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Given the utterly desperate weather of the current summer, it would have been little surprise had that continued at the annual spectacular at Tobermory Golf Club. Apart from two little showers in the early morning, the clouds disappeared, the sun shone and one of the best fields of athletes seen at Mull Highland Games more than rose to the occasion.

First action on the track was the 100 yards scratch race and, in a forerunner of things to come, this was won by Alan Hamilton of Edinburgh in a time of 10 seconds dead. He repeated the feat in the handicap event later in the day edging out Ewan Dyer and Toby Harris in the scratch event and Ben Coates of Kilmore and his fellow Edinburgh resident Harris in the handicap. Pitreavie based Dyer made up for his narrow defeat in the 100 yards by picking up the 220 yards handicap and also the half mile handicap. Veteran Wallace McGown was well placed in the handicap to hold on to the quarter mile at the end of the card.

Hawick trio Jordan Taylor, Rory Anderson and Kyle Potts (who was making his first trip to Mull Highland Games) and who had all been running at meetings since Saturday, acquitted themselves well in the Mull events. Taylor and Potts picked up the places in the quarter mile behind McGown, Anderson was third in the half mile behind Ewan Dyer and Matthew Turner who had won the half mile scratch in the morning’s card. Mike Deason originally from the USA but now resident in Glasgow and who had won the 800 metres Championship at Lochcarron only last Saturday, missed out on the opportunity to repeat that feat in the scratch race due to the cancellation of the first Kilchoan ferry on the morning of the games, but he did bag third place in the mile, behind two of the Hawick threesome, Anderson and Taylor.

Light field events have always been a major feature of the Mull Games and the competition in 2015 was no disappointment.  Antony Daffurn of Coatbridge won the Kenny MacIntyre Trophy for the triple jump with a distance of 48 feet 2 ½ inches. He narrowly defeated the Edinburgh duo of Alan Hamilton and Toby Harris, which he was to go to repeat on the Long Jump narrowly failing to beat the long standing ground record with a jump of 22 feet 6 ¾ inches. Hamilton was to run the tables on Daffurn in the High Jump where Lee Goodfellow of Earlston came in in third place. The large embankment at Mull provides a wonderful natural amphitheatre of Circus Maximus style and the thousands of visitors cheered on every jump, run, dance and throw. The always enthusiastically received children’s, visitors’ and kiltie dash races drew enormous entries with the visitors’ prizes going to Yorkshire and Germany, with the latter being won by a competitor on her 27th birthday.

The heavy events were hotly contested by a field of athletes from Scotland, Belgium and the USA. It was home talent to the fore though with Lorne Colthart taking 7 of the 9 events which are contested. It was only in the caber and weight over the bar that he failed to take top spot.  Highland dancers from around the globe went through their paces on the boards providing a fantastic display of colour, sound and dexterity.

Mull always provides a great day’s entertainment making the less than straight forward journey to the top corner of the island more than worth the trip. It is a unique event on the highland games calendar for many reasons and all that I can say is that if you have not been before then you really should make the effort: you will be more than well rewarded should you do so. 

Craig Dunbar.

Published: 2015-07-24 20:33:20