by SHANE FENTON
The curtain comes down on the Fife Highland Games Association[FHGA] season this Saturday [5th Aug] at Inverkeithing.
Hard to believe that's going to be it all over in the region for another year. Thankfully in 2017 all games went ahead, first time this has been the case for a few years. Cupar displayed good initiative in re-arranging their Games following the event having to be called off on it's original date, and following so many years of misfortune on different fronts it was great to see the Newburgh Games going ahead as well this season.
Inverkeithing also sees the culmination of the FHGA points leagues.
With prizes up for grabs for the first three in each league a number of the placings have still to be determined.
In the Open up to 400 metres league David Allan,Balloch currently leads the way, only 9 points however seperates the top 10 with 30 pts still to play for.
The over 400 mts league sees Tyler Whyte,Aberdeen AC hold a 3 point lead over Willie Bates,Tullibody with Rebecca Burns,Edinburgh AC and Dean Whiteford a similar distance back in joint 4th. Don Bradley is also in the mix in third place 5pts off the pace but is unlikely to be at the Ballast Bank due to injury or competing in the North.
The Youths' up to 400 mts league is the closest of the lot, Sean Bates,Tullibody and Edouard Lecrivain,Aberdeen AC share top spot on 10 pts with another 4 runners on 8. Edouard Lecrivain with his brother Gaspard have missed the last 4 weekends owing to being on holiday in France but are due to be back competing this weekend.
Edouard has an unassailable lead with 31 pts in the Youth over 400 mts league, it's still close for the minor prizes with only 5pts seperating Gaspard Lecrivain,Aberdeen AC,Hannah Steel,Lothian RC and Kyle McFarlane,Pitreavie AC.
The Open cycling league sees Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey[58pts] hold a 19pts lead over Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy. Steve Jackson,Glasgow,James Melville,Alexandria and Ryan Keir,Newburgh are also in the mix. With 5 races to be contested and 50 points on the table and on a different surface the bookie won't be paying out just yet.
Sadly the Youth cycling has been a bit hit or miss in Fife this season, after 7 riders appeared at Markinch only 2 turned up at both Newburgh and Cupar. Half a dozen competed at St Andrews last weekend, and despite trying to encourage a few to go to Inverkeithing it looks like league leader Kyle Cartmel,Forres is the only entry,and if that is still the case there is sadly unlikely to be any youth cycling on Saturday.
Thankfully that won't be the case in the Open cycling with a magnificent field of 14 riders set to compete. The cycling on the red ash is always a highlight at Inverkeithing as the riders whizz around the big 400 metres circuit at high speed. Hopefully the recent rain will have dampened down the 'stoor'. The track will also bring much needed respite to the riders who have been slogging their way round rain softened surfaces all summer....if thats what you can call it. The highlight is the SHGA Scottish 6400 metres Championship.
The cycle events will have a further boost with the appearance of Katie Archibald MBE, the Olympic gold medalist and World and European champion is no stranger to the Ballast Bank having competed there in 2011, the rest as they say is history. When the cycle events were completed that day 6 years ago Katie also competed on foot, running in the 400 metres handicap. This brings us to an Archibald family connection at Inverkeithing. Katie's father Ian ran a time of 9 minutes 09.47 seconds for the 2 miles on the Ballast Bank 27 years ago in 1990, that time is still an SHGA record for that distance on the red ash.
In the heavy events , Sinclair Patience,Tain has been a good supporter of the Fife games this summer having competed at Markinch,Newburgh,Ceres and Thornton, he holds an almost unassailable lead in the league with 103pts. It's extremely close for second between Scott Rider,Lukasz Wenta and Dan Carlin.
I should point these are all general summing up's of the leagues, i have no concrete confIrmation of who is and who isn't competing at Inverkeithing.
Published: 2017-08-03 15:46:37