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Athletics

Gala Harriers

Gala Harriers’ annual lung-busting cross-country race at Ladhope took place on Saturday, with a great turnout of more than 30 club runners all keen to build up an appetite for the Christmas night out later that day.

The handicapping of this race means that anyone can win it, and starting well back, but bursting through to finish first, was Mark Bryson, with Fergus Johnston in second and Thomas Otton third. Mark was rewarded not only with the win, but later learned he had won a coveted place in the 2015 London Marathon, along with lucky Anne Weir and Fiona Dalgleish.

The next day, Fergus was on a roll and finished as the first Gala Harrier home and fourth overall in the latest round of the Borders Winter Cross Country series, this time run by first-timers Chirnside Chasers. The fields around Chirnside were as muddy as you could get, but Fergus led home the club runners in a grand time of 29 minutes and 8 seconds. Dianne Lauder was the second woman home in 29.52.

Earlier in the day there had been success for Callum Tharme (13.16) Corri Campbell (13.39) and Andrew Hogg (13.41) who came in a hard-fought first, second and third in the junior race, with good runs for many other young Harriers, male and female in their age categories.

Susannah Godfrey-Faussett was the first girl across the line in a superb 14.19 and Rhiannon Fagan (16.04) Cara Hogg (16.11) and Elena Heger (16.27) all posted high placings which will be a good investment to take forward into their own categories in the new year’s remaining rounds. All results can be found on the Borders Winter Cross Country website.

Selection for East District representation was announced last week and we await confirmation of two Gala seniors, while knowing for sure that Gavin Bryson, Thomas Otton, Jamie Logan, Callum Tharme, Susannah Godfrey-Faussett and Rhiannon Fagan have been selected to race in Holyrood Park, where they will be hoping for some inspiration from Mo Farah, who has posted his intentions to run.

Bowling

Youth Games

Bowls Scotland and the Scottish Indoor Bowling Association have combined forces to create a qualifying competition for a male and a female player to achieve bowls qualification criteria for next summer’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa (September 5-11, 2015).

The selection event will comprise two qualifying competitions, on Sunday, January 18 and Saturday, January 24, 2015 (venues tbc).

Players who are successful in these qualifying competitions will progress to the finals on Sunday, March 1, 2015 (venues tbc).

The male and female winners from the final will have satisfied the bowls qualification criteria to be submitted to Commonwealth Games Scotland for consideration.

The Commonwealth Youth Games selection period for Scotland’s bowlers runs from January 1 to May 17, 2015. Commonwealth Games Scotland will confirm the bowling team by May 25, 2015.

The Commonwealth Youth Games selection events will take place at indoor bowling centres which will be chosen to best replicate the fast greens of hosts, Samoa.

Venues will be confirmed once all entries have been received.

All players entering the Commonwealth Youth Games Selection event must have been born in the years 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 or 2001, and must be free to represent Scotland in September 2015 at the games.

More information and entry form available from www.bowlsscotland.com

All entry forms must be received no later than December 31, 2014.

Teviotdale

The seniors made the short trip to local rivals Tweedbank on Wednesday in very bleak conditions.

Having defeated their hosts at the beginning of the season, Teri hopes were high that they could do the double. But this was not to be with Tweedbank coming out tops by 76-59.

Top rink for the Teviotdale side was the Colin Rae-skipped side, ably supported by J.H. Reilly, Drew Johnstone and Jim Thomson.

Rink scores were as follows: J. Taylor 9 A. Howlieson 29; C. Rae 24 P. McGauchrane 10; K. McCartney 12 P. Butterfield 15; J. Murdie 14 R. Fulton 22.

Hawick Bowling Club members are reminded that the Christmas Dominoes and Quiz is being held on December 27, starting at 2pm.

Curling

Border Ice Rink

In last week’s Agrii Border League, games were played in both A & B sections, with St Boswells consolidating their top spot at 13-3 against Jedburgh, and Yester moving quietly up the table after containing Coldstream 7-4.

Meanwhile, in section B, Lauderdale greased the skids under Lammermuir on their steady descent down the table, 12-5 being the score, while rivals Kelso and Roxburghe went hammer and tongs with the final outcome being 8-6 in favour of the latter.

In A section this week Ayton Castle and Greenlaw do battle in the lower reaches with Duns and Glendale being the other players.

A tough Ralph Brooks Final took place last Thursday between rinks skipped by Gary Craig and Jim Cullen and a last-end shutout by Craig put paid to the Cullen crew.

Wednesday evening saw the High Priesthood of the Province go through the annual ritual of the Border Bonspiel draw, followed by a general meeting to discuss the way ahead for the development group and the state of Borders curling in general. This led to discussion on all matters with chairman of directors Douglas Elliot giving a lucid view on things, ranging from the state of up-and-coming young curlers being lost to the sport when further education takes them afar, the next generation being busy bringing up families, and being under the many pressures of life. What is encouraging is the advent of a gently increasing Eildon Club’s uptake of Wednesday and/or Thursday morning ice, with “Hinnigan’s Hooligans” appearing on Thursday afternoons. Besides this, Friday’s Auld Yins are at a greater strength than they have been in recent seasons. So here ends this lesson in demographics.

Golf

Lauder

Overnight, the snow cleared from Lauder golf course and allowed a small but select field of hardy golfers to play this week’s round of the much-hyped Winter League.

Ronnie (The Penguin) Malcolm led the field with an excellent net 66, closely followed by Mr Consistency, Ron Dick, with a net 68. Billy Hunter was a content man when claiming the last place on the podium with a net 71.

The twos sweep was an exciting affair, despite the absence of twos man Matty Whiteford. Tom Hogarth had two birdies at the quarry hole, but Ronnie Malcolm topped it with a chip-in eagle two at the ninth.

Result: 1, R. Malcolm 78 (12) 66; 2, R. Dick 86 (18) 68; 3, B. Hunter 82 (11) 71.

This week’s Soup-a-thon entry came from Micky Dunne with an excellent chicken and rice.

Entries are building up for the grand Soup-a-thon draw sponsored by David Millar fruit and vegetables. Recipes for all the Soup-a-thon entries are available at David’s shop in Lauder.

Melrose

Xmas Comp: 1, M. W. Gillie & K. Lochrie; 3, K. Grieve.

Scholarship

Roxburghe member Danielle Ker, 18, has been accepted on a full golf scholarship to Erskine College in South Carolina.

The college is situated in Due West, South Carolina, and has a small student population of 600 members. This allows each student to get the most out of tuition, and as a result Erskine is one of the best academic colleges in NCAA Division Two.

The school costs approximately $43,000 per year, and Danielle has received help to raise this money from sports scholarship specialists United Sports.

Head coach Jason Allen is very excited about Danielle’s arrival and believes that she will be a key player in the team, which is currently ranked 39th in the country out of 200+.

Danielle is set to travel out to America in August 2015 to sit a four-year bachelor’s degree.

She was a semi-finalist in last year’s Scottish U18 girls’ championship and played for her county in this year’s Scottish women’s county finals.

Rugby

Sevens

Former Borders players Scott Wight, Mark Robertson (both Melrose), Lee Jones and Nyle Godsmark (both Selkirk) helped the Scotland’s sevens team reach the semi-finals of the Plate competition in Sunday’s Nelson Mandela Bay 7s tournament in South Africa. Despite not making the final, Scotland still climb up to eighth spot in the circuit standings.

The fourth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series takes place in Wellington, New Zealand, on February 6-7.

Squash

Galashiels

Club Night friendlies: D. Sharratt 2 R. McAleese 0; R. Kohler 2 R. McAleese 0; R. Kohler 3 D. Sharratt 2; D. Sharratt 2 R. Kohler 0; A. Gill 2 D. Sharratt 0; A. Gill 2 R. Kohler 0.