REGIONAL athletics group Team Borders made an excellent start to their title defence in the Forth Valley League on Saturday by narrowly winning the first match of the season at a chilly Craigswood track at Livingston.

The final points tally saw them accrue 412.5 event points, just 10.5 points ahead of Edinburgh who look to be the main opposition as Team Borders go for four in a row.

There was a double win in the U15 ‘A’ 100m courtesy of Brogan Beattie (TLJT), who took the girls’ race in 13.58secs, and Finn Douglas (TLJT) who powered home well clear in 12.20secs.

For good measure, Ewan Purves (Gala) won the boys’ U15 ‘B’ race in 12.27secs, easily the second quickest time of the day.

In the 800m races, Ava Mooney (Moorfoot) kicked things off with victory in the girls’ U11 ‘A’ race in 2.54.08, running a mature race for someone so young and inexperienced, and Charlie Robbie (TLJT) took second in the boys’ equivalent in 2.47.92.

Mattie Jones (Chirnside) made this a high scoring event for Team Borders by winning the ‘B’ race in 2.56.75.

Cameron Rankine (Gala) ran well for 3rd in the boys’ U13 ‘A’ race in 2.38.00 and there was another ‘A’ and ‘B’ double in the boys U15 races from the Gala pair of Gregor Collins and Ewan Purves with contrasting runs.

Gregor stormed into an early unassailable lead, clearly intent on having a really hard race no matter the opposition, and crossed the line nine seconds to the good in 2.16.8.

Ewan, by contrast, sat in and played a comfortable waiting game before pouncing down the home straight for a resounding win in 2.22.7.

Due to the six-lane venue and consequential challenges on the timetable, there were no sprint relays at this match, usually a good scoring event for Team Borders.

Good points were therefore needed from the field events and the young Team Borders athletes did not disappoint.

Debbie Harris (Chirnside) jumped 1.30m for 2nd in the girls’ U13 High Jump and that man Charlie Robbie (TLJT) was on the score sheet again with 2nd place in his third event of a busy day in the boys U11 Long Jump with 3.89m.

But it was the Team Borders’ U15 throwers who really excelled.

Across the four events – Shot Putt and Javelin for both boys and girls - Team Borders scored 89 event points out of a possible 96. There were ‘A’ wins for Hannah Hamilton-Meikle (Chirnside) in the Shot Putt with 9.31m and Tammie-Louise Hunter (Chirnside) in the Javelin with 23.10m, and ‘B’ wins for Tammie again in the Shot Putt and Charlie Stewart (Chirnside) in the Javelin.