THERE was considerable Borders interest in the Schools Badminton Under-14 and 16 Age Group event held at Ravenscraig on Saturday.
Held at the superb £35million regional sports centre, more than 100 competitors from all over the country took part with some incredibly high standards on display.
In the boys’ under-16 event Gavin McQuarrie (Earlston High) and Fraser Young (Kelso High) qualified from the pools for the B Championship knock-out.
Here, they had a straightforward victory over opponents from Eastwood High before coming up against higher-seeded opponents from North Berwick and Preston Lodge.
Previous history between the pairings favoured the opponents, but McQuarrie and Young raised their game on this occasion to come back from a set down to win.
Despite a good performance in the semi-final, however, they ultimately fell short to opponents from Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The girls’ event was a round-robin affair, with all the pairings playing six matches.
Ranked seventh and youngest of the players involved, it was always going to be a hard task for Lizzie Edmondson (Eyemouth High) and Linsey Young (Kelso High), but they stuck to their task gamely throughout and, as always, with a smile on their faces.
In the boys’ event, Scotland Development squad player Robbie Patterson (Eyemouth) paired up with Douglas Crawford (Preston Lodge) and they emerged from their pool with two wins and a defeat to go into the main A championship.
In this they were victorious in a hard-fought first match 21-16, 21-17 before coming up against the third seeds from Glasgow School of Sport and Bellahoustoun Academy. Far from overawed, they gave as good as they got for three sets before going down 17-21, 27-25, 14-21 in a titanic struggle.
Last, but not least, were David McLeish and Hamish McKenzie (Peebles High) who won one and lost two of their pool games to go into the Under-14 B championship. Here they rattled through opposition from Duncanrig High, Edinburgh Academy and Queen Anne High to make the final. Up against opposition from Boroughmuir High, the boys played some great badminton in the final to win a close contest in straight sets 21-19, 21-18.
Many of the Borderers taking part in the events have a further 12 months in their respective age groups, so prospects are hopefully even better for next year.