Local players excel in events

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There was success for four local badminton players at three different events. Glasgow School of Sport was the venue for an U15 event last Saturday and an U11 event on the Sunday, while the Railway Institute, York, hosted a Badminton England U15 Gold event.

Seven players from the north east competed at the Glasgow event, Keira Dalton and Steaphan Connell, Milltimber, Becky Flaherty, Banchory, and Matthew Duguid and Jack Murray, Stonehaven in the U15 age group and Maria Leith and Josh McKay, Stonehaven, in the U11 event.

All competed well but it was Josh who excelled in both categories. In the singles event Josh reached the semi final without dropping more than 7 points in any set. In the semi he faced Michael Farnood, Edinburgh, recording a comfortable 21-12 victory. In the final his opponent was his doubles partner and top seed Adam Pringle, Glasgow. A great match ensued but the result was never in doubt, Josh winning the title 21-14.

The doubles event saw Adam recover quickly and along with Josh they dominated again dropping very few points throughout the group stage. Even in the semi final they recorded a 21-3 victory securing a place in the final against Michael Farnood and Colin Taylor. Josh and Adam controlled the game from the start running out winners, 21-12, a fantastic double title win for Josh.

Maria was unfortunate to miss out on a place in the main singles event but was successful in winning the ‘B’ event and was runner up with partner Rachael Andrew, Edinburgh, in the doubles. In the U15 event Matthew progressed furthest, reaching the semi-final in both the mixed event with partner Gemma Wright and the doubles event with Andrew Milton, Ayrshire. In the singles event he justified his second place seeding, finishing runner up to Uddingston’s Darren Reid.

eight Scottish players made the journey to York to compete in the prestigious Badminton England Gold event and they certainly made their presence felt, picking up several medals, 3 golds, 2 silver and 2 bronze. Local athlete, Mark Leith, though unseeded in the singles event, was on good form throughout progressing to finals day in both the singles and doubles events. He was unlucky to lose out in the doubles semi-final with partner Alex Dunn, Motherwell, where they struggled to compete against the second seeds however his disappointment was soon forgotten with success in the singles final where he secured victory over top seed, Max Flynn, Berkshire, in a hard fought 3 set match, 20-22, 21-12, 21-15. These results continue to show that there is great talent in the north east with players competing well not only in Scotland but south of the border too.