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Daffurn jumps into the record books at Mull Highland Games


Since crossing the water from the mainland, the SHGA Light Field Jumps Championship has gone from strength to strength and the quantity and quality of the competition today has established the Championship as one of the cornerstones of the summer circuit.

SHGA Athlete of the Year, Antony Daffurn reigned supreme today in taking all three disciplines and only took part in the last, the high jump, at the suggestion of fellow competitor, Victoria Park’s Jax Thoirs. Thoirs would live to regret that!!!  Daffurn’s win in the High Jump clearing 1.85 metres was impressive in its own right but it followed a long jump competition which took that event to a different level. Edinburgh’s Allan Hamilton had managed just two years ago to break one of the longest standing records at Mull in the Long Jump but his distance  24ft 6 ½ inches was narrowly beaten today by both Daffurn and Thoirs who both jumped an extra half inch, only for Daffurn to jump an outstanding 25 feet and 1 inch, creating a new ground and Scottish record verified in person by SHGA President Charlie Murray who was in attendance. Mull Games President Andrew Kain presented Daffurn with the SHGA Medal and Chieftain, Sir Lachlan Maclean of Duart and Morvern, handed over the Kenny Macintyre Trophy for Tony’s third win in the hop step and leap, as it is still known on the island.

Some of the jumpers also took part in the athletics which had one of its best fields of competitors for some years. The day began with Praise Olatoke of Kilbarchan, winner at Ceres at the end of June, taking the Scratch 100 yards with fellow jumpers Daffurn and Thoirs in the minor places. Praise, still on scratch, was relegated to third in the handicap with Thoirs moving up one place and gold going to Lee Goodfellow [10m] of Earlston in a very creditable time of 10.15 seconds. The most unusual occurrence in many years took place in the 220 yards when a loose dog crossed the line in 3rd place behind Hawick’s Rory Anderson and Goodfellow but the prize went in the end to Praise, the dog having been disqualified (jokingly of course) for not wearing spikes!!! Anderson doubled up in the last open event, the quarter mile, bringing a long week to competition to a successful end.

Campbeltown’s Matthew Turner has been absent form games meetings in recent months but has returned this week with a flourish winning both the Scratch and handicap half mile events today, even although he was still on zero even in the handicap. Both races came in at just over two minutes. Andrew Gibson of Bo’ness won the mile, his first win on the circuit in 9 years, cheered on by his wife, son and daughter. Hundreds of kids turned out for the Children’s races and the Visitors’ Races were contested by 25 ladies and 40 gentlemen, causing the inevitable carnage on the bottom bend, with more fallers than there were at the Grand National!! 

The heavies were slightly down in numbers but those present did not lack in quality. Recently crowned World Heavyweight Champion Lucasz Wenta and World Caber Champion, Scott Rider were both participating with both taking top spot in a number of events. Under 20 record holder designate Murdo Masterson interrupted their strangle hold on the events by taking both hammers while Pieter Bouma the 56 pounds weight over the bar. Bouma, Rider and Wenta tied in the caber and unlike at Inveraray on Tuesday, there was no tie breaker and all three declared joint winners.

The real winners though were the thousands who made their way over to Mull to spectate at one of the finest Games venues in the country. Almost five hours of unbroken entertainment including the dancing and music of the Oban High School and Mull and Iona Pipe Bands all added to the spectacle of the day. The passing of Margaret Mitchell and the doyen of Mull Games, Ronnie Campbell, were marked with a suitable and heartfelt tribute and a lament played by Neil MacCallum of Bunessan, of all ofwhich Ronnie would have undoubtedly approved.


Published: 2018-07-19 22:56:12