Fantastic weekend for badminton youngsters

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Glasgow School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy, Glasgow, hosted the recent U13 and U10 badminton event. The North East had a total of 14 athletes taking part, 10 boys, Matthew Duguid, Stuart Holley, Calum Lawrence, Jack Murray, Rory Adamson, Sam Muir, Scott Waddell and Josh McKay, all Stonehaven and Steaphan Connell, Milltimer and Tom Flaherty, Banchory.

The four girls were Eilidh Craigen, Holly Thomson and Maria Leith, Stonehaven and Becky Flaherty from Banchory.

With the exception of Josh and Maria the others competed in the U13 event on the Saturday, all playing well and recording some very good results. In the singles events Matthew Duguid lived up to his 2nd seeding booking his place in the main event final against regular rival, Alex Dunn, Motherwell.

Although Matthew took the honours in their last encounter Alex had the upper hand this time winning the match 21-18, 21-11. Jack made it to the quarter finals of the main event with Steaphan, Stuart and Sam all exiting in the 2nd round.

In the consolation event Tom, Calum and Rory played well but didn’t progress beyond the 1st round but Scott, still only U12, had three challenging matches to take victory in the final against Laurie O‘Dowd, 21-13, 23-21.

Unfortunately the girls did not qualify for the main event however Eilidh and Becky progressed to the quarter finals of the consolation event while Holly lost out to Lanarkshire’s Erin Addison in the semi final.

In the boys doubles event Matthew again made it to the final with partner Stuart Holley where once again he would face Alex and partner Stuart Dyce. The result went in favour of Alex and Stuart 21-11, 21-15.

Sam and Scott, and Steaphan and Jack also made it through to the main event, both pairs losing out at the quarter final stage. Calum and Rory were lucky to receive a bye through to the consolation semi-final stage where they faced a tough match against Ross Paterson and Andrew Robertson.

Despite losing the first game 21-11, Calum and Rory were not deterred and went on to win the match, 11-21, 21-13, 21-13, booking themselves a place in the final.

Another spirited performance ensued but in the end the experienced pairing of Glen Lewington and Calum Atterbury just proved too much and they lost the tie 21-18, 21-13.

The girls’ pairs did not qualify for the main event and unfortunately due to low numbers there was no consolation event. In the mixed doubles Matthew and Holly teamed up while Jack partnered Lanarkshire’s Olivia Quinn, both pairs progressing to the quarter finals of the main event.

Stuart and Becky, and Steaphan and Eilidh also teamed up with both these pairs competing in the consolation event, Stuart and Becky exited at the quarter final stage while Steaphan and Eilidh made it to the final narrowly losing out to Ayrshire’s Stuart Dyce and Bethany Cook, 23-21, 21-14.

The U10 event took place on the Sunday and Stonehaven’s Maria Leith and Josh McKay represented the North East. Both players showed some fantastic skills and determination, Josh in particular fought back to save the match on two separate occasions in the pool stage and in the main event semi final.

His determined spirit paid off and won him a place in the final against his doubles partner, Adam Pringle, Glasgow. With Adam seeded one and Josh seeded two this promised to be a great match and despite Josh losing the tie 21-12 the quality of play from both boys proved the match was closer than the score implied.

Maria justified her top seeding on the day, comfortably winning her pool and losing only 8 points in the semi final and 11 points in the final against Rachel Andrew.

The doubles events saw similar success for the two local players with Josh teaming up with singles winner, Adam Pringle and Maria teaming up with Rothesay’s Ellie MacDonald.

The boys won the event comfortably with their biggest challenge coming from Michael Farnood and Colin Taylor which Josh and Adam won 21-16.

Maria and Ellie however were challenged in every game, only winning 21-15, and 21-16, and in the match to decide the winners finally took the honours from being 11 -3 down to win 22-20, a match which had everyone on the edge of their seats!

This was a fantastic weekend for the North East bringing home 3 gold medals, Maria (2) and Josh (1), 4 silvers, Josh (1) and Matthew (2) and Stuart (1) and Scott winning gold in the consolation singles, Calum and Rory silver in the consolation doubles and Eilidh and Steaphan and Eilidh silver in the consolation mixed.