Lornshill Academy in Alloa was the venue for the 2nd race in the East District Cross-Country League on Saturday.
And whilst Hibs enjoyed the relative comfort of the artificial turf at the nearby Recreation Park, the runners had to slog their way through sometimes ankle deep mud on the tough hilly course.
It was a day of solid rather than spectacular team performances with numerous crucial absentees costing the team some potentially high spots.
Proceedings got underway, and were not bettered thereafter, with a storming individual second place for Moorfoot Esme Minto in the U11 Girls race.
Relative newcomer Esme was home in 7 minutes 21 seconds for the 1.6km course with clubmates Holly Hobbs 9th and Madeline Collins close behind in 12th. That placed Team Borders second on the day, five points adrift of Central but the girls lead their league going into the third and final race in January by 14 points ahead of Fife, with Central a further eight points back in third.
The U11 Boys raced the same course and the biggest age-group field of the day saw Patrick Cannon (Moorfoot) lead the team home in 18th of the 79 runners in 7.15. An improving Kyle Taylor (Chirnside) was 20th and Moorfoot Angus Carlyle completed the team points in 27th. The boys sit fourth overall out of 20 teams.
The U13 Girls raced over 2.7km and it was another Moorfoot duo who led the team points, with Eilidh Mooney 21st and Megan Hobbs 30th. Isla Taylor (Chirnside) was just outside the top half, finishing 45th giving the team a total of 96 points and seventh place.
The U13 Boys was probably the team most affected by absentees with any one of three missing runners easily capable of providing enough points to place the team top of the leader board.
Ethan Elder (Moorfoot) had a strong run for third in 11.28 with Chirnside’s Oscar Onley close on his heels in fourth.
Seventy one U17 and U15 Girls raced together over 3.7km including nine in the Team Borders vest. Suited by the hilly course, Mairi Wallace (Moorfoot) had an excellent run to finish 10th overall and fourth U15 in 16.39. Gala’s Susannah Godfrey Fausett was next in 11th (5th U15), and Beth Hobbs (Moorfoot) completed the team points in 14th (7th U15).
That placed the girls fifth on 35 points in a tightly fought combined age-group.
Gala’s Yousuf Khursheed showed improved form to finish 10th in the U15 Boys race in 15.15, with clubmate James Logan next home just two seconds later. Josh Abbott (Chirnside) took 18th place for a total of 39 points and an team fourth place.