Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh, was once again the venue for the 2012 Bank of Scotland Scottish National Badminton Championships.
The recent event took place on Saturday 31st March and Sunday the 1st April to find Scotland’s best in the U13, U17 and U23 age groups. The North-east had 7 athletes all from Stonehaven competing, 4 in the U17 event Matthew Duguid, Mark Leith, Jacob Reynolds and Sean Leith with 3 in the U13 event Maria Leith, David Blacklaw and Sam Muir.
In the under 13 group boys singles David Blacklaw was unlucky to go out in the early rounds to James Morgan, but Sam Muir gained revenge by beating David’s victor in round 2, Sam then came up against Scott Waddell , a former North East boy now in the school of sport in Glasgow, Scott’s experience and training overcoming Sam in the quarter final.
In the boys doubles David and Sam teamed up, beating their first round opponents comfortably, unfortunately they then met the number 2 seeds Glen Lewington/Ciar Pringle losing out after a closely fought match,
In the mixed doubles Sam Muir was paired with Maria Leith, going out to the more experienced partnership of Scott Waddell and Rachel Lu
Overall, a good performance by the u13 players gaining valuable experience for future events.
In the under 17 category singles event Matthew was unlucky to lose a very close 2nd round match with Thomas Darling after winning the first set, Jacob Reynolds had an unexpected early exit being unlucky to draw the number one seed and eventual winner Adam Hall in his round 2 match, Mark Leith won his early round matches to meet Ewen Watson in round three producing some superb badminton to beat the 5th seed in straight sets which put him in the quarter finals against 2nd sees Calum Stevenson, Mark continued his form but was unable to overcome the more experienced player losing out in straight sets. Sean Leith comfortably reached the quarter final where he came up against Robert Clark winning a very closely fought first set 24-22 and stamping his authority in the later stages of the second set winning 21-17. In the semi final he came up against Calum Stevenson, Calum beating Sean 21-14, 21-19 to set up a final with Adam hall, Adam winning 21-12, 21 17 to take the title.
In the doubles, Alec Dunn/Mark Leith reached the 2nd round losing to Robert Cark/James Milton in straight sets, Matthew Duguid/Andrew Milton were also beaten in the early rounds by Jackson Higgins/Tommy Reynolds. Sean Leith/Alistair Gordon joint third seeds did better winning their early round games in straight sets reaching the Semi final where they came up against number one seeds Adam Hall/Calum Stevenson losing out 21-15, 21-19 in a closely fought match. Jacob Reynolds/jack Stevenson, also joint third seeds, comfortably won their early rounds in straight sets to set up a semi-final against number 2 seeds Robert Clark/James Milton, there then followed a tense emotional game with Jacob and Jack keeping cool heads and running out winners 21-17, 21-17. In the final Jacob and jack won the first game and looked like causing an upset, however Adam and Calum fought back convincingly in the second game to set up the decider, the game went shot for shot early on with Jacob & Jack pulling out a lead at the halfway stage, however Calum produced some excellent serving to pull the game back to level ,the number one seeds then showed greater control under pressure to win the final game and the championship.
In the mixed doubles Matthew Duguid paired with Gemma Wright lost out to the older pairing of Ewan Watson/Kristie Baird who went on the beat Jacob and Sofia cogliano in the second round, Mark Leith and Eleanor O’Donnell faring no better being knocked out early on by Fraser Haldane/Sophie Morrison. Sean Leith /Sarah Allan battled hard in the early rounds winning their matches in closely fought straight sets, in the quarter final coming up against James Milton/Hannah Wade and in the semi final Jackson Higgins/Lucy Nevin winning their games again in straight sets to set up a final against Adam Hall and Hannah Morrison, Sean’s excellent retrieving and sarah’s net play were unable to overcome the experienced Adam and Hannah’s matchplay to take the final in straight sets thus gaining Adam Hall a clean sweep taking all three titles. Both Sean and Jacob gave excellent accounts of themselves with their revelant partners in the doubles finals with much to be optimistic for in the future.
All of the Stonehaven players can be proud of their performances this year and as the current strength of the north east players continues to improve look forward to achieving greater success in the Nationals next year.