Silence may be golden, but at Morebattle Games on Saturday, that particular adjective was attributed to Hush.
For Hawick’s David Hush gave a gilt-edged performance on the Tofts running track, triumphing in the 110m handicap.
Competing from a mark of 24m, 49-year-old Hush raced to victory in his heat in 11.80 seconds.
Coached by Billy Edgar, the Teri veteran then echoed this with a fine cross-tie win in 11.61, which earned him a final spot along with three other Hawick sprinters – David Rae (11.5m), David Grieve (17m) and John Paxton (18.5m) – plus David McKay of Kelso (16.5m) and Edinburgh’s Kieran Reilly (10.5m).
In what turned out to be an exciting last run, Hush got off to a good start. Metres from the tape, however, it appeared as though he was going to be caught by McKay.
But the Hawick flyer still had plenty to offer and held off the challenge of his Tweedside rival with a sizzling finish to win in 11.90 seconds.
After a late burst, Rae clinched second place, with McKay third.
Hush told TheSouthern: “I have been running for 27 years and have won 90m, 200m and 400m handicaps, but today is the first time I have ever won at 110m.
“It’s been a long time in coming and I had to pull out the stops to do it, but I managed to get there and have got that monkey off my back at last.
“I thought I was in with a chance after having won my heat and cross-tie, but I have thought that before. In the final I had my eyes on the finishing line from the start and was completely focused, and it’s just brilliant to have won.”
Running from scratch, Colin Welsh of Kelso gave a five-star show to take the 800m handicap.
From the Adie Gray stable, Welsh looked the part from the gun and, after striding through the pack, hit the front before the final bend, and soared on to gain the honours with Grant Kennedy of Glasgow (105m) and Graham Lister of Kirkcaldy gaining the other placings.
Following his classy show, Welsh said: “I was pleased with my running and my time, and it’s been a good day for me. I have won the 400m and 1,600m handicap at Morebattle from scratch before, so it’s nice to add this one to the list.”
After having won the 1,600m handicap at Tweedbank Games the week previous, 16-year-old Adam Craig of TLJT (105m) did it all again over the same distance.
Craig took the front place from Stuart Somervail of Jed AC (180m) on the last lap and then finished strongly to win ahead of Somervail and Rory Anderson of Hawick (95m).
Craig commented: “Running on the Morebattle track was a lot different from the tartan track at Tweedbank. I managed to get another win, though, and I have now gone from not having won a race all season to winning two in a row.
In the 3,200m, Keith Murray of Hawick (440m) showed the field a clean pair of heels to emerge a clear winner. John Thomson of Coaltown (250m) and Derek Scott of Hawick (340m) finished in second and third.
Graeme Lister of Kirkcaldy (19m) produced the goods to the full to gain the honours in the one-lap handicap, edging out Wallace McGowan of Sauchie (28m) and Lee Goodfellow of TLJT (25m).
Nine-year-old Amy Campbell of Hawick (16.5m) notched her first victory on the circuit when taking pride of place in the junior 90m handicap. Campbell recorded the fastest times of the heats to book her a passage into the final, which also included her elder sister Nicole (14m).
Showing great determination, Amy held off challenges from the back in a keenly contested last showdown to gain a photo finish win over Natalie Robbins of Edinburgh (scratch) and Robbie Renwick of Peebles (1.5m).
A thrilled Amy said: “I had no idea who had won the final. Usually I get caught by the other runners before the race finishes and I was thinking this might have happened again, but it didn’t and I am really excited that I won.”
Lewis Hunter (2.5m) made the long trip from Pitreavie worthwhile by coming out on top in the youths’ 90m handicap. Hunter blitzed to victory in the final, with Robbie Yorston of TLJT (14.5m) and Scott Richardson of Jed AC (0.5m) getting the other places.
The junior one-lap handicap saw victory go the way of Kazya Stevens of Moorfoot (37m) after a dramatic finish.
Ten-year-old Stevens pipped Kelso’s Josh Abbot (24m) in a real blanket finish that took the camera to help the judges come to a decision. Abbot was placed second, with Cal McLennan of Edinburgh (9m) coming in a place behind.
The youth’s one-lap handicap final also turned out to be a thriller. Hawick’s Matthew Bell (40m) headed the field down the home straight and a few strides from home was still out in front.
Jack Wilson of Hawick (13m) and Craig Smith of TLJT (17m), however, came hurtling in and it was take your pick as to who was the winner. Wilson got the nod from the judges, Smith taking second and Bell third.
There was also plenty of excitement in the youths’ 800m handicap. Scarlet Yates of Jed AC (135m) was race leader in the latter stages until being overtaken by dynamic Josh Abbott of Kelso (160m) who produced a storming sprinting finish to win. Yates was placed second and David Collins of Moorfoot (145m) third.
Twenty years ago, 16-year-old Wayne McIntosh of Kelso won the youths’ 1,600m handicap at Morebattle Games from minus two metres.
Many a race has been won and lost since then, but on Saturday Wayne’s 13-year-old son Jason (220m) won the same event.
Trained by Adie Gray, McIntosh junior won in style from Andrew Hogg of Gala Harriers (200m) and Nathan Cox of Berwick (55m) in 4.59.36.
Proud dad Wayne said: “I didn’t tell Jason that I had won the Morebattle Games youths’ mile 20 years ago as I didn’t want to put pressure on him. I remember being real chuffed when I won the race, but I am even happier today.”