SUCCESSFUL TOURNEY FOR LOCAL PLAYERS
THE Bells Sports Centre, Perth, was once again the venue for the 2010 SSBU National Secondary Badminton Championships.
Schools from throughout the country were represented from as far afield as Orkney to the Borders. North East was very well represented with Elliot Harvie, Chloe Tough, Lucy Gourlay, Fiona Craigen, Kirsty Thomson, Samantha Holden, Rachel MacLeod, Mark Leith, Cameron Pyper, Jacob Reynolds, Sean Leith, Josh Halliday, Douglas Adamson, Jamie Duncan and Scott Murray all Aberdeenshire.
The qualifying rounds were played on Saturday with all North East participants giving a good account of themselves winning many games between them. Saturday also saw the conclusion of the supplementary events which saw Mackie Academy's Kirtsy Thomson win the intermediate girls singles, Josh Halliday and Scott Murray win the intermediate boys doubles and Scott Murray come runner up in the intermediate boy's singles.
Fiona Craigen, Mark Leith, Cameron Pyper, Jacob Reynolds and Sean Leith (all Mackie Academy) were all well deserved of their places in the relevant main event semis finals which took place on the Sunday. First up were Fiona Craigen and Sean Leith in junior mixed doubles where they were unfortunate to lose out to Julie Macpherson and Fraser Wright, Edinburgh.
The next event was the junior boy's singles which featured both Jacob Reynolds and Sean Leith. Jacob was unlucky to meet top seed Adam Hall, Bellahouston Academy, but put on a spirited performance, Adam however ran out victorious. Sean met Jack Stevenson, Dumbarton, and progressed comfortably to the final, 21-7, 21-14.
A shot at the no.1 was the reward for Sean. The first set was evenly matched throughout however, experience and strength won out in the end, Adam proving his no.1 seeding, taking the title 21-17, 21-9.
The junior boys' doubles semi final once again featured 2 North East pairs, Jacob Reynolds & Cameron Pyper facing Bellahouston's Robert Clark & Thomas Qua, whilst brothers, Sean and Mark Leith met Highlands Struan Ross & Gavin Riome. Jacob & Cameron put up a great challenge and were unlucky to lose out 21-11, 21-19 to the experienced Glasgow pair.
Sean & Mark were more fortunate winning their encounter 21-12, 21-10. This set the scene for an entertaining final between the Leith brothers and the Bellahouston pair. The first set was once again a close affair with Sean and Mark holding onto their marginal lead to take it 21-19. This win however set them up to take a good lead in the second set.
Robert & Thomas fought back with some tremendous rallies, and fantastic displays of skill and teamwork from both pairs made it great entertainment for the spectators.
The Stonehaven duo tenaciously held onto their lead to take the title 21-15 in the second set. This is the first time since the current cup has been in existence, from 1973, that this title has been won by a sibling pair and 30 years since it was last brought to the North East by Hazlehead duo Gordon Spence and Gavin Reid.
Once again the players from the North East and Moray are showing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the sport of badminton.