2014 Games Report by Shane Fenton, Markinch

13th Jul 2014


Shane Fenton reports from the Johnstone Park.

Christopher Kelly Edinburgh AC stormed to victory in the Open 90 metres handicap at the Famous Alva Games on Saturday.

Running at his first ever Highland Games Kelly won his heat from the 8 metres mark before going on to break the tape in the final in 9.76 seconds to land the £400 prize and the John & Maree Henry sash, as well as the new Wilma Taylor Memorial Sword, donated by Margaret Campbell, the wife of handicapper Don Campbell and presented in memory of her late mother.  

There was a photo for 2nd place with Lee Goodfellow from the TLJT club getting the verdict over last year's winner Cameron Smith, Tullibody.

There was drama in the 200 metres with frontmarker Kevin Turner, Edinburgh looking to have the race won only to come down on the rain soaked track with 10 metres to run, this left the race in the bag for another games debutant Jared Baldwin, Harrogate Harriers to win in 21.48 seconds.

The prolific Englishman went on to land a double with victory in the 400 metres handicap and despite running from a reduced handicap he produced another powerful run which saw him break the tape in 51.34s.

There were good backmarker performances in both the 800m and 1600 metres handicaps. Colin Welsh (Kelso) thrilled the crowds as he worked his way through the field in the 800m. The powerful Borderer hit the front in the home straight before going on to stop the clock at 1:59.44. Matthew Turner, Shettleston, was an equally impressive winner of the 1600 metres. Running from the 40 metres mark Turner, who has recently returned from Australia, overhauled all of his rivals to win in 4 minutes 27.73 secs.

Running from the scratch mark in the 3200 metres Turner had to settle for second place behind Bradley Scott, Callander who was making it back to back wins following his triumph at Thornton the previous week. Scott strode out in the heavy rain to to win in 10:29.22. Turner though was selected by the officials as the winner of the Johnstone Cup as Athlete of the Day.

One of the performances of the day came in the Youths' 200 metres handicap with Kingsley Cunningham, Edinburgh AC charging through from the back mark of 6 metres to snatch victory on the line from Natasha Turnbull, Peebles and Grant Goodfellow TLJT. Cunningham, who was giving away starts of up to 65 metres, snapped the worsted in 22.74 seconds.

Cunningham turned in another excellent performance in the Youths' 90 metres - running from the 3 metres mark in the final, he caught all his rivals with the exception of winner Gary Goodfellow (TLJT) who was on 18m and won in 10.32 seconds.

The journey down from Inverness by Ewan Bradley was a worthwhile one as he landed a Youths' 400m - 800 metres double, and becoming the first recipient of the VAL Victor's sash. A double was also recorded by the diminuative but gutsy Fraser Sproul, Kendal AC who triumphed in both the Under-12 hill race and Youths' 1600 metres handicap. He was awarded the Junior Athlete of the Day Trophy.

The British Championship Hill Race was won for the first time by Ted Mason, Appletreewick who brought to an end the 8 year winning run of the great Alistair Dunn, Kendal who had to settle for second place on this ocassion. There was also a new name on the women's trophy with Hazel Robinson bringing an end to Christina Rankin's winning run, who like Dunn in the men's race finished in 2nd place.

Despite the slippy under-wheel conditions there were no mishaps in the cycling events.
Craig Hardie, Dalgety Bay retained his 3200 metres Scottish title and also landed the spoils in the Deil tak the Hindmost. Alan McLean, Giffnock, took the opening 800 metres with James Melville, Dumbarton victorious in the 1600 metres handicap.

All of Scotland's top throwers were in a magnificent field of 12 competitors for the heavy events. Results are posted in the Results section on this site.
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