Bumper entry at Earlston gets games off to a flyer

Allan Ferguson. Border Games Assoc.

Allan Ferguson. Border Games Assoc.

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The show is about to start rolling and the sound of the starter’s gun will be heard at Earlston Games on Saturday.

Running right through to August, the Border Games circuit will no doubt produce some excellent running, drama, excitement, surprises and disappointments en route.

Talking of the forthcoming term, Allan Ferguson of Border Athletics told The Southern: “It has all the makings of being a very good season as there are two new meetings. One of them is being held in Edinburgh, but like the games that took place at Meadowmill last season, it goes under Border Athletics.

“The new games will be at Meggetland on Friday evening, July 5, and it has big prize money, as the sprint is worth £3,000 and the half-mile £700. There are also going to be games at Lauder, but no date has been set for this yet.

“Due to the track being replaced, there will be no games at Tweedbank and the classic meeting at the end of the season will take place at Earlston High School.”

The main event on a bumper Earlston card, which has attracted a record sprint entry, is the 90m handicap, which consists of nine heats.

Back marker for the event is Greg Turnbull of TLJT, who has been placed on a mark of 1m by handicapper Don Campbell.

Also gunning for glory from the back of the field for TLJT is Craig Grieve. The Jedburgh flyer, who won the Hawick Games 110m handicap last year, goes from 2m.

Other TLJT athletes in the Earlston sprint include Darrin Scott (5m), Graeme Scott (7.5m), Lee Goodfellow (8.5m) and Jenna Gillan (17.5m).

Bidding to retain the sprint title he won 12 months ago is Luke Lowther of Jed AC.

Coached by Brian ‘Chico’ Woods, Lowther competes from 13m. Also representing Jed AC are Holly Mackay (17m), Cameron Grieve (7m), Scott Richardson (4m) and Scott Elliot (11.5m).

A host of other Borderers are set to get down on their marks such as Selkirk’s Kerr Gerrard (7.5m) and Geoff Keen (10m); Leigh Marshall (2.5m) and James Parker (4.5m), all of Hawick; and Kelso brothers John Fleming (5.5m) and Matthew Fleming (12.5m).

Colin Welsh of Kelso (15m) runs from the back in the 800m handicap, while Dean Whiteford, Innerleithen (70m), Rowan Marr of Gala Harriers (50m) also go in this one.

Other senior races, as well as junior/youths events complete the programme.