Battling Team Borders head for title showdown

Moorfoot Runner Patrick Cannon (29) was victorious in the 800m at the recent Forth Valley League Match at Meadowbank Stadium
Moorfoot Runner Patrick Cannon (29) was victorious in the 800m at the recent Forth Valley League Match at Meadowbank Stadium

A stormy Meadowbank Stadium provided tough conditions for the second of three Forth Valley League Division One matches for Team Borders on Saturday.

And that old adage that every point counts has never been so true.

Having won the first match, a few notable absentees and a very strong Edinburgh team presented a challenge as tough as the weather to the young Borders’ athletes, but there were some excellent performances and several personal bests despite the poor conditions.

Edinburgh won the match with a total of 513 event points, with Team Borders in second place on 463, one single point ahead of Pitreavie on 462.

This leaves Team Borders and Edinburgh tied on 15 league points, with one match win and one second place each, but Borders sit top courtesy of a marginally better total of 959.5 event points to Edinburgh’s 956.

The Team Borders points again came from solid strength in depth, with just the one individual A race win on the track in the under-11 boys’ 800m from Moorfoot Runner Patrick Cannon.

Running like an old hand in pole position, Patrick was chopped up round the final bend by his Edinburgh opponent, but worked hard to tuck in again. Into the home straight, he moved out to produce a winning kick, the likes of which Steve Ovett in his heyday would have been proud of, and crossed the line in a new personal best time of 2.43.34.

But every single one of the 36 athletes from Chirnside Chasers, Gala Harriers, Moorfoot Runners and TLJT who contributed to the Team Borders points total across all the events in the U15, U13 and U11 age-groups, whether first or eighth, A-string or B-string, including those who mucked in to get a point in previously untried field events, could lay claim to making that one point difference which allowed the team’s top spot in the league to be retained.

“A better example that it’s not just the individual stars who are key to a team’s success would be hard to find,” said Borders’ athletics co-ordinator Gregor Nicholson.

Good points in the 4x100m relays rounded things off with the U11 boys’ team of Fraser Rout, Patrick Cannon, Evan Holloway and Kerr Johnstone finishing the day with a resounding win.

An intriguing counter beckons in the third and final match on June 27 at Grangemouth Sports Complex, where it will all boil down to a winner-takes-all showdown for the league title between Team Borders and Edinburgh.