Smith and Black take honours in Border badminton finals

Winners and Runners-up in the 2014 Borders Primary School's Badminton Championships
Winners and Runners-up in the 2014 Borders Primary School's Badminton Championships

Another busy weekend for Border Badminton saw 52 young players from around the region playing for their schools in the Border Primary Schools Championships.

Schools from all of the Learning Communities were represented, from West Linton right across to Coldingham and Reston.

Eight boys’ pools and four girls’ pools with over 110 games played saw some very spirited performances from high level Scottish players to ultimate novices playing in their first competition. All have been invited back for the Duns Club tournament on March 1.

Quarter finalists were Callum Smith, Isaac Weir, Tyler Smith, Callum Stokes and Fergus Murray, all from Duns PS, as well as Gareth Williams and Jamie Palmer (Howdenburn PS) and Martin Goldie (Drumlanrig PS) with C. Smith beating Stokes and Weir beating T. Smith in the quarters.

Eventual winner was Scottish squad player Callum Smith taking Isaac Weir in the final 21-5, 21-9.

In the girls competition there were some new players reaching the quarter finals - Kitty Morgan and Amber Malcolm (both Stirches PS), Jessica Mitchel and Iona Fox (Kingsland PS), Jodie Black and Ushika Kidd (Coldingham PS) and Amy Keneally, Lucy MacDonald both (Duns PS).

Black beat Keneally and Fox beat Kidd to make it into the finals where Jodie Black became the eventual winner, beating her friend Iona Kidd 21-13, 21-9.

Thanks were given once again to the Duns and Border coaches for running the competition, together with the families who ran the fundraising food and clothes stalls.

Members of the senior Borders Squads turned up to support with the umpiring and the BSLT active schools team were instrumental in helping with the circulation of entries and information to the schools.

Also in action at the weekend, fresh from her success in the Borders U16 Secondary Championships, was Linsey Young (Kelso) who just missed out at the 2014 Glasgow U15 Championships. After a first round win over Rachel Mathers she overcame Jennifer Lafferty from Lanarkshire in the quarter finals before coming up against another Lanarkshire opponent Eileen Gordon who had defeated her over three sets in a final on their previous meeting. This time though Linsey made no mistake coming through in straight sets 21-16, 21-13 to set up a final against no1 seed Basia Grodinska from East Lothian. In a tense (first major) final Linsey lost out 21-19, 21-12 but should be very proud of her performance particularly as she was unseeded in this event. Partnered with her good friend Ellie Morris (Lothian) in the Ladies Doubles this 2nd seeding unfortunately got knocked out by Sophie Law and Basia in the Semi-finals. It was straight back to Duns afterwards for squad training at 6pm in preparation for U16 Ashington competition in March.

Borders Badminton will also be following National U14 and U15 Champion Robbie Patterson’s progress as he represents Scotland and the Borders this weekend in Switzerland. Also in Action will be the Berwickshire High School in the SSBU Quaich competition in March.

This weekend at the U12 squad coaching there will be a presentation to parents on Positive Coaching Scotland, which will help parents understand the pressures that can be put on children as players, coaches and families and how to deal with pressure situations. It will start at 10am in the Berwickshire High School. lt is hoped that as many badminton parents from around the region can attend. This is not exclusive to squad players.