ONCE again, Berwickshire High School (BHS) dominated the Borders Secondary Schools Badminton Championships, winning titles in every age group on Sunday.
Under-14 pupils from across the region travelled to Galashiels with the under-16s and under-18s playing in Earlston with several schools represented.
In the under-14 boys’, the final was a close match between Gavin McQuarrie (BHS) and Fraser Young (Kelso HS). A great game saw McQuarrie eventually coming out on top, winning 21-10, 24-22. In the doubles final, Young and his partner Jack Logan were pushed all the way by Berwickshire pair Oliver Smith and Ian Richards before winning an epic second and decisive set 25-23.
In the girls’ singles, Kirsty Millar (BHS) overcame a fighting challenge from Catherine McQuarrie (BHS), winning both games 21-10. In the doubles event Kirsty Millar and Tara Harvey triumphed over last year’s finalists Kate Ross and Rachel Scott in an all-Berwickshire final. A disappointing turnout in the under-16 girls division meant that Joanne Rae won by walkover.
There was exciting play in many the boys’ under-16 matches, especially in the latter stages of the competition. In the final, however, it was number one seed Jed Purves (BHS), who impressed by defeating school-mate Keith Patterson 21-10, 21-11. Purves and Jake Drumm paired up to win the doubles in a round-robin with Berwickshire’s Rob White and Lloyd Thomas finishing in the runners-up spot.
Moving up to the under-18s, there was further success for Berwickshire in both the girls’ singles and doubles. Mhairi Deuchar and Emma Turnbull made it through to the final where Deuchar staved off the challenge from Turnbull, winning 21-9, 21-14. The same girls also won the under-18 doubles in a round-robin series of matches.
Match of the day was the final of the Under-18 boys. Having battled through some tough pool and knock-out games, which featured a number of exciting rallies and great stroke play, number one seed Grant McWilliam faced his fellow Berwickshire pupil Adam Don.
Don won a very close first game 22-20 and an upset looked on the cards. However, McWilliam raised his game and won the second set 21-9. In the final and deciding set it was McWilliam who, despite having to battle for every point, pulled away to win 21-10.
With just a few minutes recovery, the Berwickshire pair had to face Ben Leslie and Fergus Myer (KHS) in the doubles final.
Fortunately, McWilliam and Don had a little bit left in the tank as they withstood the challenge from the Kelso pair, winning 21-15, 22-20.
It was noted that all the matches, while very competitive, were played with tremendous sportsmanship.
Event organiser, Neil Renton from the Sports Development Unit in Galashiels, thanked members of the Borders Badminton Group and Alison McWilliam for their assistance in staging the event and making sure the day was enjoyable for the competitors.