Good show by Stonehaven youngsters

Jacob Reynolds
Jacob Reynolds

The 66th North East Senior Restricted Tournament held at Kincorth Sports Centre in Aberdeen on Saturday and Sunday,November 16 and 17, provided a weekend of high quality badminton.

TwoStonehaven youngsters won four of the five titles on offer. Rachel McLeod won the women’s doubles and mixed doubles and Jacob Reynolds took the men’s singles and men’s doubles

In the latter, Jacob won all his games without dropping a set.

In the final he came up against Aberdeen’s 2011 singles champion Steve Chappell, however, Jacob was on form and defeated the former champion 21-12 and 21-13, thus convincingly taking the men’s singles title for the second year running.

In the women’s doubles, Rachel McLeod teamed up with Rachel Rennie, forming a strong partnership and comfortably winning their pool to reach the final against Robin Martin and Ann Shipley, winning in straight sets 21-14 and 21-18 after a determined fight back in the second set.

Men’s doubles provided the closest and most exciting games. After the pool games Jacob Reynolds and Neil Cuthbert met fellow Stonehaven players Mark Leith and Steve Thompson in the semi-final with Jacob and Neil winning 21-15 and 21-13.

Steven Chappell and Ryan Clunie beat Colin Ross and Graham Ross 21-12, 21-15 in the other semi-final. and the final proved to be the match of the tournament with Jacob and Neil up against Steven and Ryan.

The first game was hard fought with Steve and Ryan winning 24-22.

In the second game, Steve and Ryan took a 17-11 lead, however Jacob and Neil managed to claw it back to 17 all. After that it went point for point to 28 all, neither pair giving an inch.

Eventually, Jacob and Neil got the break and won 30-28.

Now, with all the other participants watching, they went into the third and deciding game. Yet again this was a nail-biter, neither pair gaining a edge, yet again it was point for point with almost unbelievably another edgy finish with Jacob and Neil just clinching the game and the match 22-20.

It was an absolutely incredible match in which either pair would have been worthy winners.

In the mixed competition, another nail-biting series of games ensued, pool winners Rachel McLeod and Ryan Clunie meeting Laura Gray and Neil Cuthbert whom they played the first semi-final. Rachel and Ryan came through 24-22, 21-8.

In the second semi-final, Rachel Rennie and Jacob Reynolds met Marta Kutt and Steve Thompson with Rachel and Jacob winning 21-14, 21-15.

In the final, Rachel and Ryan took the first set 26-24 after a tremendous battle in the second set Rachel and Ryan keeping just ahead narrowly beating Rachel and Jacob 21-18, in what again proved to be a thrilling final.

The following weekend, Jacob Reynolds travelled to Newcastle to compete in the U19 Northumberland Open. This is a Badminton World Federation Tournament which attracted players from as far afield as Brazil.

Jacob, along with his doubles partner Fraser Haldane, from Kirkcaldy, was one of the few Scottish entered for this prestigious event. Against expectation Jacob and Fraser managed to reach the semi-final of the boys’ doubles, coming up against the No 2 seeds Matthew Clare and Scott Williams, both from Yorkshire, and narrowly losing a hard-fought match to bring home a Badminton England Bronze medal thus ensuring entry into future U19 Gold standard tournaments.