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Loanhead walk off with first win of season

Walking football strolled back into the Borders when the first of the season’s Festivals took place at the Queens Leisure Centre.

Teams from Gala Fairydean Rovers (2), Kelso, Annan Athletic and Loanhead played a league competition with Loandhead finishing on the same points as Gala Fairydean Rovers Reds but emerging victorious by the tightest of margins, winning by goal difference.

Loanhead spokesman Peter Frame said: “It was great to come out as the winning team but every team won on the day by playing with the right mix of fun, sportsmanship and competitiveness.”

Paul Smith, Gala Fairydean Rovers chaplain, agreed; “We have guys playing who’d never kicked a ball before,” he added.

“We’re seeing a transformation here with many getting a new lease of life from the physical activity as well as the social interaction and the banter in café after each game.”

Walking Football Festival is delivered by Live Borders Scottish FA Development Officer Drew Kelly in partnership with Scottish Borders Council who were represented on Sunday by Lynne Marshall.

“I’m sure after the success of today the future Walking Football Festivals planned by Live Borders will see more local teams such as Duns and Selkirk, who were unable to attend today, involved,” said Drew.

“We are looking to grow the event further and maybe win back the title from our Midlothian neighbours.”

Walking Football is primarily aimed at the over 50s and, this version of the sport is perfect for anybody, men or women, who enjoy the game and want to be more active but maybe aren’t as mobile or agile as they used to be.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive Live Borders, commented: “One of the primary aims of Live Borders is to encourage people throughout the region to become more active and, with this in mind, we hope to establish a series of Walking Football Festivals in 2017.”

Results: Loanhead 6- 0 Annan Athletic; Gala Fairydean Rovers Reds 5-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers Whites; Loanhead 3-1 Kelso; Gala Fairydean Rovers Reds 3-1 Annan Athletic; Kelso 5-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers Whites; Gala Fairydean Rovers Reds 1-1 Loanhead; Annan Athletic 3-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers Whites; Gala Fairydean Rovers Reds 4-1 Kelso; Loanhead 2-0 Gala Fairydean Rovers Whites; Annan Athletic 2-6 Kelso.

The Gala Fairydean Rovers Walking Football team play every Monday afternoon at Langlee Community Centre between 2.30pm and 4pm, new players are always welcome.