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Thrills,spills & a ground record on a scorched Burntisland Links.

SHANE FENTON reports from the Links

Burntisland Highland Games was once again blessed with good weather and the big crowd who made their way to the Links were treated to an afternoon of thrills ,spills and ground records.

With the recent heatwave leaving the grass on the Links badly burnt it made negotiating the notorious hairpin bend all the more hazardous for the cyclist. Three of the four races saw riders hit the deck. The first race, the 1,600 metres was trouble free and produced an exciting finish in which 16 year old Alex Ball,Linlithgow forced his front wheel over the line just ahead of Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy and Jamie Penny,Newport.

Ball looked set to be involved in the finish of the 3200 metres only for he and backmarker Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey, who had worked hard to come through the field from the backmark, both came down on the final bend which left the way clear for Paul Gallacher to take the win ahead of Jamie Penny and Paul Anderson,Perth. The latter was the unlucky rider in the 4,800 metres, as he rounded the  home bend in front his bike slid from under him and he hit the scorched grass which resulted in burns to his arm, nearest pursuer James Melville,Alexandria grasped the opportunity to take the victory with Jamie Penny and Paul Gallacher filling the minor berths. A win for Gallacher in the Diel tak the Hindmost saw him emerge as the overall points winner on the day. Alex Ball finished runner up with Jamie Penny in third place.

Five throwers contested the five heavy events on the card, there was an international flavour to the contest with George Evans Inverness and Jamie Gunn,Halkirk representing Scotland,Scott Rider,England,Pieter Bouma,Holland and Lukasz Wenta,Poland but now residing in Scotland. 48 hours earlier at the Loch Lomond Games at Balloch Lukasz Wenta retained the SHGA World title with Scott Rider in second. On this occasion it was the latter who just edged the overall standings with wins in the 28lb and 56lb weight for distance competitions as well as the caber where he had a perfect 12 0 clock toss. Lukasz Wenta won both the 16lb shot putt and 22lb hammer with Pieter Bouma the victor in the 56lb weight over the bar with an impressive throw of 16' 6'' for a new ground record.

There was some fine performances in both the Open and Youth athletic events. In the Open 90 metres handicap Billy Doyle,Pitreavie AC flew out the blocks on his way to winning the £250 prize in 9.55 seconds, the previous year Doyle had won the Youth's 90 metres, he breasted the tape ahead of Cameron Smith,Tullibody and Fraser Neil,Kelso.The latter was third again in the Open 200 metres handicap where victory went to Natasha Turnbull Peebles who battled up the straight tenaciously to hold off the challenge of Edinburgh veteran Graeme Armstrong in 22.28s.

Victory in the Open 800 metres handicap kick-started a good afternoon for Matthew Turner,Glasgow who only returned to the games circuit at the weekend following a couple of years away. Turner turned in a good run to out-battle Saturday's Alva Games winner and runner up Edouard Lecrivain,Aberdeen AC and Ewen Bradley,Inverness in 1:54.84. Glenrothes veteran John Thomson is no stranger to the winners enclosure at Burntisland and he was in there again following his win in the Open 1600 metres handicap, he was chased over the line by Rory Muir,Aberdeen AC and Matthew Turner. The latter secured the athlete of the day award with another good run to win the Open 3200 metres handicap, striding out in style to come clear of Rory Muir and Edward Lecrivain who fought it out for second and third.

There was a Borders first three in the final of the Youth's 90 metres with Lewis Fleming,Kelso snapping the worsted in 10.47 seconds to edge out Leithenburn duo Aaron Glendinning and Grace Turnbull. The Youth's 200 metres handicap was one of the races of the day with Caitlin Clyde,Leithenburn scrambling home ahead of her training companion Aaron Glendinning with Hannah Steel,Lothian Running Club close up in third. The latter managed to end the Borders domination with a fine run to win the Youth's 800 metres handicap crossing the finish line in 2:03.18 to come home ahead of Matty Fleming ,Kelso and Thomas MacCaskill,Hawick.

The Binn[Hill]Race which is confined to residents of Burntisland saw Ben Potrykus retain his title finishing in 21 minites 55 seconds, Cameron Lewis 23.17 finished second with Joe Meldrum 26.33 in third, first female was Lisa Johnstone 26m 45s.

Published: 2018-07-16 21:27:45