Big-hearted Mini Maroons make Christmas merry

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Gala Mini Maroons have been getting into the festive spirit and spreading some Christmas cheer along the way.

More than 170 mini rugby players from Galashiels and the surrounding area had a fantastic time at Netherdale last Sunday with fun, games and lots of laughter, plus a visit from club mascot Roony, who was the top competitor in the dance-off and, of course, a visit from Santa.

But it was not all about receiving. On Sunday all of the Minis brought along an item of food which at the end of the last party was presented to Duncan McCosh of the Galashiels Food Bank.

Gala Rugby youth development officer Ian Millar said: “Well done to everyone involved with Sunday’s Christmas parties, not one, but three back-to-back, starting at noon and finishing at 5.30pm. Everyone showed great teamwork plus a great aptitude for working within the community. Merry Christmas to everyone.”

Our picture shows Santa and the P6 & 7 squads.

Sporting digest

Athletics

Gala Harriers

Conditions were horrendously blowy around the plantation for the Ladhope Cross-country Handicap, although not cold, and there was an exciting finish which was just won by James Purves, edging out president Gerry Moss by a whisker.

Results: 1, James Purves (11.1) 43.07; 2, Gerry Moss (10.15) 44.03; 3, Tommy Knox (16) 38.32; 4, Chrys Murphy (17.1) 37.27; 5, Shelagh King (2.3) 52.13; 6, Broc Drury 22.4) 32.26; 7, Fiona Shepherd (14) 40.58; 8, Gillian Duncan (16) 39.08; 9, Kevin Stevenson (14) 41.1; 10, Jason Grainger (14.3) 40.41; 11, Dawn Grant (10.15) 45.06; 12, Alan Johnstone (16.5) 38.32; 13, Anya Campbell (16.3) 39.08; 14, Kate Mattocks (19.5) 36.46; 15, Graham Manczak (24) 32.5; 16, Eileen Nichol (11.15) 45.37; 17, Mark Bryson (22) 34.55; 18, Tony Lunn (19) 38.01; 19, Magnus Inglis (19) 38.03; 20, Ally Munro (11) 46.08; 21, Fergus Johnstone (25) 32.2; 22, Euan Calvert (18) 39.23; 23, Jamie McGowan (22) 35.34; 24, George Waugh (14.3) 43.08; 25, David Nightingale (19.3) 38.08; 26, Fiona Dalgleish (19.3) 38.14; 27, Derrick Brydon (20) 38.06; 28, Rachel Fagan (20) 38.06; 29, Martin Clarke (20) 39.17; 30, Craig Mattocks (19) 34.21; 31, Wayne McIntosh (23) 36.52; 32, Andrew Lawrie (22.3) 37.24; 33, Stewart Barrie (18.3) 55.2.

Teviotdale Harriers

The club has been honoured by Scottish Athletics by being asked to host the Scottish Masters Cross-country Championships event as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 1, and entries are now open for any THC member who is 40 or over on that date and who is also a member of Scottish Athletics.

The club is aiming for as large a turnout as possible with every over-40 runner taking part.

Closing date for entries is Wednesday, January 15.

Email: alaninglis1968@gmail.com to enter or for more information.

In addition, the club is looking for volunteers to help out on the day and require people to marshal at the event.

It would be greatly appreciated if some of the older juniors could volunteer for this important role, but younger members are also being encouraged to go along and marshal with their parents’ help. Assistance will also be required from all other senior members who are not running. Volunteers for marshalling, please email alaninglis1968@gmail.com.

Tweed Leader Jed Track

TLJT 800m supremo Adam Craig has been turning on the style once more, this time in the national Under-20 8000m Championship, ran on an icy course at Campertown near Dundee.

Dale Colley from Central AC set a blistering early pace and a group of about 10 broke clear to contest the race at a fast pace.

Craig, the East of Scotland 800m champion, was among this chasing pack during the first half of the race, running alongside cross-country specialists, many in their last year in the age group.

The TLJT athlete, who has another year in the Under-20 category, moved into third position for the last 3000m, closing in on Michael Ferguson of Banchory Stonehaven AC over the last lap.

However, Ferguson had enough of a gap to remain in second place, while Colley continued to run at an exceptional pace to win in 26 minutes 34 seconds.

Craig showed a fantastic depth of running, and determination to finish in third, well ahead of a bank of talented Edinburgh and Aberdeen runners.

Jacob Adkin of Moorfoot and Gala Harrier Rowan Marr ran well to finish 10th and 12th respectively.

Craig has now been selected to run for the East of Scotland in the Inter District Under-20/Senior men combined race at the BUPA Great Winter Edinburgh Cross-country event at Holyrood Park on Saturday, January 11.

Curling

Border Ice Rink

The Swan trophy for senior curlers took place on December 12 and 13, with a full house on the opening day.

Rinks skipped by John Stevenson, Colin Martin, Peter Bowyer and Jim Cullen wound up in the semi-finals.

Martin took his game to the last stone to win, while Cullen had a less arduous battle. The two rinks served up a magnificent final which went to the last stone in Cullen’s favour.

The ladies’ final was no less exciting with June Swan taking the honours against Judith Dixon.

Steven Wilson, head of John Swan’s Auction Mart presented the trophies, and announced that sponsorship would be continued – good news indeed.

Earlier in the week, the 10th inter-province Chanty competition between East Lothian and the Borders took place, with the visitors taking the cherished trophy home with them for the third successive time, winning three games to one. It was gratifying to see a full turnout of curlers participating in this competition, and the evening finished with an excellent meal, and long-range anticipation of the next time round.

In the Agrii Border League goloshes would have been required on the 10th of this month, due to a temporary meltdown. However, the fixture has been rescheduled. Duns CC lead their section with five games played and one of them a peel with Yester, while Kelso lead their section, so far undefeated.

Golf

Lauder

Par was at a premium in the Gents’ Winter League as a storm worked its way over Lauder Hill and, with a well-earned par, Ron Dick topped this week’s competition.

Harry Moffat at last won the battle for second place on a better inward half, pushing Louis Scott into third, who in turn pushed Mathew Whiteford off the podium on a better inward half.

David McPherson was successful in the race for the rollover twos sweep, however, it appears he has now been kidnapped by aliens.

The podium positions and scores are as follows: 1, R. Dick 89 (19) 70; 2, H. Moffat 88 (17) 71 bih; 3, L. Scott 90 (19) 71 bih.

The Master Chef soup competition entered into another phase with this week’s entry being supplied by Ron Dick, a fine Scotch Broth thick enough to stand a spoon up, a fine hearty feed, followed up by Donaldson’s pies.

Entries are invited from chefs with a minimum of two Michelin stars to judge the end-of-season Soup Challenge.

This week’s entry is to be provided by Robin Runciman – expectations are rising.

Leaders of December round of the Winter League championship; 1, L. Scott 63; 2, D. Bain 65; 3, H. Moffat 65.

The eclectic competition will continue to run alongside the Winter League Championship.

Tom Hogarth improved his eclectic score by two shots last week, with Ron Dick improving by one shot. There is a change on the leaderboard; David McPherson has come up on the rails to push his way into third.

Leaders of the Winter Eclectic: 1, T. Hogarth 54.75; 2, R. Dick 55.75; 3, D. McPherson 57.5.

Melrose

Belhaven Winter League Week 7: 1, D. Gribbin 5 up; 2, D. G. Pollock 1 up.

Christmas Competition: 1, R. Chisholm; 2, I. Ramsey; 3, K. Lochrie.

Torwoodlee

Saturday/Sunday Winter Bogey v Par: 1, G Low 2 points; 2, G. Smyth 1 point.

Midweek eight-hole Stableford: 1, I. Thomson 15 points.

This weekend sees a two-man Texas Scramble on Saturday or Sunday. £4 entry per team – £10 for each visitor.

Pool

Borders

Last week saw the League Doubles qualifiers take place with the finals to be played out at Reivers Sportsbar, Galashiels, in April/May.

Previous winners Scott Simpson and Scott Bowers eased through, along with Waverley teammates Steven Bell and John Jardine. Second division players provided a couple of shocks with Alan Marshall and Denis Lumsden from the Fleece being joined by the Station’s Phil Clayton and Martin Gillespie.

There was controversy as High Level’s Jimmy Callaghan and Terry Storrie overcame some dodgy refereeing calls, with good wins for Mike Smith and Stuart McCudden (Reivers), Fred Bell and Ian Rattray (Fleece) and, finally, BGH top guns Spencer Craig and Craig Thomson providing the biggest upset at a tough venue.

Looks like being a tough finals day as many new faces challenge to topple the old guard with differing styles of pool.

Snooker

Border League

Tommy Douglas Storage Borders Snooker League results: Hawick Conservative Club B 1 Hawick Conservative Club A 5; Hawick Burns Club B 5 Innerleithen 1; Selkirk B 3 Kelso Legion 3; St Boswells 2 Selkirk A 4; Jedburgh Legion 2 Hawick Burns Club A 4.

League standings after 10 weeks: 1, Hawick Conservative Club A 54; 2, Kelso Legion 37; 3, Hawick Burns Club A 36; 4, Selkirk A 35; 5, Jedburgh Legion 34; 6, Hawick Burns Club B 29; 7, Selkirk B 23; 8, Hawick Conservative Club B 22; 9, St Boswells 19; 10, Innerleithen 11.

The league is now suspended for the festive break and will resume on January 9.

Squash

Galashiels

Club night friendly: I. Chalmers 3 D. Sharratt 2.