Skilful penning gave Alasdair Mundell’s Groesfaen Roy the edge at the Uppercleugh trial.

While the Texel cross ewes ran well round the gently rising course and although the sheep were challenging to pen, the young dogs coped well.

Groesfaen Roy (A Owen’s Llangwm Sid, G Evans’ Linburn Jess) ran out on a clean road to the back of his sheep. The ewes drifted a little off line on the lift, but Roy soon put them back on line, fetched on a good line, and turned them safely round Alasdair.

The dog made a good start to the drive and although he was just a little high on the cross drive, he got his gates and made a good return to the pen. Using Roy's keen eye for sheep to advantage, Alasdair quickly mastered them, put them into the pen and finished on a good shed and first place.

Duncan Robertson Derwen Roy (S Holt’s Highbeck Blake, G Jones’ Derwen Mali) also ran out well and again lifted a little off line. But, he fetched them on a good line and although he had some difficulty on the drive, he got his gates.

The pen proved the bogey and made the difference between first and second place, but once the sheep were secured, a clean shed completed the run.

Jim Thomson’s Northtyne Spear (M Elliot’s Stan, M Northwood’s Queen) had an unlucky start, but got the sheep settled and fetched on a good line, round the handlers post and up the first leg of the drive. The ewes missed the gates but made their way across the cross drive.

The pairing worked away at the pen and eventually got the sheep in, finishing on a good shed and good enough to win the novice section.

Good work outbye and on the drive gave Peter Martin’s Ruby the lead on home ground at Cashlie. There, the Cheviot gimmers ran well on a flat field if dogs gave them time and space, but the line of the drive did not suit them and the young dogs found that the hardest part of the work.

Ruby (S Perello’s Murgia Jim, IM Brownlie’s Lia) ran out cleanly to her sheep, but lifted slightly off line. Despite that, she had a good fetch with just a little wavering. Her drive was very good, with just minor wavers on the cross drive. A clean pen and a good shed set the seal on the winning run.

Annette Olofsson’s Templehall Fred (RJ Hutchinson’s Sweep, KA Doig’s Jura) overshot his sheep slightly, and lifted fractionally off line. He too, had a good fetch with minor wavers, but although Fred got his gates, his lines wavered a little more on the drive.

Back on form in the close work, another clean pen and good shed completed the run for second place.

The Shetland cross Cheviot ewes, at Fetlar, ran well on a compact course that left little room for dogs to get behind the sheep and lift smoothly, but some young dogs struggled to drive the sheep.

Chris Williamson’s Sweep (J Ramsay’s Cap, K Brehmer’s Mist) had a very workmanlike run with no holes and earned first place for that.

Brendon Smith’s Queen (B Smith’s Jim, CM Mann’s Nell) too, worked very well round the course, but found the drive challenging and took second place.

A run off was called at Strathnaver, to separate two equally pointed runs, from Kenny Brehmer’s Thistledown Fern and Ian Sutherland’s High Ash Hugo. The Cheviots there ran well on a good, flat, 300-yard course, but some good runs missed the cross drive gate.

Thistledown Fern (DL Heard’s Tan and Thistledown Annie) overlapped her sheep a little at the top, but lifted well, with minor wavers on the fetch, but her drive was good and a clean pen followed. One awkward ewe broke repeatedly before the shed was made so Kenny and Fern had to work hard, but completed the job with five seconds left on the clock for a winning run.

High Ash Hugo (R Driver’s High Ash Thor and High Ash Kate) ran out wide, but reached his sheep, but he took a wide flank on his fetch which put the sheep off line until the fetch gate but they went through and kept a better line from there. The turn round Ian was slightly wide, but the drive was good and clean work at hand put the run in contention for first place, alongside equally pointed Fern, until the run-off put him into second.

LEADINGawards:

Strathnaver (Judge:M Cook, Halkirk). Nursery – 22 ran – 1, K Brehmer’s Thistledown Fern, New Bythe, 91 Outbye; 2, I Sutherland’s High Ash Hugo, Strathnaver, 91; 3, J MacDiarmid’s Jade, Eynort, 86; 4, G Simpson’s Bob, Forgue, 82; 5, S Campbell’s Dan, Skye, 79 outbye; 6, S Campbell’s Queen, Skye, 79; 7, I MacKay’s Jim, Leanach,78; 8, G Simpson’s Ace, Forgue, 76; 9, G Simpson’s Mick, Forgue, 75; 10, T Robertson’s Cap, 73. Older dogs – nine ran – 1, J McKenzie’s Tweedie, Turriff, 84; 2, K Keith’s Jen, Durness, 83; 3, N Sutherland’s Heatherhill Heck Strathnaver, 82.

Cashlie (Judge: A McKenzie, Lochearnhead). Nursery – 20 ran – 1, P Martin’s Ruby, Glenlyon, 90; 2, A Olofsson’s Templehall Fred, Alyth, 86; 3, CM Magnusson’s Wheatwood Eddie, Mid Derry, 80; 4, CM Magnusson’s Pen-y-Borough Rag, Mid Derry, 79 outbye; 5, CM Magnusson’s Don, Mid Derry, 79; 6, D McMullen’s Bray, Glen Clova, 78; 7, J Mitchell’s Peat, Thornhill, 75; 8, J Hastie’s Graylees Rose, Saline, 74 outbye; 9, D Galbraith’s Bruce, Comrie, 74; 10, L Magnusson’s Gael, Mid Derry, 71. Novice – 1, J Mitchell’s Peat, Thornhill,75.

Fetlar, Shetland (Judge: J Thomason, Fetlar). Nursery – 15 ran – 1, C Williamson’s Sweep, Ollaberry, 90; 2, B Smith’s Queen, Dunrossness, 84; 3, D Murray’s Jill, North Roe, 83 Outbye; 4, W Morrison’s Meg, Yell,83; 5, W Morrison’s Spot, Yell, 82. Novice – 1, R Colclough’s May, Westsandwick, 31/60; 2, R Farquhar’s Jack, West Burrafirth, 15;

Uppercleugh (Judge: I Fleming, Douglas). Nursery – 10 ran – 1, AR Mundell’s Groesfaen Roy, Moffat, 85; 2, D Robertson’s Derwen Roy, Langholm, 84; 3, AR Mundell’s Groesfaen Tweed, Moffat, 83 outbye ; 4, JW Common’s Jimmy, Lockerbie, 83; 5, J Thomson’s Sid, Penpont, 81; 6, J Thomson’s Shilo, Penpont, 63; 7, D McMillan's Ruby, Carsphairn, 61; 8, R Malcolm’s Gael, Gatehouse, 60; 9, H Jackson’s Tom, Penpont, 59. Novice – 1, J Thomson’s Northtyne Spear, Penpont, 76.