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Excitement all the way as Cupar enjoys one of it's best ever Games writes Shane Fenton

For once the weather played the game and the biggest crowd in a number of years turned up at Duffus Park for the Cupar Highland Games.
They were treated to an exciting afternoon of thrills,spills and competitive action.

Czech Republic giant Vlad Tulacek won six of the heavy events and set a new ground record of 16' 4'' in the 56lb weight over the bar. He was thwarted of a clean sweep with Stuart Anderson,Lochearnhead winning the Caber competition.

Scottish Lib-dem leader Willie Rennie was Chieftain for the day and in all the years i have been officiating at games it's the first time i've seen a Chieftain compete, and he just didn't compete ,he won the Open 1600 metres handicap.

There was nasty incident in the 3200 metres cycle handicap, with just over three laps remaining and the big field of riders all bunched together there was a coming together of wheels which ended with five riders sprawled out all over the track, the race was immediately brought to a halt to allow treatment to those injured. Paul Gallacher appeared to come off the worse and was stood down for the rest of the day.

As has been the trend in most of the games this year there was a marked increase in the track and field entries.
The Open 100 metres handicap saw two males and two females contest the final, it was the former who came out on top with David Allan,Balloch edging home ahead of Kieran Halliday,Central AC with Samantha Turnbull,TLJT and Charlene Moock,Stirling University close up in 3rd and 4th.
A trio of runners from Anstruther contested the four runner final of the Youth's 90 metres, all three however had to settle for the minor placings as victory went to Steven Bates,Tullibody,Anna Suttie,Lucy and Reece Nuttall followed him home.

There was a thrilling finish to the Open 200 metres final with all four finalists flashing over the line together, after consulting the photo it was adjudged that Samantha Turnbull,TLJT had inched home ahead of Daniel Paxton,Hawick,David Allan,Balloch and Natasha Turnbull,TLJT.

One of the races of the day was the Open 800 metres, 13 runners reacted to the starters gun and there was still many with chances as they came off the final bend, it was Rebecca Burns,Edinburgh AC who stayed on best to hold off the determined efforts of Dean Whiteford,Willie Bates Tullibody and Craig Bell,Forfar. Whiteford had to settle for the runners up spot once again in the Open 1600 metres handicap as Willie Rennie,Carnegie Harriers opened up an early gap which his rivals couldn't claw back, despite Dean producing his customary strong finish he couldn't reel ''the Chieftain' in, Rebecca Burns was again in the prizes with a third place finish.

David Allan made it a double on the day when he powered home ahead of Dean Whiteford and Craig Robertson to win the Open 400 metres handicap.

There was a good field for the Youth's 800 metres handicap and it was Hannah Steel of the Lothian Running Club who emerged victorious, Hannah who last seasons SHGA female youth of the year crossed the finish line ahead of Matty Fleming,Kelso and Anna Suttie,Anstruther.

The upsurge in the participation numbers in cycling this season has been phenomenal and that continued at Duffus Park with 23 riders in action, 14 in the Open events and nine in the youth's. There was three first time riders in the seniors including Ian Archibald the father of Olympic champion Katie, Ian was a top class runner back in the 80's and 90s and still holds the SHGA 3200 metres record set at Inverkeithing in 1991.

There was a bunch finish to the final of the  Open 800 metres with only a couple of bike lengths seperating all six riders, victory went to Edward Fletcher,Grantown on Spey from Paul Gallagher,Kirkcaldy and Steve Jackson,Glasgow. The latter then went on to claim the victory in the Open 1600 metres from Gallacher with Stewart Burke,Dunfermline in third. Following the incident in the 3200 metres only 9 riders contested the Deil which saw Alexander McCrae,Glasgow pull away from Charles Fletcher,Grantown on the last lap to take the victory. McCrae was also the victor in the re run of the 3200 metres from James Melville and Steve Jackson.
The two youth cycle races the 800 metres and 1600 metres were won by Rory Thiel,Dicovery Junior CC,on both occasions the minor berths were filled by Molly Evans and Isaac Small both Grampian Tigers.

Published: 2018-06-17 21:27:04