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Unusual outcome as Rider retains British title at Bridge of Allan


Despite the damp conditions a big crowd witnessed some excellent competition at the 166th Bridge of Allan Highland Games. The Strathallan Meeting is widely regarded as one of the best on the circuit and always attracts good entries for all of the events.

Seven competitors contested the British Heavy Events Championship and there was a bit of an international flavour to the competition with throwers from Scotland,England,Poland and the Czech Republic in action.

There was a somewhat unusual outcome to the destination of the title which was won by Scott Rider. The Englishman who has represented England at three Commonwealth Games didn't win any of the seven disciplines, which is a rare occurence. Seven second places however was enough to give him the highest overall points tally to retain his title. Lorne Colthart who finished runner up netted three first places, 16lb hammer[140.7],22lb hammer [116' 3''] and 56lb WfD 37.8''.  Vlad Tulacek replicated the three wins of Cothart with success in the 16lb shot[55' 3''] and 22lb shot [42' 11''], and 56LB WfH [16'],the Czech Republican was competing for the first time back on the circuit since winning overall at Blackford at the end of May finished 3rd overall. Lukasz Wenta who was crowned World champion at Loch Lomond last month chalked up a win with victory in the Caber but only finished 4th overall on this occassion. Sebastien Wenta finished 5th with Kyle Randalls 6th.

The biggest prize of the day is the £600 which goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres. The heat times indicated a close final was in prospect and so it proved with barely a stride seperating the finalists. After studying the photo finish the big prize went to Alexander Young[10.5m], Larkhall YM who inched out Calum McWilliams[9.25m],East Kilbride AC who qualified as a fastest loser with Cameron Smith[13m] in third.The other finalists were Craig Knowles[9.5m],Connor Gillon[11.5m] Kelso and Greig Turnbull[8.25m],Jedburgh.

There was another exciting finish to the 200 metres handicap with Ewen Urquhart,Glasgow landing the spoils from Cameron Smith and Calum McWilliams.

Greg Turnbull powered through the rain softened surface to land the 400 metres from the previous weeks St Andrews winner Kobe Stevens with Ewen Urquhart in third.

Willie Bates,Tullibody has rewarded each way backers in recent weeks but finally got into the winners enclosure by leading home 14 rivals to claim victory in the 800 metres handicap, Fraser Logan,Belgrave and Rebecca Burns,Edinburgh AC chased him over the finish line. The latter had the big crowd on their feet as she stayed on determindely up the home straight to take victory in the 1600 metres handicap. Both Fraser Logan and Matthew McKenna,tried hard to close her down but had to settle for the minor berths.

There was a victory for England in the 3200 metres handicap with Christopher Smithard who runs for Central AC stretching clear of his rivals to win in 9:51.8, Logan was second for the third time with Rebecca Burns in third.

There was big fields for all the youth races which were split into two age groups to give eight races. Larkhall YM had a big representation and not surprisingly were among the prizes. They won both the 90 metres races through Dean Patterson and Ross Mitchell. Chloe Hill continued their success in the 9-12 200m with the older age group race going to Ellis McKean from Hawick. There was further Border success in the 400 metres with Brodie Cowan,Jedburgh winning the 13-15 400 race. The junior race saw Ruby McNair,Pitreavie AC lead from gun to tape. The Fife club were also successful in the 9-12 800m where victory went to Caleb McLeod, in the 13-15 race Hannah Steel,Lothian RC maintained her recent good vein of form to follow up her win at St Andrews the previous week.

Not for the first time this year the cyclists had to endure very soft under-wheel conditions. Ryan Keir,Newburgh and Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey both landed doubles,the latter won the 3200 metres handicap as well as the Deil while Keir took the 800 metres and 1600 metres.

There was a big entry for both the highland dancing and wrestling while over 60 pipe bands tuned up for next weeks World Championships.

Published: 2017-08-06 22:46:50