Mill o’ Forest annual tournament

THE competitors in the Mill o' Forest badminton tournament.
THE competitors in the Mill o' Forest badminton tournament.

The Mill O’ Forest annual badminton tournament was held at Portlethen Academy on Sunday. A total of 32 children, 16 girls and 16 boys, ranging from P4 to P7 took part.

The tournament is aimed at introducing the children to competitive badminton in a fun and informal way. Although the singles event is always fiercely contested, in the doubles and mixed doubles events less experienced players are paired up with more experienced players to make the competition fair. The more experienced players are always encouraged to help and support their partners and make the experience an enjoyable one.

With many talented badminton players in Stonehaven Mill O’Forest has their fair share of experience in the sport. In the singles event both the boys and girls were split into four pools with the top two in each competing in the main event and the others challenging in the consolation event.

There were many very entertaining games throughout the morning all players showing great enthusiasm irrespective of their experience. In the boys event those qualifying through to the main knockout were Josh McKay, Cameron Ritchie, James Arandia, Sam Muir, David Blacklaw, Lewis Mitchell, Andrew McGillivray and Scott Waddell.

All quarter final matches were played in great spirit with Josh, Sam, David and Scott winning passage to the semi finals. Both matches started close with all four boys displaying great technique and determination, on the day however it was Sam and Scott who managed to pull away slowly and claim their spot in the final, and what a final it was.

Scott started strong but Sam fought back to close the gap. Again there was some fantastic badminton on display with both boys eager to claim the title. Scott managed to edge ahead but even with the score poised at 20–15 in Scott’s favour Sam didn’t give up, winning the next four points before Scott claimed victory 21–19.

In the girl’s singles main event Naomi McGillivray, Koni Watson, Jemma Pitchers, Emily Martin, Anna Pyper, Erin Waddell, Lucy McVey and Maria Leith all progressed to the quarter finals. Naomi, Emily, Anna and Maria battled through to claim their places in the semis.

Naomi and Emily had a close fought tie, point for point throughout until Naomi edged ahead in the latter stages to take the tie 21–18. The other semi between Anna and Maria was also an exciting affair however Maria took an early lead and managed to capitalise on this winning the match 21-11.

This set up the final between Naomi and Maria, both experienced players and partners in the recent Scottish Schools national finals. As always a great game ensued filled with end to end action. On the day it was Maria who came through triumphant winning the tie 21–12.

In the boys consolation event Adam Lock, Ryan Scott, Stefan Ronsberg, James Hinchcliffe, Michael Waite, Owen Glennie, Matthew McGillivray and Rory Gibb played well all games filled with passion and determination. Ryan, James, Michael and Rory won passage to the semi-finals where James and Rory secured their place in the final.

Another great game ensued; James looked quite comfortable and took an early lead but Rory, never deterred, fought back and quickly closed the gap before James finally won the tie 15–12. The girl’s consolation event was contested by Abbie Cameron, Chloe Watt, Ria Henderson, Aimee Cross, Charlotte Crawford, Shannon Logan and Eve Smith. All matches were very keenly contested, Chloe, Aimee, Charlotte and Eve making it through to the semi-finals.

Aimee overcame Chloe 15–10, while Charlotte and Eve treated the spectators to a nail biting point for point battle, Charlotte finally victorious winning 17–15. On form Charlotte also manage to overcome Aimee in the final 21–9 despite a spirited challenge from Aimee. The doubles and mixed doubles events both had lots of entertaining and fun games all played in good spirit. With both main and consolation knockout events in both there was plenty to play for. All of those who had played in the singles events also competed in the doubles and were joined by Gemma Berrisford in the girl’s doubles.

In the girls doubles Emily and Aimee teamed up and won through to face Abbie and Maria in the final, Abbie and Maria gelled well and were fortunate to win the tie 21-7.

In the boys event singles winner Scott paired up with Michael but was denied a second win when they lost to David and Rory in the final, a close fought affair finishing 21–16.

In the consolation events Lucy and Ria claimed victory over Gemma and Chloe in the final and Josh and Andrew overcame James Hinchcliffe and Ryan to win the boys consolation event.

The final event of the day was the mixed doubles which saw many close games throughout the pool stages but the main event saw the two singles winners head to head, Maria and Andrew versus Lucy and Scott. On the day it was Scott and Lucy who proved too strong for the younger duo winning the match 21–12.

The consolation event saw a second victory for both Charlotte and David who managed to defeat Emily and Adam in the final.