Two-day tussle as 80-plus schoolchildren show paces

MORE than 80 children from primary schools all over the Borders competed in the Border Primary School Badminton Championships at the Queens Centre and Galashiels Academy.

In the two-day event 160 games were played in the boys’ and 75 games in the girls’ tournaments with great sportsmanship from both groups. There was a good turnout of nail-biting parents. No fewer than 10 pool games in the boys and nine for the girls went down to the last point before being won 15-14.

In the boys’ tournament 45 took part with all the eight seeds reaching the quarter-finals except the fourth seed, Jake Fairley (Gordon), who was beaten in a close game by Alex Craig (West Linton) in the knock-out stages.

In the quarter finals, Callum Smith (Duns) beat Euan Ramage (St Peters), Paul Goldie (Drumlanrig) beat Alex Craig, Niall Richards (Swinton) beat Euan Harvey (Chirnside) and Ninian Grant (Gordon) beat Lewis Robertson (Drumlanrig).

In the semi-final first seed Smith beat Goldie (fifth) while Richards (third) beat Grant (second) to set up the final in which Smith P5 played Richards P7. Scottish Development Squad (SDS) player Smith came out champion, winning 21-3, 21-7 proving to be too strong for the very hard working Richards.

In the girls’ competition there was some fantastic spirited play with novices and SDS players battling it out for the winner’s shield. As with the boys, all last eight players were seeded bar Jessica Lemmon (St Boswells) who did very well to make it to the last eight.

Here at the quarter final stage first seed Keira Waddell (Duns) knocked out Lemmon, fifth seed Jodie Aitken (Reston) beat fourth seed Teigan Scobie (Gordon), third seed Leona Rhind (Duns) beat sixth seed Jodie Black (Duns) and second seed Abbey Nicol (Reston) beat Catilyn Gillies (St Peters). Waddell and Nicol did battle in the final.

This was a display of courage and great determination for the two very young girls. Waddell smashed her way through the first game and almost took the second and the title but Abbey must be credited with her very hard fight back to take the second game 22-20, leaving a weary Nicol wondering what had happened.

Both must be credited for the effort and self-control they displayed,. In the final game Nicol’s Scottish coaching came through to help her win 22-11 in the final set.

It was a very hard day for the organisers and thanks went to parents, coaches and teachers who turned up to support these events

Lynn Young, chair of the Border Badminton group, presented the medals at both events and organised fundraising on the day which raised £121 for the Border schools squads.