Crowds turn out at Ceres as sun shines on games

Cycling at the Ceres Games 2019
Cycling at the Ceres Games 2019

On a warm and sunny afternoon Ceres Highland Games attracted a huge crowd to the Bow Butts.

There was good entries for all the competitions, running, cycling, highland dancing, wrestling, solo piping, tug o war and heavy events.

The City of St Andrews Pipe Band entertained the crowds during the afternoon.

The top prize of the day is the £200 which goes to the winner of the 90 metres sprint handicap and it was won by Borderer Robbie Elliot from Hawick who edged out Central AC duo Keiran Halliday and Callum Letham.

There was further Borders success in the youth 90 metres handicap with Aaron Glendinning (Leithenburn) pipping Jason White.

There was Fife success in the 200 metres handicap with Graeme Gibson (DWF) producing a powerful run to come home ahead of John Armstrong (Leith).

Steven Bates (Tullibody) has made a good start to the season and that continued with victory in the youth 200 metres where he proved just too strong down the home straight.

There was a father and son finish to the 800 metres handicap and it was the son who prevailed with last years SHGA Athlete of the Year Ewen Bradley (Inverness) taking the win ahead of his dad Donald.

Eric Anderson (Anstruther) stayed on for third place.

The 1600 metres saw Andrew Gibson Bo’ness run out a clear cut winner from Angela Bell (Forfar) and Graeme Gibson (DWF).

Angela again filled the runners up spot in the 3000 metres handicap where victory went to John Thomson (Glenrothes).

Craig Bell (Forfar) finished in third place.

It was 50 years to the day that John Thomson made his Highland Games debut in the boys marathon at Ceres.

The biggest cheer of the day came for Jason White (TLJT) who wo the youth 800 metres handicap in fine style.

The diminuative Borderer looked to be getting reeled in by his rivals as he approached the last lap but the sound of the bell appeared to lift him and he took off gain and spurred on by the crowd he stormed across the finish line ahead of the rapidly closing backmarker Kyle McFarlane (Pitreavie AC).

There was a rare occurrence in the cycle events with all four races being won by different riders.

Paul Gallacher (Kirkcaldy) made his seasonal debut a winning one by claiming victory in the 800 metres handicap from Paul Anderson (Perth).

The Scottish Highland Games Association 1600 metres championship saw Charles Fletcher (Grantown on Spey) retain his title coming home ahead of Cedric Sachet (France) and Paul Gallacher.

Frenchman Sachet has been a welcome addition to the games circuit this season and rode his best race of the campaign to win the 3000 metres handicap. Riding a fine tactical race he croessed the line ahead of Paul Gallacher.

Just when it looked like organisers were going to get through Ceres Games without a cycling mishap, a late afternoon shower put paid to that thought.

The track had turned greasy and on the second elimination lap of the Deil tak the Hindmost three riders hit the deck as they came round the Beer Tent Bend.

With Charles Fletcher, Flora Gillies and Craig Hamilton all out of the race that left only four riders racing for the prizes and it was Paul Anderson (Perth) who handled conditions best to take the win ahead of Cedric Sachet.

Eight competitors contested the heavy events which were dominated by Lukasz Wenta, Vlad Tulacek and Kyle Randalls.

Report contributed by Shane Fenton.