Pitlochry once again lived up to it's reputation as being the best and most atmospheric Highland Games on the circuit with another memorable day of entertainment for the big crowd who gathered at Recreation Park.
The weather also played the game with only a slight drizzle from time to time the only sign of rain, the sun even managed to blink through on the odd occasion.
There was big numbers entered for all events, running,jumping, cycling, tug o war, heavy events, solo piping , highland dancing and pipe bands.
The games' staged a number of track and field championships , SHGA British Tug o War, SHGA 1600 Metres, SHGA Club relays, SHGA Junior Jumps and Championship of the Highlands 3200m cycling.
The Open 90metres handicap has had it's fair share of female winners in the past and it was on the cards again with three male and three females winning through to the final. The £200 top prize went to Stacey Downie, Edinburgh AC who took the tape in 9.34 seconds ahead of Sarah Ross TLJT who was also runner up the previous week at Blairgowrie with Euan Urquhart Glasgow in third.The final line up was completed by another of the previous weeks finalists Emily Paxton Clydesdale AC, Daniel Paxton Hawick and Stewart Clark Stonehaven.
Stacey who has enjoyed her best season in mainstream athletics for quite a few years with Scotland representaions also went on to win the Open 200 metres in a blanket finish, Ewen Bradley Inverness finished runner up with Daniel Paxton close up in third place. It was good to see Stacey's former coach Charlie Russell in attendance with her at the Games.
New Year finalist, Billy Doyle Pitreavie AC is currently 2nd ranked and leading under-20 400 metres runner in Scotland this year.He showed his class as he came through from the back mark to stop the watch at an impressive 49.80 seconds to win the Open 400 metres, Sarah Coutts Pitreavie AC followed him home in second with Daniel Paxton in third.
A big field of 18 runners responded to the starters gun in the Open 800 metres handicap and it was Euan Urquhart who powered down the home straight to take the win ahead of a bunched field headed by Sean Bates Tullibody in second with Inverness veteran Donald Bradley in third.
There was Argylshire success in both the Open 1600 metres and 3200 metres handicaps.Rory Dowd Oban has enjoyed a good season on the circuit and turned in another fine performance to come through the field to win the 1600 metres from Rebecca Burns Edinburgh AC and Sarah Coutts Pitreavie AC. Dowd ran another good race in the 3200 metres but had to accept second place with victory going to Drew Dutton Campeltown. Rebecca Burns ran another good race to finish third ahead of backmarker Finlay Murray, Tain. The latter proved to be the top distance runner on the day spreadeagling the field to win the SHGA 1600 metres Championship. Leading from gun to tape Murray came home ahead of Drew Dutton and Rory Dowd.
As ever at Pitlochry there was a huge field of Youth competitors who produced some exciting finishes. There was a Clydesdale AC 1 - 2 in the Youth 90 metres with Cole Queen edging home ahead of his training companion Declan Osbourne who just failed to follow up his Blairgowrie win from the previous weekend. Australian Samantha James held on for third place from Tommy Beck TLJT. The Clydesdale club have been great supporers of the games this season in both Open and Youth events.
The Youth 400 metres and 800 metres were split into seperate races to cope with the size of the fields. There was a thrilling finish to the Boys 400 metres with Caleb McLead Pitreavie AC taking the tape by a whisker from Leithenburn duo Aaron Glendinning and Rory McDonald. There was a Leithenburn 1 – 2 in the Girls 400m with Elly Baker holding off all challengers to the delight of the appreciative big crowd to win from her training buddy Grace Turnbull with Kenzie McIntosh Clydesdale AC running a great race from the backmark to take third place.The latter also finished in third place in the Girls 800 metres behind sisters Isla and Esme Thoms Fife AC. Isla who started from the backmark ran a tremendous race to take the win. Stirling Triathlon Club member Cameron Kerr who ran and cycled produced a fine run to win the Youth 800 metres from the ever consistent Mattie Fleming Kelso and Aaron Glendinning.
There was an exctiing finish to the club relay championship with the team from Pitreavie AC overhauling Clydesdale in the home straight to take the title, the winners were represented by Kyle and Erin McFarlane, Maya Millar and Fergus McGilp with Clydesdale by Kenzie McIntosh, Lucy Denholm, Cole Queen and Daniel Docherty.
In the Jumps events, Tony Daffurn Wishaw was in great form winning all three events the High [1.70m], Long [20' 6.5'' and Triple [42' 8'']. Euan Urquhart was runner up in all three. I still await the junior jumps results.
The SHGA Scottish Junior Jumps Championship saw a record entry with a total of 20 competitors in the Long Jump alone. This years champion is Rory Voss from the Dunfermline Track & Field Club who won both the Long and Triple Jumps. There was a tie for second place between Clydesdale AC duo Cole Queen and Declan Osbourne.
The four Open cycle races were dominated by the Grantown on Spey Fletcher brothers, Edward won the 1600 metres and 3200 metres handicaps with Charles the victor in the 3200 metres Championship of the Highlands and Deil tak the Hindmost. The minor prizes were claimed by Craig Hamilton Edinburgh, Paul Gallacher Kirkcaldy and James Melville Alexandria.
Reubens Thomson Grampian Tigers did the 800m and 1600m double in the Youth cycling, IFellow Tiger Declan Sangster was runner up in both with Cameron Kerr Stirling Tri Club third in each.
There was big fields for the heavy events in all competition, junior,Perthshire in Open. Scott Rider Dartford who was making his first ever appearance at Pitlochry claimed the overall title by a mere half point 34.5 from Lukasz Wenta East Kilbride 34. Kyle Randalls Falkirk was third with 31. Lukasz also thrilled the crowds with a ground record in the 56lb weight over the bar with a throw of 16'.[Full heavy results to follow.]
The team from Elgin retained the British Tug o War Championship title, doing so by winning every pull they contested in the competition. One TOW aficionado described the current Elgin team as ''the best he has seen.'' Moffat Builders finished runner up with Strathardle in third place.
Full results for all events will appear on SHGA site in due course.
Published: 2019-09-14 22:34:19