Team Borders win Forth Valley League
Going into Saturday’s concluding match in the Forth Valley League at Grangemouth, Team Borders and Edinburgh AC were tied on 15 league points, each having won one and come second in the preceding matches. With nearest challengers Pitreavie three league points adrift in third, it was a winner-takes-all showdown for the league title between Borders and Edinburgh, but athletes from the six other Division 1 teams were in the mix to affect the points in each event.
It was a day when the rare warm sunny weathered proved as exciting as the competition.
With as many as fourteen candidates for selection not available, and an injury withdrawal on the day, Team Borders’ resources were challenged, particularly in the rarely contested hurdles and throws. But as previously, the rallying call was answered with great enthusiasm and Borders team spirit. Sprinters throwing, 1500m runners hurdling and sprinting in relays, and some travelling all the way to Grangemouth just to run a relay leg, all contributed vital points to the team total which, after a nail-biting day, saw Team Borders come out on top in the match but only just. Six event points separated the two teams on the day and the league title was duly won by the narrowest of margins – 23 match points to 22, and only 9.5 event points over the course of the three matches, 1621.5 points to 1612.
Edinburgh had the consolation of collecting the separate trophy for accumulated points in the Field Events while Team Borders also took the Track Events trophy.
Senior athletes Laura Munro and Josh Abbott proudly collected the league trophies on behalf of the team.
Thirty seven athletes took part in this match for Team Borders across the U11, U13 and U15 age-groups and on a day when what counted most was the team’s final total of event points, it would be unfair to shine the spotlight on individual successes. However Ellie O’Hara’s League record time in the U13G 70m hurdles certainly justifies a mention, particularly as in doing so she tweaked a hamstring which forced her to sit out the rest of the day. But just as important as her win were the two athletes, Charlotte Morrison and Eilidh Mooney, who stepped up to the plate at short notice to replace her in the 200m and 4x100m and ensure no default in these events. Given the small overall winning margin, this ultimately proved crucial. Similarly, the twenty other athletes who took part in the first two matches all played their part. That is fifty-seven varieties of athlete contribution from right across the Borders. Each of their coaches, parents and supporters, the selectors and team helpers, all merit thanks, as do the league organisers and officials for their excellent organisation.
The title win comes in only the composite team’s fourth year in the League. In 2012, the Division 2 title led to promotion to Division 1, followed by fourth place in 2013, and the runners-up spot in 2014. Progress indeed.