A clean chute gave Wullie Welsh’s Heyshaw Fletch the edge at Ulzieside, where the Blackface gimmers were tricky to handle on a good, flat course, but the young dogs managed them well.

Fletch (C Mellin’s Moorlodge Ben, P Simpson’s Gillieglen Mist) ran out well and lifted the sheep nicely; he moved them at a good pace down the fetch, on a good line and turned them round the post with only minor wavers. He made a good start to the drive and put the sheep safely through the drive away gates. The gimmers were on a good line on the cross drive, heading straight for the gate, but at the last minute, one slipped past the post. A clean chute and good shed completed the winning run.

Dean Aitken’s Jill (E Lightfoot’s Cap, D Aitken’s Tammi) ran well, lifted her sheep smoothly and fetched them down and round the post with only minor deviations. She had the sheep settled, guided them round the drive and successfully through both sets of gates, but at the chute, one awkward gimmer wanted to challenge Jill repeatedly. She kept her cool and worked hard for a considerable time before she put them through and finished her run with a clean shed.

Tom Blacklock’s Dan (DK Evans’ Derwen Doug, R Scott’s Dot) ran out in a nice pear shape and lifted the sheep well at the top of the field. The gimmers went off line on the fetch, but Dan had a good drive, with only wavers of the line at fault. He put the sheep through the chute nicely and finished his run with a good shed, and first place in the pro novice section.

Jim Thomson Northtyne Spear (M Elliot’s Sam, M Northwood’s Cilla) had a clean outrun and lift, but minor deviations on the fetch. The gimmers were unsettled on the cross drive and missed both their gates and although Jim and Spear put them through the chute, they ran out of time to shed and won the novice class.

At Badanloch, Cheviot gimmers ran well on a rough, wet course which fell away gently from the start post. A drain, full from recent rain, crossed the fetch, but most dogs coped with that, although some youngsters came in on their outrun.

Michael Shearer’s Cap (JW Common’s Grit, B Smith’s Lass) ran out and lifted very well and had only minor wavers on the fetch. His drive started well, but the gimmers went offline on the cross drive and missed the gate. A clean pen and shed made up for that and Cap earned first place.

LEADING awards

Badanloch (Judge: M MacKay, Durness). Nursery – 21 ran – 1, MC Shearer’s Cap, Westfield, 90; 2, J Grant’s Pat, Dunbeath, 88; 3, D Simpson’s Joe, Barrock, 84; 4, G Simpson’s Blue, Forgue, 80 Outbye; 5, T Coghill Robertson’s Hielan Bob, Barrock, 80; 6, J Grant’s Meg, Dunbeath,78; 7, V Shearer’s Misty, Westfield, 75; 8, G Dey’s Vic, Bridge of Don, 73; 9, H Johnstone’s Musgrave Gin, Fyvie, 72; 10, G Dey’s Dave, Bridge of Don, 71.

Ulzieside, Sanquhar (Judge:W Welsh, Dalcairney). Nursery – 12 ran – 1, WJ Welsh’s Heyshaw Fletch, Sanquhar, 80; 2, D Aitken’s Jill, Lockerbie, 76; 3, D Robertson’s Cap, Langholm, 75; 4, JA Common’s Gelli Jack, Lockerbie, 74; 5, J Thomson’s Brober Rock, Carsphairn, 83. Novice – 1, J Thomson’s Northtyne Spear, Carsphairn. Pro-novice – 1, T Blacklock’s Dan, Kirkconnel, 66; 2, D Aitken’s Kim, Lockerbie, 64; 3, D McMillan's Ruby, Carsphairn; 4, H Jackson’s Tom, Carsphairn; 5, H Jackson’s Meg, Carsphairn.

Northumberland League

Wark (Judge: S Pearson, Morpeth). Nursery – 23 ran – 1, D Henderson’s Burndale Mia, Allendale,73; 2, B Jordan’s, Flake, Whitfield, 71; 3, B Jordan’s, Trefynor Solo, Whitfield, 69;4, M Davidson’s Newbold Wallace, Lilburn, 67; 5, M Northwood’s Shilvington Henry, East Woodburn, 64 Outbye; 6, P Telfer’s Telf Jed, Haydon Bridge, 64. Novice – C Murphy’s Tansy Corbridge. New handler – F Shehan’s Tess, Hexham.