Stonehaven youngster Daniel Harris won his first national championships at the weekend taking home the Scottish National Junior U11 Badminton title.
Winning all his group stage matches, Daniel went through to the knockout stages and a quarter-final match against Glasgow’s Josh Taylor.
This was a hard fought match, but Daniel won through 21-16. His nextmatch was to be tougher still – this time a semi-final against Lothian’s Ben Riddle. At one point Daniel went behind 16-17, but he dug in, kept his cool and took the next five points to earn his place in the final against Akshat Gupta from Glasgow.
Daniel had met Akshat earlier in the day and beaten him, however Akshat was riding high having just won through against the number 1 seed. The final was a fantastic demonstration of skill and determination from both boys. At the change of ends Daniel was up 11-6, however Akshat fought back taking the score to 17 all, keeping everyone entertained and on the edge of their seats. Daniel eventually came through, taking the last four points to win 21-17 making his own little bit of history in the process as the first North East winner of the U11 boys singles title.
In the doubles event, Daniel and his partner Noah Sarvesvaran (Glasgow) got as far as the semi-finals where they were eventually beaten 18-21 by Ben Riddle and Harry Bent (both Lothian) who then went on to win the final.
Daniel is currently in primary 6 at Arduthie School. He has been supported and nurtured through Aberdeenshire Badminton since he was seven years old and is now in Aberdeenshire’s Badminton Development Squad.
Also competing from Aberdeenshire in their first Scottish National Junior Event were brothers Danny and Joseph O’Neil - Ferrero, both pupils in P6 and P5 respectively at Mill O’ Forest Primary School, Stonehaven who also attend Aberdeenshire Development Squads.
Some really tough close entertainingmatches saw both boys going through to the singles ‘B’ event with Joseph making it as far as the quarter- final where he was beaten by the eventual winner and Danny won through as far as the semi-final, while in the doubles ‘B’ event the brothers made it through to the semi-final.