World’s best converge on Oban for 148th Gathering

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There were pipers piping, drummers drumming, ladies and several gentleman dancing at Mossfield Stadium, Oban, last Thursday – and it is only August!

Some of the strongest men, highest jumpers and fastest runners in the country joined the party at the Argyllshire’s Gathering Oban Games with the 148th staging of the event running slickly to plan while escaping the worst of the predicted weather.

A popular addition this year was the introduction of the Argyllshire Gathering Rugby Cup, sponsored by Kames Fish Farming, to be vied for annually between Oban High School’s mixed S1 and S2 teams known as the OHS Bulls and OHS Sharks – match report on page ??.

The competition was introduced as part of a drive to bring the games back to to the community.

Games steward Paul Nicoll said: We are trying to bring the games back to Oban, to the young people of Oban, which is why we have been including the school as much as possible.

‘We have been doing a lot of work with the school and 22 pupils have been helping us out this year, not just with setting up, but with the organisation and social media.

‘I thought today’s event was magnificent. We were so lucky with the weather for the March and it was so much better than it could have been during the rest of the day.

‘It was wonderful to see so many tourists here along with the local crowds.

‘What we really want to do is integrate the whole town with the games and we will look to build on this year’s success.’

More than 100 pipers travelled from across Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA to vie for prestigious titles with Canadian Andrew Hayes winning the coveted Highland Society of London Gold Medal in Oban’s Corran Halls on Wednesday.

The Silver Medal was won by Ben McClamrock from Washington DC, while Inveraray and District pipe band founder Stuart Liddell took the Senior Piobaireachd title.

Ruairidh Brown, a piper with Dollar Academy, took the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd for intermediate level ceol mor and Jonathan Simpson of Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band won the Angus Nicol Memorial Silver Medal, in memory of the former piping steward Angus Nicol, awarded for the highest aggregate in the MacGregor and Hardie competitions.

The winner of the previous day’s Gold Medal acts as the duty pipe major for the march on Thursday from Station Square to the Oban Games field at Mossfield Park, where the ‘A’, ‘B’ and Intermediate grade light music, or ceol beag, contests are held.

Shotts piper Sarah Muir triumphed in the A March final, beside Fred Morrison of Glasgow in the A Strathspey and reel. Youngster Cameron MacDougall, originally from Nigg, was victorious in the B march, while Fifer Greig Canning secured top slot in the jig, B Strathspey and reel.

Campbeltown’s Ross Conner took the RG Hardie Memorial Trophy for Intermediate MSR and Archie Johnston, from Mull, was given the Duke’s Bursary.

Piping judge Barry Donaldson, from Loanhead, commended everyone involved for keeping the competition at the highest level.

‘The Argyllshire Gathering is one of the most important events in the world in terms of piping and it has an atmosphere second to none.

‘Pipers come from all over the world to compete here over two days. The standard is world class.’

Elsewhere, in the ever popular heavyweights, Vlad Tulachek, a man mountain from the Czech Republic now living in Aberdeen, won the John MacColl Heavyweight Championship Trophy over Grangemouth’s Kyle Randalls.

Among the local heavies was Andrew Johnston from Bunessan on Mull who won a collection of first and second places over the range of disciplines. Andrew only began competing two years ago when his children, Logie, 13, Archie, 11, Megan, 9, and Seren, 6, turned the tables on him.

‘I used to say to them, ‘go on enter, have a go’ when I took them to various local games. So when they heard an announcer looking for entries for the heavies one year all I got was, ‘go on dad, have a go’.

‘I really enjoy it though. There is a great camaraderie among the competitors.’

Andrew’s son Archie took the Duke of Argyll’s Gold Medal for piping, while Logie and Megan gained places in the foot running.

The athletics events proved as popular as ever with the gruelling hill race for the Kilninver Cup being won this year by Luing man Alistair Campbell with Laura King from Yorkshire taking the women’s  title.

Speaking after his win Alistair, who was following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, said: ‘It was a bit windy and a bit wet at times but I really enjoyed it.

‘This is the first time any of my family have won the trophy but I’m just glad to have kept up the family tradition.’

Ben Coates from Kilmore won the local track and field championship having won the local long jump triple jump event before topping off an excellent day by taking the Open High School jump title too.

Long jump record broken

Alessandro Schenini, 19, from Glasgow broke the Games’ long jump record with a leap of 22ft 7 inches, adding 2.5 inches to the old mark held by Allan Hamilton since 2016.

Alessandro, a member of Giffnock North Athletic Club, was competing in his first Highland Games and also won the triple jump and 100 metres scratch race.

His personal best in the long jump is 7.59 metres, meaning he is ranked joint number one in Scotland in 2019. He is ranked joint number two in the UK in the under 20 rankings.

Junior events – under 16 years

Winners of the annual trophies for the most points at the three Argyll Games – Inveraray, Mull and Oban – were, girls, Ellen MacRae from Salen on Mull, and boys, Finlay MacLean from Oban.

Ellen competed at all three games and was a clear winner on points winning the 100 metres and 600 metres at Oban.

Finlay MacLean also competed at all three games, finishing on 20 points, one point ahead of Ewan Dowd, also from Oban.

Top junior boy at Oban was Andrew Nicol, Oban High School, who won four events including 1.55m in the high jump.

In the Highland dancing, Madison Sefton from Australia won the Argyllshire Gathering Championship Medal; Eva MacColl of Appin took the Oban High School Trophy and Linzi Cameron, from Campbeltown, came first in the local Highland fling, sean triubhas and hullachan, winning the Farquhar Martin Memorial Trophy.

All photographs: Kevin McGlynn.

Results

Piping

Highland Society of London Gold Medal: 1 Andrew Hayes; 2 Sandy Cameron; 3 Andrew Dolan; 4 Nick Husdon; 5 Cameron Drummond.

Senior Piobaireachd: 1 Stuart Liddell; 2 Ian Speirs; 3 Stuart Easton; 4 Callum Beaumont; 5 Alan Bevan.

Argyllshire Gathering Silver Medal: 1 Ben McClamrock; 2 Alex Gandy; 3 Finlay Cameron; 4 Steven Leask; 5 Anna Kummerlow.

March, Strathspey & Reel (Former Winners): 1 Gordon McCready; 2 Iain Speirs; 3 William McCallum; 4 Jack Lee; 5 Angus MacColl.

MacGregor Memorial Competition: 1 Ruairidh Brown; 2 Campbell Wilson; 3 Gregor MacDonald; 4 Angus MacPhee.

March Local: 1 Gregor MacDonald; 2 Aarron Hussein; 3 Ross Connor; 4 Emma Hill; 5 Callum Garvan.

March Grade ‘B’: 1 Cameron MacDougall; 2 Jonathon Simpson; 3 Matt Wilson; 4 Andrew Donlon; 5 Ross Miller.

Strathspey & Reel Local: 1 Aarron Hussein; 2 Gregor MacDonald; 3 Ross Conner; 4 Emma Hill; 5 Callum Garvan

Strathspey & Reel Grade ‘B’: 1 Greig Canning; 2 Callum Moffat; 3 Johnathan Simpson; 4 Sandy Cameron; 5 Jacob Dicker.

Jigs: 1 Steven Leask; 2 Finlay Cameron; 3 Gordon McCready; 4 Callum Beaumont; 5 Ian K MacDonald.

March ‘A’ 1 Sarah Muir; 2 Gordon Bryce; 3 Alan Bevan; 4 James MacKenzie; 5 Angus John MacColl; 6 Calum Brown.

Strathspey and Reel ‘A’: 1 Fred Morrison; 2 Sean McKeown; 3 Iain Speirs; 4 Gordon McCready; 5 Calum Watson; 6 Allan Bevan.

Intermediate Strathspey & Reel: 1 Ross Conner (RG Hardie Memorial Trophy); 2 Brodie Watson-Masey; 3 Campbell Wilson; 4 Ruairidh Brown;
5 Christopher Happs.

Special Prize: Iain Speirs

Duke’s Bursary Junior MSR: 1 Archie Johnston; 2 Christopher McCartan; 3 Logie Johnston; 4 Callan McGuigan.

Angus Nicol Quaich: Jonathan Simpson

Dancing

7 years to 12 years, local

Highland Fling: 1 Salana McMurchy, Campbeltown;  2 Erin Jackson, Appin; 3 Eilidh MacTaggert, Oban.

Sean Triubhas: 1 Salana McMurchy, Campbeltown;  2 Erin Jackson, Appin; 3 Eilidh McTaggart, Oban.

Hullachan: 1 Salana McMurchy, Campeltown; 2 Erin Jackson, Appin; 3 Eilidh McTaggart, Oban.

13 years to 15 years, local

Highland Fling: 1 Eva MacColl, Appin; 2 Erin Binnie, Campbeltown; 3 Lisa MacKellar, Campbeltown; 4 Eilidh MacAulay, Oban; 5 Nimah Cameron, Oban.

Sean Triubhas: 1 Erin Binnie, Campbeltown;  2 Lisa MacKellar, Campbeltown; 3 Eva McColl, Appin; 4 Eilidh MacAulay, Oban; 5 Nimah Cameron, Oban.

Hullachan: 1 Lisa MacKeller, Campeltown; 2 Eilidh MacAulay, Oban; 3 Eva MacColl, Appin; 4 Erin Bimnie, Campbeltown; 5 Nimah Cameron, Oban.

16 years and over, Local

Highland Fling: 1 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 2 Sophie Baker, Islay; 3 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 4 Eillie Harper, Oban; 5 Ashleigh Taylor, Oban;
6 Rose Harper, Oban.

Sean Triubhas: 1 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 2 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 3 Sophie Baker, Islay; 4 Nicola MacAulay, Oban; 5 Eillie Harper, Oban ; 6 Ashleigh Taylor, Oban.

Hullachan: 1 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 2 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 3 Sophie Baker, Islay; 4 Eillie Harper, Oban; 5 Nicola MacAulay, Oban; 6 Rose Harper, Oban.

7 to 12 years, Open

Highland Fling: 1 Shona McMurchy, Campeltown; 2 Cailey Finlayson, Australia; 3 Erin Jackson, Appin; 4 Natash Golden, Australia; 5 Katherine Carnaigie, Canada; 6 Gwendoline Allen, Canada; 7 Gabreille Golden, Australia; 8 Lily Rakele, Australia.

Sword Dance: 1 Katherine Carnaigie, Canada; 2 Cailey Finlayson, Australia; 3 Shona McMurchy, Campbeltown; 4 Natash Gabrielle, Australia); 5 Gwendoline Allen, Canada; 6 Eilidh MacTaggart, Rothesay; 7 Lily Rakele, Australia; 8 Gabrielle Golden, Australia.

Sean Triubhas: 1 Shona McMurchy, Campbeltown; 2 Cailey Finlayson, Australia; 3 Katherine Carnaigie, Canada; 4 Natash Golden, Australia; 5 Erin Jackson, Appin; 6 Gwendoline Allen, Canada; 7 Lily Rakele, Australia; 8 Eilidh MacTaggart, Rothesay.

Strathspey and Tulluch: 1 Shona McMurchy, Campbeltown; 2 Natash Golden, Australia; 3 Cailey Ferguson, Australia; 4 Gwendoline Allen,  Canada; 5 Katherine Carnaigie, Canada; 6 Lily Rakele, Australia; 7 Eilidh MacTaggart, Rothesay; 8 Erin Jackson, Appin.

13 to 15 years, Open

Highland Fling: 1 Kayla McGill, Canada; 2 Abigail Brown, Canada; 3 Mikayla Krogstad, Canada; 4 Drea Shepherd, Canada; 5 Lisa McKellar, Campbeltown; 6 Eva MacColl, Appin; 7 Emily Sefton, Australia; 8 Amelia Schultz, Canada; 9 Erin Binnie, Campbeltown; 10 Eilidh MacAulay, Oban.

Sword Dance: 1 Drea Shepherd, Canada; 2 Kayla McGill, Canada; 3 Celeste Roy, Canada; 4 Eva MacColl, Appin; 5 Abigail Brown, Canada; 6 Erin Binnie,  Campbeltown; 7 Lisa MacKellor, Campbeltown; 8 Juleah Chabib;
9 Emily Sefton, Australia; 10 Eilidh MacAulay, Oban.

Sean triubhas: 1 Drea Shepherd, Canada; 2 Mikayla Krogstad, Canada; 3 Abigail Brown, Canada; 4 Celeste Roy, Canada; 5 Kayla McGill, Canada;
6 Lisa MacKellar, Campbeltown; 7 Eva MacColl, Appin; 8 Emily Sefton, Australia; 9 Juleah Chabib; 10 Amelia Schultz, Canada.

Strathspey & Hullachan: 1 Drea Shepherd, Canada; 2 Mikayla Krogstad, Canada; 3 Celeste Roy, Canada; 4 Lisa MacKellor, Campbeltown; 5 Abigail Brown, Canada; 6 Eva MacColl, Appin; 7 Kayla McGill, Canada;
8 Erin Binnie, Campbeltown; 9 Eilidh MacAulay, Oban; 10 Juleah Chabib.

Adult Open

Highland Fling: 1 Madison Sefton, Australia; 2 Jennifer Watt, Canada; 3 Kathryn Attleir, Australia; 4 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 5 Ebony MacDonald, Australia; 6 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 7 Hannah MacDonald, Canada; 8 Madaline Miskelly, Canada; 9 Erin Gilfoy, Canada; 10 Nicola MacAulay, Oban.

Sword Dance: 1 Jennifer Watt, Canada; 2 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 3 Madison Sefton, Australia; 4 Kathryn Attleir, Australia; 5 Ebony MacDonald, Australia; 6 Hannah MacDonald, Canada; 7 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 8 Madaline Miskelly, Canada; 9 Camryn Watson, Canada; 10 Kenneday Molloy, Canada.

Sean Triubhas: 1 Madison Sefton, Australia; 2 Ebony MacDonald, Australia; 3 Erin Gilfoy, Canada; 4 Jennifer Watt, Canada; 5 Hannah MacDonald, Canada; 6 Kathryn Attleir, Australia; 7 Camryn Watson, Canada; 8 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 9 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 10 Madaline Miskelly, Canada.

Highland Laddie: 1 Jennifer Watt, Canada; 2 Madison Sefton, Australia; 3 Ebony Macdonald, Australia; 4 Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown; 5 Hannah MacDonald, Canada; 6 Erin Gilfoy, Canada; 7 Kathryn Attleir, Australia;
8 Katie MacPherson, Oban; 9 Nicola MacAulay, Oban; 10 Madaline Miskelly, Canada.

Open Male 16- 19

Fling: 1 Kael Hayson, Australia; 2 Connor Finlayson, Australia.

Sword Dance: 1 Connor Finlayson, Australia; 2 Kael Hayson, Australia.

Sean Truibhas: 1 Connor Finlayson, Australia; 2 Kael Hayson, Australia.

Strathspey and Reel: 1 Connor Finlayson, Australia; 2 Kael Finlayson, Australia.

Open Male 13- 15

Fling: 1 Alexander Golden, Australia; 2 Liam Golden, Australia; 3 Robert Wilby, Canada.

Sword Dance: 1 Liam Golden, Australia; 2 Robert Wilby, Canada.

Strathspey and Reel: 1 Liam Golden, Australia; 2 Robert Wilby, Canada; 3 Alexander Golden, Australia.

Sean Triubhas: 1 Liam Golden, Australia; 2 Alexander Golden, Australia;
3 Robert Wilby, Canada.

Winner of the Oban High School Trophy: Eva MacColll, Appin.

Argyllshire Gathering Championship Medal: Madison Sefton, Australia.

Bruno Schroder Shield (Adult): Madison Sefton, Australia.

Bruno Schroeder Shield (13 to 15 years): Drea Shepherd, Canada.

Kitchen Garden Trophy: Lisa MacKellar, Campbeltown.

Stewart Family Trophy: Shona McMurchy, Campbeltown.

Calley Fisheries Trophy Drea Shepherd, Canada.

Donald Taylor Shield: Liam Golden, Australia.

Overseas Masters Shield: Cailey Finlayson, Australia.

Farquhar Martin Memorial Trophy: Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown.

William MacLennan trophy: Salana McMurchy, Campbeltown; Linzi Cameron, Campbeltown – joint.

Winner of Webster of Oban trophy: Salana McMurchy, Campbeltown.

Track and field

Argyllshire Open 3200m handicap: Open: 1 A Campbell, Luing; 2 R Dowd, Oban; 3 J Thomson, Glenrothes; D Whiteford, Innerleithen; 5 G Gibson, H of Beath; 6 L Fife, Fort William.

Argyllshire Open 100m scratch final (men): 1 A Schenini, Glasgow, 11.22; 2 S Clark, Stonehaven; 3 B Coates, Oban; 4 E Bradley, Inverness; 5 R Dowd, Oban.

Argyllshire Open 100m scratch final (women): 1 N Turnbull; 2 S Turnbull; 3 E Paxton; 4 L McCracken; 5 K Whitlow; 6 E Thomson.

Argyllshire Open 800 Metres scratch: 1 Colin Welsh, Kelso, 2.01.39; 2 Wallace McGowan; 3 Donald Bradley; 4 Craig Bell; 5 Dean Whiteford; 6 Drew Dutton.

800m Open Handicap: 1 C Welsh 2.12.61; 2 R Dowd; 3 D Whiteford; 4 G Gibson; 5 L Fyfe.

Argyllshire Hill Race (men): 1 Alistair Campbell, Luing; 2 Doug Jardine, Cumbria; 3 Drew Dutton, Campbeltown; 4 Thomas Cousin, France; 5 Lewis Fyfe, Fort William; 6 Ewan Dowd, Oban.

Argyllshire Hill Race (women): 1 Laura King, Yorkshire; 2 Kate Davis, Cheshire; 3 Rowanna Lily, Taynuilt; 4 Emma Baird, Oban; 5 Jo Taylor Lancaster.

Argyllshire Hill Race (boys): 1 Ewan Dowd, Oban; 2 Morgan Gemmel, Oban; 3 Andrew Nicol, Inveraray.

Argyllshire Open 200m Handicap: 1 Ewan Bradley 22.86; 2 Sam Turnbull; 3 Graham Armstrong; 4 Nat Turnbull; 5 Ben Coates; 6 Emily Paxton.

Argyllshire open 400 Metres handicap: 1 Colin Welsh 51.51; 2 Graham Gibson; 3 Graham Armstrong; 4 Craig Bell; 5 Emily Paxton; 6 Ewan Dowd.

Argyllshire 1600 Metres handicap (local): 1 Rory Dowd; 2 Alistair Campbell.

Argyllshire Open 100m handicap final: 1 Stewart Clark, Stonehaven, 10.76;
2 Ben Coates, Oban; 3 Graham Armstrong; 4 Natasha Turnbull; 5 Alessandro Scherini; 6 Emily Paxton.

Argyllshire Open Long Jump: 1 Allessandro Schenini 22.7 feet; 2 Ewen Bradley; 3 Ben Coates; 4 Stewart Clark; 5 Rory Dowd. Local: 1 Ben Coates;
2 Rory Dowd; 3 Rory Johnston.

Argyllshire Open Triple Jump: 1 Alessandro Schenini 40.7; 2 Stewart Clark; 3 Ewan Bradley; 4 Ben Coates; 5 Rory Dowd. Local: 1 Ben Coates; 2 Rory Dowd; 3 Jordan Norman.

Argyllshire Open High Jump (men): 1 Ben Coates 1.60m; 2 Stewart Clark; 3 Alessandro Schenini; 4 Rory Dowdm.

Argyllshire Open High Jump (women): 1 Emma Thomson 1.40m; 2 Grace Thomson; 3 Julie Didcock; 4 Kelsey Whitlow.

Local: 1 Ben Coates; 2 Rory Dowd; 3 Emma Thomson.

Argyllshire Youths 100m (boys): 1 A Nicol, Oban; 2 F MacLean, Oban; 3 R MacFarlane, Oban.

Argyllshire Youths 100m (girls): 1, E. MacRae, Mull; 2 P McKillop, Oban; 3 M Johnstone, Mull.

Argyllshire Youths 600 metres (boys): 1 Jessa Bradford, Norfolk; 2 Alexander Barrett Cumberly; 3 Ewan Dowd, Oban.

Argyllshire Youths 600 metres (girls): 1 Ellen MacRae, Salen; 2 Gemma MacRae, Salen; 3 Genevieve Donald, Berkshire.

Argyllshire Youths High Jump (boys): 1 Andrew Nicol, Oban, 1.55; 2 Hugo Whyte, Oban; 3 Ewan Dowd, Oban.

Argyllshire Youths High Jump (girls): 1 Amy Gibson, Bunessan, 1.40m;
2 Poppy MacKillop, Oban; 3 Ellen MacRae, Salen.

Argyll Youths Long Jump (boys): 1 Andrew Nicol, Oban, 5.1 feet; 2 Ewan Dowd, Oban; 3 Morgan Gemmill, Oban.

Argyll Youths Long Jump (girls): 1 Poppy MacKillop, Oban, 12.6; 2 Ellen MacRae; 3 Gemma MacRae, Salen.

Argyllshire Youth Shot Putt (boys): 1 Andrew Nicol, Oban, 26.5; 2 Louie MacFarlane, Oban; 3 Ewan Dowd, Oban.

Argyllshire Youth Shot Putt (girls): 1 Poppy MacKillop, Oban, 21.3 feet; 2 Rhona Shearer, Oban; 3 Ellen MacRae, Salen.

Local track and field champions: 1 Ben Coates, Kilmore; 2 Rory Dowd, Oban;  3 Emma Thomson, Oban.

Records broken Open Long Jump: Alessandro Schenini 22′ 7″

Heavies

Argyllshire Light Stone (16lbs) Open: 1 Vlad Tulacek 54′ 11″; 2 Lukas Wenta; 3 Scott Rider; 4 Kyle Randall. Novice: 1 David Calderwood 33′ 10″; 2 Andrew Johnstone; Willy Simmons.

SHGA British Light Hammer Championship (16lbs) Open: 1 Kyle Randall 141′ 9″; 2 Vald Tulacek; 3 Lukas Wenta; 4 Scott Rider. Novice: 1 David Calderwood 85′ 11″; 2 Willy Simmons; 3 Andrew Johnston.

SHGA British Heavy Hammer Championship (22lbs) Open: 1 Kyle Randalls 109′ 5.1/2″; 2 Vlad Tulachek; 3 Scott Rider; 4 Lukas Wenta; 5 Craig Winslow;
6 Martin Kuhne.

Argyllshire 28lb weight for distance Open: 1 Scott Rider 81′ 2″; 2 Kyle Randall; 3 Vlad Tulachek; 4 Lukas Wenta; 5 Stuart Anderson; 6 Craig Winslow. Local: 1 David Calderwood 34′ 6″; 2 Willy Simmons; 3 Andrew Johnstone.

Argyllshire Caber Open: 1 Lukas Wentas; 2 Vlad Tulachek; 3 Scott Rider; 4 Kyle Randalls; 5 Martin Kunhne.

Highlander Clachd (22lbs) Open: 1 Vlad Tulachek 45′; 2 Lukas Wentas; 3 Scott Rider; 4 Kyle Randalls; 5 Stewart Anderson.

SHGA British 56lb weight for distance: 1 Scott Rider 37′ 5″; 2 Kyle Randalls; 3 Vlad Tulachek; 4 Lukas Wenta; 5 Craig Winslow; 6 Stewart Anderson.

Highlander 56lb weight over the bar Open: 1 Vlad Tulachek; 2 Kyle Randalls; 3 Scott Rider; 3 Lukas Wentas; 5 Gordon Tanner; 5 Stewart Anderson; 5 David Menichek.

Argyllshire 42lb weight over the bar: 1 David Calderwood 13′; 2 Andrew Johnston; 3 Willy Simmons.

Argyllshire Heavyweight Championship (John MacColl Heavy Weight Championship trophy) Open: 1 Vlad Tulachek; 2 Kyle Randalls; 3 Scott Rider.