Handicap, this was one of the last events of the day and the track at this stage was more akin to a cross country track, it didn.t deter the evergreen Fifer Thomson who raced to victory in 10 minutes 25.23 seconds, John Bates jnr, Earlston finished runner up with Whiteford once again third.
The British Champioship Hill race saw both Alistair Dunn,Kendal and Christina Rankin, Kilbarchan retain their titles, Dunn was winning for the 7th year in a row.
The Youths races were dominated by athletes from the Kingdom of Fife, Lauren Thomson, Fife AC who is the grand daughter of 1964 New Year Sprint winner Willie McClelland landed the 90 metres handicap in fine style in 10.93 seconds.
Thomson was just denied the double in the 200 metres as she was snared on the line by visiting Belgian sprinter Neis De-Clerc. Dylan Lindsay, Glenrothes powered though from the backmark to win the 400 metres.
There was a Pitreavie AC double in the 800 metres and 1600 metres Handicaps, games debutant James Adam took the 800 ahead of Jack Allan, Monifieth and Ryan Gray, Inverclyde AC.
Allan had to settle for the runners up spot again in the 1600 where victory went to Dylan Thomson with his Pitreavie clubmate Corey Smith in third.
Conditions were very testing for the cyclists all however managed to stay on their bikes and they produced some good racing. Backmarker and soft going specialist Craig Hardie from Dalgety Bay was in scintillating form winning three of the four races, he kicked off with victory in the 800 metres Handicap, next up was the 3200 metres Scottish Championship which saw him hold off the challenge of Paul Gallacher, Kirkcaldy and Andy Turnbull, Stirling, Gallacher who is having a good season took the 1600 metres Handicap with Hardie rounding off a successful day by winning the Deil tak the Hindmost.
Not for the first time this season it was the Polish trio of Dominic Zielinski, and brothers Lukasz and Sebastian Wenta who dominated the heavy events, they won 5 events between them, they didn't get it all there own way as Craig Sinclair did the 16lb and 22lb hammer double.
Published: 2012-07-15 21:37:40