Sunday turned out to be quite a memorable day for Kelso, especially on the pastures of the 100m handicap track.
Not only did four Kelso sprinters reach the final of the event – a great achievement in itself – they also notched the first three places from a field of nine.
And it was Matthew Fleming who wrote himself a happy ending to the tale, by winning the event.
Competing from a mark of 14.5m, Fleming earned himself a final place by soaring to a heat victory in 10.41 seconds, which was the fastest time of the opening runs.
In the final showdown, Fleming – who was lining up against his brother John (8m), fellow Kelso men Connor Gillan (6.5m), David McKay (13m), TLJT runners Jenna Gillan (22m) and Megan Shiel (21m), Ryan Houten of Cardrona (6.5m), Terry Marshall of Jedburgh (8.5m) and Hawick’s Corey Wilson (10.5m) – hit the winning trail again.
Victor of the Earlston Games sprint last year, Fleming clocked up a winning time of 10.37 seconds – after the judges checked the camera.
Connor Gillan came in second and John Fleming third – a clean sweep for Kelso as well as the Adie Gray running school.
A delighted Fleming said of his triumph: “My brother John won the Kelso sprint in 2001 and 2002, so it’s just great to have won the same cup as him.
“The final was very close, but I felt myself hitting the tape and thought I had just managed to win it.
“Apart from being thrilled to have won on my home track, I am very happy for my coach Adie Gray.
“He had the first three in the final and you can’t ask for any better than that.”
Angus Bryce, a half-cousin of the Fleming brothers, hoisted the winning flag for the family in pulling off a splendid hat-trick of wins.
Representing the TLJT club, 13-year-old Bryce first breezed to victory in the youths’ (confined) 100m handicap.
A youngster of great potential, Bryce then triumphed in the Youth A 100m open, as well as the Youth 200m handicap. Remarkable stuff.
Hawick’s Jordan Taylor (125m) lifted the biggest prize money of the day in pulling out the stops to emerge the winner of the 1,600m handicap.
Showing purpose in every stride from the gun, Taylor took the lead with two laps to go. And from here on the Alex Corbett-trained runner looked a winner.
Challenges came from the back, but Taylor had victory in his sights and ran on to cross the finishing line in 4 .28.08.
Bruce Hughes of Hawick (100m) was second and John Thomson of Glenrothes (165m) third.
Taylor said: “I was expecting a hard race and I got one. The best part of it was when I finished. I have never won anything as big as this before, so I am delighted.”
Kyle Potts (22m) also put victory Hawick’s way, pulling out the stops to do the business in the 200m handicap.
Following a fine win in his heat, Potts found himself facing top opposition in the final, but he produced a rip-roaring finish down the home straight to overhaul leaders Geoff Keen of Selkirk (23m) and David Lauder of Hawick (24m) to gain a victory in 21.90.
In the 800m handicap, Kobe Stevens of Moorfoot AC (50m) ran a well-judged race to win from Hawick’s Rory Anderson (50m) and Paul Bellingham (155m) in 1 minute 56.03 seconds.
Kelso youngster Josh Abbot (80m) gave a splendid account of himself in winning the youths’ 800m handicap in 2.02.44.
Girl runner Isla Taylor of Chirnside (415m) notched up her first win on the games circuit when coming home in the youths’ 1,600m handicap in 4.50.56.
Nine-year-old Matthew Beaton of TLJT (26m) excelled in winning the junior 100m handicap.
And Tom Fowler of Hawick (34m) was the victor of the junior 200m handicap.