Sporting digest December 10

Athletics

New Year Sprint

The heats of the 147th New Year Sprint were drawn at Musselburgh Racecourse where 12 heats were drawn with eight runners in the first four heats and seven runners in the remaining eight heats.

Backmarkers were seeded in each heat.

Heat winners and the eight fastest losers progress to the four cross-ties (semi-finals). Cross-tie winners and the four fastest losers make up the eight strong final.

Heats will be staged on Wednesday, December 30, at Meadowmill Stadium while the cross-ties and final are due to be held on Friday, January 1, at the traditional Musselburgh Racecourse venue.

Heat One: Albert Eland (Broughton) 30m; Scott Richardson (Jedforest AC) 10.5m; Ryan Charters (Dolphinton) 11m; Kieran Kivlin (Edinburgh AC) 6.25m; Craig Bruce (Selkirk) 12m; William Hutchison (Lasswade AC) 11m; Sarah Ross (Pitreavie AC) 24m; Laura McCracken (East Kilbride AC) 19m.

Heat Two: Rory Muir (Dundee HH) 9.5m; John Fleming (Kelso) 11.75m; Corey Wilson (Hawick) 12.5m; Greg Turnbull TLJT 6.75m; Liam Halliday (Central AC) 10.5m; Callum McWilliam (Giffnock N AAC) 9.5m; Bethan Malley (Whitemoss AC) 23.5m; Steven Beattie (Wishaw) 9m.

Heat Three: Thomas Bradley (Edinburgh) 28.5m; Cara Murdoch (Larkhall AC) 19.5m; Cameron Grieve (TLJT) 10.0m; Moro Bajo (Edinburgh AC) 5m; David Rae (Hawick) 12.5m; Craig Sowerby (Seaton AC) 11.5m; Daniel Paxton (Hawick) 10m; Victoria Stephen (Dunfermline T & F) 23m.

Heat Four: Stacey Downie (Edinburgh AC) 17.25m; Geoff Keen (Selkirk) 15m; Kevin Wilson (Kelty) 12m; Craig Knowles (Costorphine AC) 6.5m; Jazmine Tomlinson (TLJT) 20.5m; Cameron Smith (Tullibody) 11.5m; Colin Bruce (Selkirk) 15m; Billy Martin (Glenrothes) 12m.

Heat Five: John Armstrong (Leith) 11.25m; Doug Donald (Oakham) 17.5m; Martin Barr (East Kilbride AC) 12m; Cameron Tindle (Edinburgh AC) 2m; Ryan Houten (Cardrona) 9m; Sarah Malone (Edinburgh AC) 19.75m; Darren Towart (Tynedale) 12m.

Heat Six: Claire Routledge (Carlisle) 23m; Connor Gillan (Kelso) 10m; Cal McLennan (Edinburgh AC) 9.5m; Sandy Wilson (Edinburgh AC) 7m; Wendy Nicol (Dunfermline T & F) 32.5m; Francis Smith (Woodford G AC) 9.5m; Jessie Concannon (Dunfermline T & F) 20.5m.

Heat Seven: Kevin Eddie (Kelty) 10.75m; Kieran Halliday (Central AC) 12.5m; Richard Eland (Broughton) 20m; Greg Gillan (Eyemouth) 8.5m; Leon Ali (Hawick) 11.25m; Gordon McPherson (Hawick) 14m; Glyn Desport (Hawick) 10m.

Heat Eight: Alan Stewart (Chiltern AC) 11m; Scott Elliot (Jedburgh) 17m; Jack Wilson (Hawick) 12.75m; Steven Charters (Dolphinton) 8m; Angus Johnstone (TLJT) 12m; Cumbie Bowers (Glenrothes) 8.75m; Jordan Charters (Dolphinton) 11m.

Heat Nine: Craig Douglas (Selkirk) 26m; Joe Capocci (Newcastle) 9.5m; Steven Park (Edinburgh) 8.5m; Michael Olsen (Edinburgh AC) 6.5m; Liam Collins (Tynedale) 10m; Rachel Robertson (Lasswade AC) 21.5m; Gabby Rothwell-Blake (Manchester) 23m.

Heat Ten: James Beattie (Kelty) 33m; Emily Dagg (Edinburgh AC) 21.5m; Daniel Njal Blyth RC 9.5m; David Brand (Dunfermline T & F) 8m; Lee Goodfellow (TLJT) 11.5m; Eoin Lowther (Jedburgh) 12m; David Rothwell (Manchester) 25.5m.

Heat Eleven: Keiran Reilly (Lasswade AC) 8.75m; Callum Fields (East Kilbride AC) 10.5m; Lynsey Cooch (Dunfermline) 24m; Dylan Ali (Hawick) 5m; Daniel Moore (Morpeth) 10m; Iskan Barskanmay (Jedburgh AC) 9.5m; Bob Douglas (Balerno) 26m.

Heat Twelve: Cameron Fisher (Jedforest AC) 12.5m; Amy Clancy (Peebles) 21.5m; Darren Tomlinson (TLJT) 16.75m; Greg Kelly (East Kilbride AC) 8m; Jonathan McKenna (Edinburgh) 15m; Hope Robertson (Lockerbie) 22m; Charlie Carstairs (Lasswade AC) 9.25m.

More on the 147th New Year Sprint on page 76.

BSLT

Active Ageing

Borders Sport and Leisure hosted a free coffee morning and have-a-go session on Monday 30 November to showcase its forthcoming Active Ageing programme, which is due to launch in January 2016.

The coffee morning, which took place at Tweedbank Sports Complex included the chance to try out new Active Ageing gentle exercise classes and activities. These include Silver Spinners indoor cycling, indoor bowling, Smooth Movers move-to-music sessions and STEADI, a falls prevention class that improves balance and strength. More than 30 people attended the session.

The Active Ageing programme will commence in January in Galashiels, TriFitness, Tweedbank, Hawick and Kelso and aims to promote to the older adult population the benefits of physical activity such as improved mood and self-esteem, a lower risk of illness and falls, greater energy, as well as the chance to socialise and have fun. All of the classes are based on each individual’s particular level of physical ability so there will always be an activity that they can take part in.

The Active Ageing coffee morning was hosted by Beth Noble, Borders Sport & Leisure’s health and physical activity development officer, and included a visit from Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.

Beth said: “The great response we received to this taster event bodes really well for our full programme. Borders Sport & Leisure’s vision is to improve lives through physical activity, sport and leisure and we have developed the Active Ageing programme to provide older adults with suitable fun and social activities to keep fit and healthy and engaged as they age.”

Further information is available by emailing bnoble@bslt.org.uk.

Bowling

Teviotdale

Teviotdale senior men entertained Bainfield last week and the result was a vast improvement when the teams met in Edinburgh, back in October.

It was a ding dong match with shots fluctuating across the green. Top rink for the Teviotdale side was the Colin Rae skipped rink, ably supported by Jim Thomson; Tom Edmison, and Drew Johnstone, winning their game by a comfortable 10 shots. Match result: Teviotdale 53 Bainfield 74.

Rink scores: J. Taylor 14 W. Little 16; A. Waugh 12 S. Wilson 20; B. McDonald 7 M. Sutherland 28; C. Rae 20 M. Marshall 10.

Curling

Juniors

While Morebattle’s Amy Bryce was at Greenacres Ice rink (see page 75), her elder brother Cameron was competing in the European Junior Curling Tour event in Thun, Switzerland.

The team came a very creditable third overall after topping their group but losing out narrowly in the semi-final to the Italian national team, skipped by Pimpini.

Cameron was very pleased with his team’s performance which was a good warm up for the Scottish Junior qualifiers held just last weekend at Dewars centre in Perth.

As there is no qualifying for the girls this season, Amy’s two brothers – Cameron and Angus – were competing at Perth, both managing to qualify for the Scottish Junior finals which will take place at Curl Aberdeen in January with Cameron remaining undefeated after only having to play four of his five games.

Angus’s team, Team McNay from Lockerbie, are the only non-funded RCCC team to qualify for the finals in both of the past two seasons – and he is still only 13 years of age.

Football

Duns Juniors

Duns Football Club’s junior section held a fundraising bag pack on Saturday in the Co-op in Duns.

Elaine Baxter, one of the organisers, said: “This was a fantastic morning’s work from our junior footballers. We raised £399.03 in donations and we sold £285 in raffle tickets making a grand total of £684.03.

“Thanks to the Co-op and their shoppers for being so generous”.

The Duns Juniors Grand Raffle will be drawn at 9.30am this Saturday at Border Baguettes in Duns Market Square.

Horse Racing

Kelso

Full results from Sunday’s Borders National meeting at Kelso:

12.00 – Road to Gold (L. Alexander) 6-1; 2, Nuts Well 5-4 fav; 3, Cornborough 6-4. Eight ran. N. Alexander, Fife.

12.30 – Seeyouatmidnight (B. Hughes) 5-6 fav; 2, Silsol 11-4; 3, One For Arthur 8-1. Six ran. A. Thomson, Greenlaw.

1.05 – Alizee De Janeiro (P. Buchanan) 7-2; 2, Smadynium 28-1; 3, Hunters Belt 3-1 fav. Nine ran. L. Russell, Milnathort.

1.40 – Neptune Equester (D. Fox)11-4 jt fav; 2, Presented 15-2 3, Tikkandemickey 11-2. Eight ran. A. Thomson.

2.15 – Vivaldi Collonges (N. Scholfield) 15-8 fav; 2, Firth of the Clyde 100-30; 3, Silver Tassie 17-2. Six ran. P. Nicholls, Ditcheat.

2.45 – La Dama De Hierro (B. Hughes) 6-1; 2, Miss Tiggy 12-1; 3, Presenting Rose 10-1. Eight ran. M. Jefferson, Malton.

3.15 – Marlee Massie (L. Alexander) 10-1; 2, Oscar O’Scar 4-1 fav; 3, Kilquiggan 11-2. 13 ran. N. Alexander.

Full report on page 74.

Husky Racing

Scottish Championships

Hawick couple Colin Spalding and his wife Suzanne had an excellent first outing of the season in the Sled Dog Association of Scotland National Championships and International Federation of Sleddog Sports World Cup race at Eagle Brae near Inverness recently, when over 120 teams took part.

It was a very challenging course in a lovely setting over two days of racing.

The Spaldings’ new dog, Dexter, won the one-dog open scooter in his first ever race, winning by more than four minutes, and has qualified for the European Championships in Thetford next November.

Diamond and Granite ran in the two-dog class and they finished a very good fourth.

Cupar, a German shorthaired pointer, ran in the one-dog open bikejor and came in an excellent third.

If anyone would like further information on this sport please contact Colin Spalding on Facebook.

MotorSport

Scottish Rally Championships

Hawick driver Ian Baumgart has enjoyed a top season’s driving, finishing second in his class and 11th overall in his Subaru in this year’s Scottish Rally Championships.

Ian, who owns J & A B Motors in Duke Street, has been involved in motorsport for more than 40 years and this week he told the Hawick News: “Out of the eight events scheduled this year only six took place. Two rallies failed to attract enough competitors and were cancelled.

“I have been doing this for a long time now and still enjoy it. It’s been good fun.”

Asked how he first became involved in motorsport, Ian said: “Being a 16-year-old motor mechanic certainly helped. I was always interested in cars and driving so it took off from there. I have had a lot of fun. It’s not cheap to get involved and that might have something to do with a drop in the amount of youngsters getting involved but I have enjoyed it all.”

Ian’s navigator is Mike Dickson, who lives in Galashiels. Mike finished second in class and eighth overall navigator in this year’s championships.

Rugby

Edinburgh

Holders Edinburgh Rugby are preparing to defend the 1872 Scottish Cup – with a little help from their friends.

A total of 40 Edinburgh Rugby players have been travelling far and wide to meet young fans and ask them to show their support on 27 December.

Just two days after Christmas, BT Murrayfield will be the destination for one of the season’s most anticipated games when Edinburgh host Glasgow Warriors in the first leg of the 1872 Cup. Among those taking part in the Guinness PRO12 clash will be Scotland hooker and former Kelso High pupil Ross Ford, who visited his former school yesterday.

“There is no greater motivation than a big and vocal home crowd,” he said, “and that’s exactly what we want on December 27.

“Last year we won the 1872 Scottish Cup and we will do everything in our power to make sure it stays in the East.

“As a Borders lad, I know how much rugby means in the region. With their passion and support, we’ll keep the cup where it belongs.

“It is without doubt one of the biggest games of the season. Going head to head with a number of my international teammates in the national stadium always adds something extra to the game.”

Other Edinburgh Rugby stars will make the trip to almost 20 different locations, including Melrose, Jedburgh and Berwickshire.

The first leg of the 1872 cup kicks off at 3.05pm on Sunday, December 27 at BT Murrayfield. Tickets are available from www.edinburghrugby.org

Scotland

Scotland will face Rugby World Cup rivals Japan in June next year (w/o 18th and 25th) on the 2016 summer tour – venues, kick-off times and broadcast details to be announced.

The matches will be the sixth and seventh time that the two nations have met on full Test-capped terms, while the countries have played on four other occasions when Scotland have fielded a development ‘XV’ in 1976, 1977, 1989 and 2010.

The most recent clash between the two nations was in this year’s Rugby World Cup where, after a tense start, Scotland got their campaign underway with a clinical five-try (45-10) win over the Brave Blossoms following their historic victory over South Africa.

The result meant Japan - ranked 10th in the world - became the first team to be eliminated at the pool stage, despite winning three matches, while Scotland, ranked ninth, went on to face Australia in the quarter-final.

The victory also kept the Scots unbeaten against Japan in Test conditions, with next summer’s games the first to see caps awarded to the two nations on Japanese soil; though it will be the third time a Scottish select has toured the land of the rising sun (1977 and 1989).

Speedway

Berwick Bandits

New Berwick Speedway manager Scott Courtney can’t wait for March to come around so he can get his teeth into his new role.

The former rider, boss of his own carpet-fitting business in the town, is eager to succeed and believes the club have already assembled a team capable of holding their own in the premier league in 2016.

“We may not look the best team on paper, but we have a good mix of youth and experience,” he said.

“There is strength in depth, and in the past that is a formula which has worked well for Berwick.”

Courtney had a meeting with team captain Kevin Doolan last week and believes he has the right man for the job.

“As everyone knows, I used to mechanic for Kevin in the past, so we know each other very well indeed,” he said.

“Kevin is a really friendly guy and gets on well with everyone, but, more importantly, he is a very experienced rider and knows how to motivate the riders and get the best out of them.

“This is my first venture into team management, and it is going to be a big learning curve for me, but with people like Kevin around me, not to mention Matty Wethers and Theo Pijper, it should help make things a bit easier.

“They are all experienced guys who know what they are talking about, and hopefully they can bring the younger riders on.”

Courtney says one of the key features of the side is that all seven riders have raced for Berwick in the past.

“None of them are new to the track or the surroundings, and that should mean they settle in quickly,” he said.

“I know it’s a cliche, but I am really looking forward to it.

“Last year, the atmosphere wasn’t great around the club, but now things look a lot more positive.”

Squash

Galashiels

Two players from Gala Squash Club made the trip to Grange Sports Club in Stockbridge, Edinburgh for the Close Brothers Asset Management Grange Open 2015 - Club Championship Runner Up Luis Molero and Club Captain Del Sharratt.

The Grange Open regularly attracts big names from the squash world and is open to players of any club. A recent winner is in fact Scotland International Dougie Kempsell who due to squash commitments was unable to enter this year, but the draw was full of just as great a standard of player.

The event was graded and Gala’s Molero was Runner Up in the Secondary grade; his matches included a 3-0 (15-9, 15-2, 15-6) victory against Andrew Chrmka (Grange); and took the scalp of the Grades Top Seed Jamie Dalrymple (Grange) in an epic 3-1 (16-14, 6-15,15-9, 15-8). In the final Molero was against the youthful Tom Clark (Watsonians) and the youngsters fitness and speed proved too much for Luis as he as whitewashed 3-0 (15-11, 15-8, 19-17).

In the same Grade Sharratt crashed out to eventual Champion Tom Clark in the opening round 3-2 (15-10, 16-18, 15-8, 13-15, 15-8); therefore he entered the plate tournament in which he triumphed with notable victories over Edinburgh Waverleys Samir Nizam 3-0 (15-6, 15-7, 15-13) and in the plate final against his first round victim Andrew Chrmka 3-0 (15-11, 15-5, 15-10).

In the main event, the final was contested between Heriot-Watt University’s Michael Ross and Edinburgh Sport Club’s Canadian player, Jaques Laas. The match went the distance and both players had their chances in a thrilling 3-2 (12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2).

Sharratt said: “It was a great experience just to rub shoulders with some of Scotland’s best. These guys are an inspiration to some of the younger players in the country and hopefully more of Gala Squash Club members will participate in this event next year.”

Club Night Friendlies: D. Sharratt 2-0 R. McAleese; F. Forrest 2-0 J. Barrow; A. Gill 2-0 A. Niemczewski; D. Sharratt 1-1 D. Burnie; A. Niemczewski 2-0 J. Barowska; D. Burnie 2-0 D. Quinn; R. Kohler 2-0 D. Quinn; A. Gill 2-0 D. Burnie; J. Barrow 2-0 R. McAleese; A. Niemczewski 2-0 F. Forrest; A. Gill 1-1 D. Sharratt; L. Molero 2-0 J. Barowska.

League One: L. Molero 3-2 I. Chalmers.