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Bikers battle for SHGA titles on the Ballast Bank

SHANE FENTON reports from the Ballast Bank

After the disappontment of being cancelled the previous year the 2018 Inverkeithing Highland Games enjoyed a dry bright and breezy afternoon for this years event.

There was fears the recently resurfaced ash track might prove troublesome for the cyclists but this didn't come to fruition and the crowds were treated to a series of excellent races. The cycling programme was boosted this year with the introduction of the 4800 metres Scottish Championship to add to the 6400 metres championship the games have hosted for a number of years. The Youth's 800 metres Scottish championship was also added to the programme.

The 4800 title went to local rider Stewart Burke,Limekilns who raced home ahead of Jamie Penny,Newport and the previous years winner Gavin Shirley,Castle Douglas. The latter occupied the same position in the 6400m championship where victory went to Lewis Oliphant,Edinburgh who held off the late challenge of Stewart Burke. There was similar 1 – 2 – 3 in the Deil tak the Hindmost.

There was two handicaps on the card, the opening 800 metres was won by Stevie Jackson,Glasgow from Craig Hamilton,Edinburgh and Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy. Jamie Penny showed his liking for the ash surface with a good ride to win the 3200 metres handicap with Paul Gallacher and Ian Grant,Glenrothes chasing him home.

The Youth's 800 metres championship went to Angus Hendry who had made the long journey down from Wick, Isaac Small,Grampian Tigers took the runners up spot with Ruebens Thomson also Gramian in third. The Youth 1600 metres handicap was the same result as the championship. The 800 handicap went to Heidi Thomson,Grampian with her brother Roubens in second and Isaac Small third.

In the athletic events Borders runners dominated both the Open and Youth's 90 metres and 200 metres. In the Open 90, Fraser Neil,Kelso lunged close home to overhaul Hawick veteran John Paxton with Samantha Turnbull,TLJT in third place.Paxton and Turnbull occuoied the same positions in the 200 metres where victory went to Cameron Clamp,TLJT.

There was a close finish to the Youth 90m where Eve Rathie,Innerleithen edged out Jason White,TLJT and Josh Landers,Innerleithen. The second and third both moved up a place in the 200metres with White getting the verdict ahead of Landers with Rhys Nuttall,Anstruther in third.

Cameron Clamp made it a double on the day with a good run from the backmark to win the Open 400 metres handicap, powering down the home straight to overhaul Jacob Winton, Leven who was recording his best ever finish in a race on the games circuit with Wallace McGown,Sauchie in third.

There was also a double on the day for Colin Welsh Kelso with wins in the 800 metres and 1600 metres handicaps,both times from the backmark. On each occasion Fraser Logan,Central AC chased him home with Matthew Fleming and Jacob Winton the respective third placers.

It was a good day for Anstruther duo Archie Suttie and Rhys Nuttall in the Youth 800m and 1600m.

Suttie followed up his previous weeks 1600m win at St Andrews with victory in the 800m where he held on gamely from Hannah Steel,Lothian RC and Grace Linton,Innerleithen. Nuttall also had to show tenacity to battle on down the home straight to hold off backmarker Kyle McFarlane,Pitreavie AC and Hannah Steel.

There was a good field of competitors for the heavy events with Craig Wimslow edging out David Colthart by a single point for the overall title. Full heavy results to follow.

Published: 2018-08-04 22:06:33