December

Title treble for Christopher Grimley at National Junior Championships

Christopher Grimley has thrust his name into illustrious Scottish badminton company after becoming just the fourth player in 30 years to win the boys’ singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the U19 National Junior Championships.

He joins former Scottish internationalists David Gilmour and Robert Blair and current Scottish Internationalist Adam Hall as the only players to have won a hat-trick at the U19 National Championships, stretching back as far as the 1986/87 season.

The youngster made the most of his No.1 seed status across all three disciplines to add a hat-trick of trophies to his collection, amidst an exciting day of U15 and U19 action in Motherwell at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility.

First came his boys’ singles crown with victory over Ciar Pringle, though he had to come from behind to do so.

With Pringle leading after a 21-14 first game, Grimley battled back to force a decider with a 21-15 second game – wrapping up the win with a tense 21-18 final game.

He then joined up with twin brother Matthew in the boys’ doubles, with Pringle again on the opposite side of the net, this time with Glen Lewington.

And the siblings proved why they have a very exciting Scottish badminton future, winning 21-8 21-18 in just 23 minutes in Motherwell to take the U19 boys’ doubles title for the third year in a row.

Christopher was not done there and went on to secure the mixed title with Ciara Torrance.

Again the top seeds, the pair were battling against the No.2 ranked players and U17 European bronze medallists Adam Pringle and Rachel Andrew, wasting little time in wrapping up the 21-11 21-14 success.

Speaking afterwards, Christopher was understandably happy with his achievement: “It’s the first time I’ve won a treble of national titles and I’m really happy today.

“It was a really tight singles match but I managed to pull through in three games.

“It’s a great feeling to have matched the achievements of players like Adam [Hall], David [Gilmour] and Robert [Blair]. They are all great players so hopefully I can keep going and match some of their other achievements.”

Similarly, the two other U19 titles went the way of the formbook as top seed Rachel Sugden battled to the girls’ singles crown by overcoming Lauren Middleton.

That came in straight games but it was very much a close-run thing, with Sugden needing to fight hard to get the 21-15 21-19 win.

It was one against two in the girl’s doubles also, Torrance picking up the first of her two titles in the day, this time with Sarah Sidebottom, beating Basia Grodynska and Middleton 21-15 21-17.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s U15 stars also got a chance to show their talent on court, with a plethora of different winners and new potential emerging.

That included Jodie Black in the girls singles, getting the better of top seed Lindsey Ireland in what was an enthralling game.

Going one game up, Black was forced into a decider but held her nerve to win 21-19 12-21 21-13 to take her place atop the podium.

The boys singles win went to unseeded Nathan Macpherson, overcoming Lewis Hart in the longest match of the day, 18-21 23-21 21-17.

And the drama continued, with Isaac Weir getting a double dose of success, in the boys’ and mixed doubles, the first coming in remarkable fashion with fellow top seed Hart.

The pair lost the first game 21-16 but battled back impressively, with an epic 27-25 game going their way, while Weir and Hart wrapped up the win 21-17 in the third game.

Then, Weir teamed up with Black as she also took a second win of the day, beating Macpherson and Ireland 21-14 16-21 21-19 in the last game of the day.

There was also a national title for Brooke Stalker and Keryn Swan as they won the girls’ doubles with victory over Amanda Martin and Jess Rae, a fantastic achievement for both players who are still only eleven and thirteen-years old respectively.

Full results at www.tournamentsoftware.com