Whilst the Nethy Games may not have had the privilege of the scale, glitz and glamour, nor indeed Kylie, which graced the recent Commonwealth Games, nevertheless Chieftain Major General Murray Naylor was moved to comment that Glasgow 2014 could well learn from Nethy 2014, the original Friendly Games!
Perfect weather for the athletes
The crowd could not have been happier. The Games committee were happier still that the heavy overnight rain moved away, and a fine, if not wholly sunny day was enjoyed by all. The athletes were spared the hot and sunny days of the past weeks, resulting in fast times in the 10 mile race with Junior Olympian in the winter biathlon, Scott Dixon, cracking the hour, something that has evaded competitors for some years.
Congratulations to Abernethy Trust who were thrilled to take the team prize.
Childrens (and Parents) Events including Caber Tossing for Juniors!
As usual the day kicked off with a well attended programme of children’s events. The most popular were those where parents participated also; at least 75 pairs competed in both the wheelbarrow and 3-legged races, proving we’re all kids at heart. Youngsters were given a taste of caber tossing, coached by local junior heavy Conan Quinn, and the standard of throwing augers well for the future.
Moment of Silence for the Fallen of WWI in Chieftains Parade
During the Chieftains parade a moments silence to mark the outbreak of the Great War was observed, broken by lone piper Christopher Hyndman of the Elgin and District Pipe Band, playing “Mist Covered Mountain”, from atop the mound to the south of the field; a very moving and fitting tribute to all who perished, including 32 souls from the parish of Abernethy. The tribute continued with the Massed Pipe Bands marching off the Abernethy Games Field playing “The Battle of the Somme”
Always a highlight of the day, the massed pipes and drums parades were spectacular, with 8 bands containing over 150 players taking part. Huntly and District Pipe Band were presented with the historic and keenly fought over Pipe Band Challenge Shield for the best band performance overall.
Traditional Heavy Events
The standard of competition was good throughout the programme, and of course the traditional heavy events drew much attention and a very good entry.
Local heavy Conan Quinn bettered his 2013 performance in 9 out of 10 events, was awarded the Hugh Fraser Challenge Cup for achieving most points in the local competition, and the A.S.Grant Memorial Trophy for most points in the Junior 17/19 years heavy events.
The open heavy competition was won by Martin Schiller from Austria with Stefan Dumitrica from Romania in second place and David Hart from Fort William in third. Two ladies took part in the junior heavy 15-16 event.
The Tug o’ War was won by Dufftown Pipe Band with a convincing 2-0 against Forres.
Piping and Dancing
In solo piping, the standard in the senior competition was good, and both piping judges & competitors were very complimentary of the setting for the piping, with an attentive audience on the surrounding benches.
Attendance on the dancing boards was disappointing, but nevertheless the standard was good and prizes won by some new dancers at Nethy. The Brenda Gordon School was again Best dance School.
The gate was slightly down on last year, perhaps due to several big events taking place this last weekend, but still over 3200 spectators and competitors enjoyed a splendid day of sport and entertainment.
Full Results for 2014:
Previous Games Day Reports: 2013
Abernethy Highland Games Association Nethy Bridge, Inverness-shire, PH25 3DA. Scotland a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered charity number SC 042969