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SHANE FENTON reports from the North Inch

Perth Highland Games had barely got underway before the rain which had been forecast started to fall on the North Inch.

All credit however to the competitors and officials who had to endure difficult conditions in ensuring all events took place.


There was a multi-national field of 12 throwers in the heavy events with competitors from Australia, Austria, Poland, Iceland and Scotland. There was an Aussie 1 - 2 in the 22lb shot putt with Damien Birkenhead who finished in 5th place in the shot putt at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow edging out out his fellow countryman Scott Martin who was also in Glasgow as one of his countries throws coaches.
The previous day at the Strathpeffer Games Birkenhead broke a long standing ground record which had been held by the legendary Arthur Rowe. The Aussie just failed to make it a shot double as he was pushed into second place by Lukasz Wenta from East Kilbride. Lukasz also won the Caber competition.

Craig Sinclair, Drumoak was once again the dominant force in the two hammer competitions and the Scot made it a treble with victory in the 28lb for distance.

Despite his only win coming in a share of first place with Damien Birkenhead in the 56lb for height Sebastien Wenta, Poland emerged as the overall champion on the day, the former World Strongest Man runner up also had four 2nd places and two 4ths.

Interview with Damien Bikenhead top Australian Heavyweight fresh from achieving 5th at the Commonwealth Games in Glesgow in the Shot Putt

Following a lengthy deliberation of the photo finish equipment, the verdict in the Open 90 metres handicap went to Borderer Kevin Amos, Jedburgh AC in 10.30 seconds, Fife duo Nick Mitchell, Glenrothes and Graeme Lister, Dalgety Bay were only inches away in 2nd and 3rd places.

Open 90m Final - Video

The Youth's 90 metres saw the two front markers Fraser Rout, TLJT and Brodie Cowan, Jedburgh AC hold on to take 1st and 2nd places ahead of the fast finishing Michael Tarnawsky, Dundee in 10.23 seconds.

It was females to the fore in the 200 metres events, in the Open race, Mhairi Henderson TLJT had a welcome return to form as she produced a fine run from the front mark to hold off Graeme Lister and Nick Mitchell who like in the 90m had to settle for the minor berths. Mhairi's winning time was 23.39s.
Eve Huxley, was an impressive winner of the Youth's 200m, the Pitreavie runner who was just pipped last week at Inverkeithing stayed on strongly in the closing stages to hold off back marker Connor Gillan, Kelso in 24.32s with the previous weeks Bridge of Allan winner Brodie Cowan in 3rd.

A powerful run from Euan Pettigrew, Kelso saw him take out the 400 metres in fine style in 55.07s, Willie Bates took the runners up spot with Fraser Neil also Kelso in 3rd.

There wasan exciting finish to the Open 800 metres with Andrew Thomson, Jedburgh AC who is in a rich vein of form at present having to show all his tenacity to get up in the closing stages to deny Corey Smith, Pitreavie AC and Ruaridh Britton, Leithenburn in 2m 2.82s.
Jack Amos made it a Jed AC 800m double with victory in the Youth's race in, despite running from a reduced start for his win the previous day at Morebattle he had enough in the tank to hold on from Calum Field, East Kilbride AC who turned in an eye catching run from the backmark to finish in 2nd place, Mia Elliot also Jed AC stayed on gamely for 3rd place.

There is no stopping Dean Whiteford, Innerleithen at present and he notched up another win on the rain soaked North Inch in the 1600 metres handicap, the Borderer came home ahead of Willie Bates, Tullibody with Ruaridh Britton in 3rd. The Youth's 1600m saw Sean Bates, Tullibody chalk up another victory as he maintains his top spot in the SHGA points league for youth's in races over 400 metres, Tony Brown, Chirnside and Jack Amos followed him home in 2nd and 3rd.

Pitreavie AC took the first two places in the 3200 metres with Aiden Thomson coming through from the backmark before stretching clear on the last lap from his club mate Corey Smith, with Craig Bell, Forfar winning the battle for 3rd place over Sam Bates, Tullibody!

The conditions meant the afternoon ended with a bunch of mud splattered cyclists, but not before they had thrilled the crowds with some exciting races, the Fletcher brothers Edward and Charles from Grantown on Spey battled it out down the straight for the Scottish 1000 metres title with Edward prevailing by a bike length. James Melville, Dumbarton won the 1600 metres before Alan Clark, Edinburgh showed his liking for the softer under wheel conditions by landing a 3200m, 4800m and Deil tak the Hindmost treble.

The Tug O' War boys caught the imagine of the crowd with the Moffat team emerging the victors over Strathardle and Mount Blair.


Open 90m Final - Video

Interview with Damien Bikenhead top Australian Heavyweight fresh from achieving 5th at the Commonwealth Games in Glesgow in the Shot Putt


Published: 2014-08-10 19:08:32