Ali is the greatest as he retains title in Selkirk sprint

Games action in the latest round of the circuit, from Selkirk (pic by Sharon Beveridge)
Games action in the latest round of the circuit, from Selkirk (pic by Sharon Beveridge)

A year ago, Dylan Ali shone in the sunshine when winning the 100 metres handicap at the Selkirk Games.

Twelve months on, it was deja­ vu, as the sun was out again and Ali continued to gleam, giving a top-notch show to win the Selkirk sprint for a second time in a row.

Beaten in a photo finish by the closest of the margins in the Hawick Games 110m handicap the previous week, Ali showed he was a man on a mission in his heat, blitzing to victory in 11.88 seconds from a back mark place of 3.5 metres.

The Hawick Sprint Club runner followed this up with a cross tie triumph in 11.79 seconds.

This victory earned him a place in the final, which was something of a family affair.

For former New Year Sprint winner Ali found himself lining up against his elder brother Leon Ali (10.5m), Craig Bruce of Selkirk (10m), who both belong to Hawick Sprint Club, plus Hawick’s own Jack Wilson (14m), Corey Wilson (13.5m), David Lauder (16m) and Glyn Desport (9.5m).

It was Dylan Ali who hoisted the winning flag for Hawick, though, with a barnstorming run from gun to tape to gain a photo finish win in 11.74 seconds.

Leon Ali came in a place behind his brother, with Desport third.

Kobe Stevens of Moorfoot (25m) gave an excellent account of himself to take pride of place in the 800m handicap.

A young runner who has come through the ranks, graduating from youth racing to senior level, Stevens ran a perfect race.

Showing up well from the start, he overtook lady runner Amy Smith (132.5m), who had been heading the field on the home straight, and duly strode on to take the honours in 1 minute 58.29 seconds.

Lasswade’s Smith was second and Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (50m) third.

In-form Rory Anderson of Hawick (35m) chalked up his fifth win of the season by emerging victorious in the 1600 metres handicap in 4 minutes 33.16 seconds.

The other placings went the way of Hawick pair Bruce Hughes (85m) and Greg Walker (100m).

The 400 metres handicap brought about an exciting finish which saw Wallace McGowan of Sauchie (58m) and Andrew Thomson of Jed AC (33m) edge past race leader David Hush of Hawick in the closing stages.

McGowan was the victor in 50.13 seconds.

Graeme Armstrong of Edinburgh (39m) followed up his Hawick Games sprint win by doing the business in the 200 metres handicap, winning the final in 21.98 seconds.

Competing off 15 metres, Angus Johnstone of TLJT emerged an impressive winner of the novice sprint 110 metres handicap.

Johnstone was the first of what were to be five winners for the Tweed Leader Jed Track Club.

Samantha Dagg notched two of these victories in pulling out the stops to take the youth ‘B’ races 90 and 200 metres handicap in great style.

Commenting on her excellent double, 11-year-old Dagg said: “I got pulled two metres after I had won the 90m and didn’t think I had a chance in the 200m race. It was a surprise for me when I managed to win and I am really pleased to have won two races.”

Molly Paterson, who excelled in winning the youths 200 metres handicap at Hawick Games, produced the goods again by coming out on top in the youths 90 metres ‘A’ race.

Thirteen-year-old Leah Ainslie also gave a five-star show when getting into the winning frame in the youth ‘A’ race 200 metres handicap.

Chirnside’s Rory Williamson ran very well to win the youths’ 800m handicap.