Team Borders athletes back in pole position

Athletic action from Meadowbank.
Athletic action from Meadowbank.

Defending the Forth Valley League Division 1 title, which they have won for the last two years, Team Borders sat equal second in the league table going to last Saturday’s Match 2.

And some sterling performances saw them this time run out match winners at a rain-sodden Meadowbank, taking the maximum eight match points.

Furthermore, with league leaders Pitreavie dropping to fourth on the day and a resurgent Edinburgh knocking Dunfermline into third, Team Borders are back at the top of the table with one match remaining.

On a day when the afternoon forecast of heavy rain proved 100 per cent accurate, the young competitors were challenged in more ways than one but knuckled down to shrug off the effects of

the rain.

Unfortunately, though, as many as nine Borders athletes who had travelled to Meadowbank just for the 4x100m relays were denied their chance to compete because of the horrendous weather.

With some parts of the track already sitting under water, and with monsoon-like conditions, the track referee called together the eight team managers, going into the final track events – the relays – to consider whether to continue because of the risk of injury to athletes by slipping.

There had already been several such incidents and, after consultation, it was decided with regret to cancel the relays.

Borders team co-ordinator Gregor Nicholson said: “I was involved in that meeting and, while extremely disappointing, it was the right decision, given the safety concerns expressed by the majority of the

team managers.

“When this was announced, despite the forlorn look on some of the athletes’ faces, it was pleasing to see the decision being met by the athletes with quiet respect and understanding.”

‘A’ string winners on the day were Ewan Christie (Gala) in the U13B 1500m in a sub-5 clocking of 4.55.57, which ranks him in the top five in the country; Samantha Dagg (TLJT) in the U13G 200m in

28.40; Maria Imray (Gala) in the U13G Javelin with 12.63m; Thomas Hilton (Moorfoot) in the U11B 600m in 1.53.95; Harris Ross (Chirnside) in the U11B Shot Putt with 6.28m; and Jess Colledge (Moorfoot), who made it an Under 11 shot putt double in the girls’ event with 5.93m, notable for being her first ever shot putt competition and throwing further than all the boys bar Harris.

Valuable points contributions were made by second placed Kacey Taitt (TLJT) in the U13G Long Jump and third places for Chirnside’s Oscar Onley in a cracking U15B 1500m race, clubmate Kyle Taylor in the U13B Javelin and Sam McAneny (Gala) in the U13B 200m.

There were also six ‘B’ string wins for Murray McGregor (Chirnside) in the U15B 200m, David Cathcart (Moorfoot) in both the U13B 200m and Javelin, Keira MacGregor (Chirnside) who made it a double win for the Borders in the U13G Javelin, Hamish Hamilton-Meikle (Chirnside) who did likewise in the U11B Shot Putt, and Ross Christie in the U11B 600m.

Gregor Nicholson added: “We probably benefited from some of our rival teams being weakened by an absence of athletes who were competing the following day in the Scottish Youth Development League. Mind you, we had a few athletes missing as well, but the team will need to be at its all-round strongest in Match 3 on June 24, if we are to hold on to our lead and make it a hat-trick of title wins.”

FVL Division 1 table – Team Borders 14.5 points, Pitreavie 13, Dunfermline 12.5, Edinburgh 12.