Good work outbye and the best drive of the day on an innovative course gave Tam Blacklock’s Dan the lead at Upper Cleugh, although the return to the chute threatened his fine work.

The cross ewes ran well on a slightly rising course and although the ewes were challenging at hand, the young dogs coped well. There were no gates on the fetch, but the cross drive more than compensated for that. The push through was extended with an additional gate on the side, through which the sheep to be pulled back.

Dan (DK Evans’ Derwen Doug, R Scott’s Dot) had a clean outrun and lift, running out and round the sheep on a good line and landed right behind them at the top. He lifted smoothly and fetched the ewes on a good line.

He turned them neatly round Tam, setting them on a good line for the first leg of the drive and they went safely through the gates. A good, tight turn led to a good cross drive and Dan put the ewes through the first cross drive gate and back through the additional one, achieving the best drive of the day and had lost only four points in total.

The ewes became unsettled coming down into the chute, putting the run into extreme jeopardy, but Tam and Dan succeeded in the end and finished with a good shed and eventually earned first place.

Willie Tod’s Corrie (NR Bird’s Llangwm Dan, RD Lambie’s Jen) ran out cleanly, lifted smoothly and took a good line down the fetch, with not a point lost. Again, Corrie turned the sheep nicely onto a good line up the first the leg drive and safely through the gates.

The ewes turned tightly through the gates and took a good line on the cross drive but they were a little too high and missed the gates on the top side. A good, clean chute followed, and after a little difficulty at the shed, Corrie finished in second place.

The Cheviot gimmers at Cashlie were presented well for the dogs, and ran well on the flat course. Although some packets were livelier than others and the sheep tested the young dogs at hand, most dogs finished the course. A fence on the left helped dogs keep a good line on their way out, while knowes on the left hand took dogs temporarily out of sight of the handler and put the sheep out of sight of the dogs.

Peter Martin’s Corrie (M Davidson’s Corrie and Dot) ran out and lifted cleanly, had a good fetch with only minor wavers. She followed that with a very good drive with only a slightly wide turn through the first drive gate and a minor waver on the cross drive to fault it. A good chute and shed completed the winning run.

Scott Macauley’s Dalriada Bess (A Owen’s Llangwym Cap, M Gallagher’s Val), worked very well outbye, but the gimmers were pulling to one side on the first leg of the drive which made their turn wider than ideal, but the cross drive went well. A good chute and a clean shed finished the run in second place for Bess, with her followers of last week, Steven Alexander’s Flo and Elinor Nilsson’s Fergie, maintaining their positions behind her.

Rory Hood’s seven-month-old Bran (D McMullen’s Eve, D Jenkins’ Jock) handled her sheep very smoothly, and delivered an impressive run for a very young bitch, at the hands of an experienced sheep farmer, new to trialling. Bran worked very well outbye, had a good drive but missed a gate, went on to a good chute and once she had managed to split her sheep, led the novice section.

LEADING awards

Upper Cleugh, Lockerbie (Judge: J McRobert, Tweedsmuir). Nursery – 14 ran – 1, T Blacklock’s Dan, Kirkconnel, 82; 2,W Todd’s Corrie, Langholm, 81; 3, JA Common's Wyverne Glen, Lockerbie, 80 Outbye; 4, AR Mundell’s Ben, Moffat, 80; 5, R Weir’s Rob, Westerhall, 74; 6, WJ Welsh’s Niro Tim, Sanquhar, 63; 7, JA Common's Shep, Lockerbie, 60; 8, R Malcolm’s Gael, Gatehouse,; 9, T Blacklock’s Craig, Kirkconnell;10, T Blacklock’s Kate, Kirkconnell; Novice – R Weir’s Gael, Westerhall, 66; Pro novice – 1, D Aitken’s Kim, Lockerbie, 74; 2, W Todd’s Meg, Langholm, 68; 3, D McMillan's Ruby, Carsphairn.

Cashlie (Judge: L Hansson, Meggernie). Nursery – 26 ran – 1, P Martin’s Corrie, Glenlyon, 94; 2, S McAuley’s Bess, Connachan, 92; 3, S Alexander’s Flo, Rickarton, 88; 4, E Nilsson’s Fergie, Balintore, 87 Outbye; 5, J Hastie’s Graylees Rose, Saline, 87; 6, AD Carnegie’s Scott, Comrie, 86; 7, M Gallagher’s Arya, Connachan, 85; 8, D McMullen’s Sid, Glen Clova, 84; 9, S MacFarlane’s Ash, Blairgowrie, 80;10, S Martin’s Mist, Cashlie, 79; Novice – 1, R Hood’s Bran, Clova, 76; 2, L Christie’s Mo, Crieff, 68.