Great weather and huge crowds enjoy town’s games

Paul Gallacher , Kirkcaldy, in Highland Games action.
Paul Gallacher , Kirkcaldy, in Highland Games action.

The 32nd St Andrews Highland Games was blessed with good weather and a big crowd surrounded the arena at Station Park.

The biggest prize of the day was the £250 that goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres Handicap and it saw Larkhall AC’s Cara-Jay Murdoch retain the title she won 12 months ago.

There was drama in the Open 200 metres heats when Kyle Potts (Hawick) was spiked in the lower leg and went down as the runners jostled for position.

The heat was won by Toby Harris,Edinburgh[30] who then went on to win the final.

Scottish hurdles internationalist Dyer [27] who finished runner up in the 400 metres at Airth the previous week went one better in the quarter on this ocassion as he worked his way through the field.

The middle distance events, 800m, 1600m and 3200 metres enjoyed the biggest fields of - 17, 18 and 16 -respectively on the games circuit this summer.

There was an exciting finish to the 800m with Andrew Thomson[82.5] just holding off backmarker Euan Martin.

In the 1600 metres handicap, once again Euan Martin[85] had to settle for the runners up spot just failing to overhaul Derek Scott.

There was Fife winner in the 3200 metres handicap with Tyler White (Pitreavie AC) [245] coming clear of the field to win in a speedy 8:55.12.

Ewan Dyer was selected as the athlete of the day for his 400m win and 200m second place.

There was a number of new faces in the youth events, which was good to see, the 90 metres saw Larkhall AC’s Alexander Young[9] follow up his Airth win, but only just, it needed a lengthy look at the photo finish from the judges to determine he had breasted the tape marginally ahead of his club mate Sol Stewart[14] who many thought had won.

Brodie Cowan,Jedburgh[18] maintained her consistency with a third place finish.

This was the position she also occupied in the final of the Youth’s 200 metres where this time Sol Stewart made sure of victory stopping the clock at 21.90 as he collared games debutant Erin Thomson ( Laurencekirk) close home.

The youth’s 800 metres and 1600 metres handicaps saw Jedburgh’s Jack Amos turn in two excellent backmarker performances, running from the 110m mark in the 800 he came through the field to win in 1:54.09 from Ellie Thomson, Larkhall[225] who just edged out B Scott, Dundee Hawkhill[165] for second.

Amos who is enjoying a good season had to work hard to claim victory in the 1600m after being pulled 20m to 140m, he only overhauled his rivals off the final bend to win in 4:41,22, Sean Bates[270] battled on for 2nd place with Caleb McLead,Pitreavie AC[340] running a good race to place third.

Seven cyclists contested the four races on the card, most of them had made the 500 miles round trip to compete in seven races the previous day at Halkirk.

Paul Gallacher, Kirkcaldy did the double of 800 metres and 1600 metres with Charles Fletcher, Grantown on Spey replicating that with wins in the 3200 metres and Deil, Fletcher had won six races at Halkirk.

Daniel Clark and Ryan Keir of Newburgh filled minor berths.

The heavy sporting events were dominated by Kyle Randalls who travelled from Grangemouth.