Ross Houston set his sights on a trip to London as his passport to Glasgow 2014 after retaining his Scottish Marathon Championship title in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, writes James McEntee. The Central AC runner just missed out on a course record by a matter of seven seconds but he had the consolation of the £1500 first prize and a personal best of 2hr 20min 24sec.
It is 1min 24sec outside the qualifying standard (2.19) for Glasgow 2014, with the selection period for the Commonwealth Games opening on January 1, 2013 for the marathon.
The 32-year-old hopes a place at the London Marathon in April might be enough to help him stake a claim for Scotland selection for the Games. "I will compete at cross country over the winter and then hopefully take on the London Marathon next April," he said. "I've improved on my pb from the Edinburgh Marathon in May when I was at 2.21. The conditions were pretty favourable; the wind was in the right direction almost the whole way and that helped push runners along."
FIH WORLD LEAGUE ROUND 1
SCOTLAND 9 ITALY 0
Derek Forsyth completed a fantastic coaching debut in the first round of the World League in Lousada, yesterday when the Scots thrashed Italy to finish top of the pool and qualify with ease for the second round in the new year, writes Craig Madden. Forsyth's squad won every game handsomely, scored 30 goals in their four games, and kept a clean sheet throughout.
It took 15 minutes for the Scots to move ahead, a Kenny Bain cross being fired home by Gareth Hall to celebrate his 100th Scotland cap. Before the interval, Iain Scholefield had beaten goalkeeper with a low shot, then Alan Forsyth combined with Bain to open up the Italian defence and make it 3-0.
The second half was a procession. Ian Moodie diverted home a Fergus Dunn reverse-stick shot; Dan Coultas scored twice at penalty corners make it 6-0; brilliant play by Niall Stott set up Chris Grassick to score from an acute angle; Forsyth scored after more good build-up by Bain; and Scholefield notched his second, when he latched on to a loose ball at the back post.
Earlier the Scots had killed off the hosts Portugal with a devastating first 20 minutes which produced goals from Bain, Forsyth, Grassick, Gavin Byers and Chris Nelson en route to a 7-0 win. They took their foot off the gas in the second half, but still managed to add another two: a Bain solo run and shot then Coultas scoring from the spot after a foul on Byers.
FIH CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE
SCOTLAND 1 IRELAND 1
Gordon Shepherd's Scotland women, continue to defy the world rankings after secureing a draw with Ireland, ranked four places above them, in Dublin, leaving the two sides sharing top spot in the pool with four points.
Edinburgh University's Nikki Kidd 100th Scotland cap was marked prior to kick-off but the Irish had the better of the first half and Amy Gibson, the Scotland goalkeeper, was called upon on several occasions to keep her side in contention. The Scots took the lead from a penalty corner in overtime, the ball being slipped left to Becky Merchant who squared it to Catriona Ralph and her miss-hit shot eluded the Irish goalkeeper and squirmed over the line. The Irish pressed hard for an equaliser after the interval and, finally, Kathryn Mullan gave Gibson no chance with a fierce low shot.
Scotland had earlier recorded a gutsy 1-0 win over United States, a side eight places above them in the world rankings. The only goal came in 14 minutes, when a fierce shot from the right side of the circle by Ali Bell was blocked by the American goalkeeper, but the ball ran kindly f or Sarah Robertson to score at the far post.
The Scots could top the group if they can beat South Africa today and, . "The players are happy with the start but they know that today's game will be tough, but it's one we all know we can win," Shepherd remarked. while they lost a recent Test series 4-0 to the South Africans who competed in the London Games, several of their Olympians, including the world's leading goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, are absent. Nikki Lloyd, the Sevenoaks striker, will return to duty, having been rested for the first two games as a precaution for a slight hamstring strain.
Helensburgh's Gordon Reid had the perfect preparation for this week's US Open Wheelchair Championships when he won the men's singles and men's doubles titles, both for the fourth year in succession, at the PTR Championships on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, writes Kathy May.
It concluded a fine September for the British No.1 who became the first Brit to reach the men's singles quarter-finals at a Paralympic Games. The top seed dropped just three games in total against the Frenchmen Yoann Quilliou and Frederic Cazeaudumec en route to a final victory over his doubles partner, Stephen Welch, the American No.2 seed and former world No.1, 6-4, 6-2 to retain the title. Reid and Welch, top seeds in the doubles, beat the second seeds, Steve Baldwin, of the USA, and Cazeaudumec 6-4, 6-2 in the final.
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