HE was involved in a dead heat in the final at the Jedburgh Border Games 110m handicap.
He has been beaten in photo finishes in the finals of several other Borders sprints – pipped at the post, narrowly edged out and placed a close second or third.
At Hawick Border Games on Sunday, however, Jedburgh’s Greg Turnbull finally did the business by turning on the style to win the main event of the afternoon.
Due to scratch man Nick Smith not running, 21-year-old Turnbull found himself back marker for the 10-heat sprint.
Under the banner of TLJT, Turnbull showed he had something to offer in his heat when powering to a win in 11.80 seconds from a mark of 4.5m.
Flame-haired Turnbull then blitzed to a cross-tie triumph in an improved time of 11.71.
This win earned him a final showdown along with Iskan Barskanmay of Jed AC (5.5m), Angus Stanners of TLJT (8m), David Lauder of Hawick (12m), Kieran Reilly of Edinburgh (10m) and Connor Hedley of Ellington (11m).
There was not a lot separating the finalists in the way of times and there was little separating them on the tape.
Indeed, it was left to the photo finish system to decide who emerged the winner of the £1,000 first prize.
It was Turnbull who got the nod from the judges, though, with Barskanmay coming in second and Stanners third, the watch recording a winning time of 11.85.
A delighted Turnbull told TheSouthern: “I dead heated with Daniel Paxton of Hawick in the Jed Games final, but this is the first time I have actually won a final outright in a sprint and I am really thrilled.
“I thought I had perhaps won it. I was taking nothing for granted, though, as I have been involved in so many close races and photo finishes in the past and ended up being disappointed.
“It was great to hear my name being announced as the winner at long last. Winning something like the Hawick sprint means a lot to me.”
Martyn Paterson of Clackmannan hit the high spots, winning not one but two events. A classy performer, Paterson first tasted victory in the 400m handicap.
Running from 7m, Paterson looked the part from the gun and sailed through the field to emerge a clear winner in 58.92 seconds.
Paterson was not quite finished, and did it all again in the 200m handicap.
He surged to an impressive victory in the final in 22.11 seconds, to chalk up a splendid double. David Edwards of TLJT (19m) clinched second spot and Edinburgh’s Graeme Armstrong (29m) third.
Graham Gibson, 21, of Dunfermline (32.5m) showed the field a clean pair of heels to take the 800m handicap.
Gordon Eland of Broughton (75m) was out in front on the last bend, but Gibson was tucked in behind, and the Fifer duly moved up another gear to take over the lead.
Challenges then came in from Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (65m) and Adam Craig of TLJT (40m).
These were to be of no avail, as Gibson strode on to take the honours in 2 minutes and 41 seconds.
Kelso’s Chris Black (150m) notched up his third win of the season by emerging a convincing winner of the 1,600m handicap.
With a win at this distance at Blackford Games and an 800m handicap victory at Markinch Games already under his belt, in-form Black won comfortably from Colin Welsh of Kelso (60m) and John Thomson of Coaltown (180m) in 10 minutes and 8 seconds.
Black, 23, said: “Things are going well for me at the moment.
“My dad Colin, who is also my coach, is keeping me right, so I will just have to keep on listening to what he tells me.”
Making his games debut, nine-year-old Josh Dougal of TLJT (11m) took pride of place in the keenly-contested junior 90m handicap.
After winning his heat in 12.22 seconds, Dougal pulled out the stops once more in the final, breaking the tape in 12.14.
Victory in the junior 200m handicap went the way of TLJT’s Henry Clarkson (6m). One of many budding prospects within the ranks of his club, Clarkson followed up a heat win by soaring home in an exciting final in 28.46.
The Junior/Youths’ 800m handicap turned out to be a real thriller.
Pocket dynamo Josh Abbot of Kelso (185m), who had shown up extremely well the previous week when winning the junior sprint handicap at Earlston Games, was out in front when the bell sounded for the last lap.
The nine-year-old Tweedsider’s lead was being whittled down as runners from the back were closing in, but lion-hearted Abbot dug in and appeared set to hold on.
But metres from home, 15-year-old Kyle Potts of TLJT (80m) edged ahead to gain a dramatic win on the tape in 2.07.01.
Potts said: “It was a very hard race.
“I had to go hard from the start to catch the runners in front of me. For a while I didn’t think I would be able to do this, but I managed it just at the end.”
The Junior/Youths’ 400m handicap also conjured up a close and exciting end. Hawick’s Darcy Graham (60m) was race leader down the sweeping final straight, but Euan Pettigrew of Kelso (20m) and Jack Wilson of Hawick (40m) were beginning to narrow the gap.
Graham, from the Billy Edgar school, held off the challengers, however, to cross the winning line in 53.47 seconds.
Ryan Elliot (4.5m) made it a double for the Edgar stable by coming out on top in the youth’s 90m handicap.
Winner of the same event a year ago, powerhouse Elliot blazed to a heat victory in 10.35 seconds.
In a sizzler of a final, Elliot hit full throttle for the second time to gain a photo-finish win over John Feeney (22m) and Ellie Temple (20.5m) – both from TLJT – in 10.91 seconds.
Earlier on in the card, Elliot had came in second to Ross Maxwell of East Kilbride in the under-17s’ 100m Championship.
Meanwhile, Rory Marshall of Jed AC gave an excellent account of himself in the youth’s 200m handicap.
Marshall (20m) won the final in 23.39 seconds, while Craig Bruce of Selkirk (36m) and Jack Wilson of Hawick (22m) grabbed the other spots.