High flyers take shuttle to their first second

THE END of the badminton season is approaching at a rate of knots, with Borders age group squads having a busy time.

A very young side took on teams from Lanarkshire, Yorkshire, Isle of Man, Lothian and the North East at the Under-13 Invitation Eight Counties event at Meadowmill.

With many of the older players away for Easter and two missing due to commitments with Scottish teams in Belgium, this was going to be a tough competition.

Despite some very spirited play and tight wins in the singles and doubles, the local team ended up at the bottom of the table.

The team consisted of Andrew Hogg, Leona Rhind, Dion Trafford, Ninian Grant, Craig Younger, Jodie Black, Catherine Marsh and Molly McDonald. All were happy to receive their medals for taking part and gaining yet more experience, and the coaches were proud of the team.

The experience gained from the Lothian competition carried forward to the Ashington Under-12 Anglo-Scottish tournament last weekend.

The team played some outstanding badminton to take second place for the first time and were able to secure several No1 singles games, together with some amazing gritty performances from exciting prospects. The team went down to Lothian (eventual winners) 3-12 before beating Lanarkshire 10-5 and Yorkshire 9-6. The highlight came on day two when a crucial game against Northumberland Tyne and Wear produced five tie-break games before the Borders won 8-7.

Coaches were kept on the ball throughout but worked well to help the youngsters produce their best team win in Ashington to date. Lynne Young added: “Thanks go to the parents, also, for their tremendous support.”

The next stop for the Borders youngsters is the Scottish Primary School championships and then its off to Largs to meet many of the same teams again.