The Recreation Ground provided a fitting finale to the 2016 Games season on Saturday. In contrast to 12 months ago when all the running and jumping events had to be cancelled due to wind and rain.
An appreciative and enthusiastic crowd of over 6,000 surrounded the arena cheering every heavy, runner, cyclist, dancer, pipe band and probably the loudest for the tug o war, all were bathed in warm autumnal sunshine.
Nowhere else on the Highland Games circuit does the crowd interact with the competitors as they do at Pitlochry. The spectators clapped up Allan Hamilton as he equalled the ground record in the long jump. They applauded every throw of the shot putt, hammer and caber and were thrilled by Commonwealth games cyclist Evan Oliphant winning races from the backmark.They were on their feet again as they roared home the diminutive 9 year old Aaron Glendinning, as he hung on determinedly to hold off 24 rivals in the boys 800 metres.
The Scottish Junior Jumps Championship, again proved popular, with Marcus Beckford-Young,Clydesdale AC taking the overall title and SHGA Scottish Championship medal.
The athletic clubs relays saw the team from East Kilbride AC retain their title.
The biggest track prize of the day-£200- goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres handicap and it was won for the third successive year by a female athlete, Three males and three females contested the final and in a thrilling contest it was Rihanna McIntosh,Inverness Harriers who got the decision after a photo finish, East Kilbride AC duo Greg Kelly and Bethan Malley finished 2nd and 3rd., the final line up was completed by Sharon Wilson,Allan Hamilton and Ross Friel.
There was further Inverness success in the Open 200 metres where victory went to Ewan Bradley who powered home ahead of Callum Field,East Kilbride and Rihanna McIntosh.
Running from the backmarkk, Greg Kelly,East Kilbride AC stormed to victory in the Open 400 metres handicap with Callum Field and Craig Robertson,Logierait filling the minor berths.
There was a family 1-2 in the Open 800 metres with Donald Bradley who has been in a fine vein of form of late staying on strongly to hold off his son Ewan with Emily Paxton,Clydesdale AC in third.
Don Bradley then finished runner up in the Open 1600 metres behind winner Willie Bates,Tullibody with Fraser Logan Belgrave in third. The latter also took third place in the Open 3200 metres which won by Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen who also clinched the SHGA season long points league for races over 1600m & 3200 metres.
The 1600 metres SHGA Championship scratch race was won by Rory Muir,Aberdeen AC who is the brother of Olympian and Diamond Race winner Laura.
There was a huge entry for the Youth running events, 47 declared for the 90 metres and were split into seven heats with the winners of each going forward to the final. In a close finish it was Sam Archibald,Leithenburn who got the verdict from East Kilbride AC pair Ryan Clydesdale and Eilidh McDougall.
With so many runners, both the Youth's 400 metres and 800 metres were split into seperate races for boys and girls. The 800 metres were won by Aaron Glendinning,Leithenburn and Keri McIntosh,Clydesdale AC with Jemma Jamieson,Pitreavie AC and Liam White,Leithenburn triumphing in the 400 metres.
Allan Hamilton who has been the outstanding athlete on the circuit this season once again landed a jumps treble, and similar to the previous week at Braemar he was pushed all the way by Tony Daffurn. Hamilton equalled David Watson's 2012 Long Jump ground record with a leap of 22' 9.5''.
With new Scottish records already in the bag this season in the LJ & TJ it was hoped Allan would make an attempt on the HJ record, it wasn't to be however with the ground conditions once again unfavourable.
In the cycling events 7 times Scottish Road Race champion and Commonwealth Games rider Evan Oliphant won three of the four races on the card including the 3200 metres Championship of the Highlands,
Oliphant who began his career on the grass tracks of the games circuit also won the 1600 metres handicap from the scratch mark as well as the Deil tak the Hindmost, he was denied a four timer when he had to settle for 2nd place in the 800 metres behind Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey. Both the Youth's 800 metres and 1600 metres were won by Kyle Cartmel,Forres from Alexander McLeod,Aberdeen.
Heavy events and Tow results to follow.
Published: 2016-09-10 22:00:52