January

England beat Scotland to take the McCoig Trophy

The Scottish International Masters Championships is up and running once again, with the annual McCoig Trophy match providing a familiar treat for audiences.

Prior to the main action of each Masters, Scotland and England players of varying age groups face-off against each other at the Sir Craig Reedie Badminton Centre, in Glasgow.

The veterans compete for the Robert McCoig trophy, named after Scotland's greatest ever badminton player who claimed 15 national titles and the country's first ever Commonwealth badminton medal in 1966.

With 18 victories from 18 match-ups before play today, the pressure was on England to maintain this unbeaten record.

And despite Scotland prevailing in the over-50s and over-60s, defeats in the over-40s, over-45s, over 55s and over 65s meant the glory went south of the border once more.

The over-50s provided a couple of tense encounters, with Steve Thomson and Jill Smith coming from behind to defeat Dave Wood and Viv Gillard 13-21 21-19 21-19 in a thriller.

Aileen Travers saw off the challenge of Susan Tooke in the ladies' singles 21-15 21-12, while Alan McMillan and Gordon Keith overpowered Don Burden and Jim Teale 21-16 18-21 21-15. Despite Scotland losing in both men's singles and ladies' doubles, the home outfit triumphed 3-2 overall.

And the over-60s was a similarly tense affair, with Dan Travers and Christine Black recovering from a slow start to prevail 11-21 21-16 21-14 against Ian Purton and Christine Crossley, while each triumphed in their respective men's and ladies' singles matches against George Joseph and Ann Bridge.

Travers, along with Billy Gilliland, was part of the men's doubles team which won Scotland's first Commonwealth gold in Edinburgh in 1986.

Mark MacKay's 21-15 21-19 success over Mark Trebble was Scotland's solitary victory in the over-40s, England winning 4-1 overall, while Anne Robertson downed Betty Blair in the over-45s ladies' singles, again finishing 4-1 in favour of England.

In the over-55 men's singles, Dougie McBriar rallied to beat Mike Nevett 18-21 22-20 22-20 in what was arguably the contest of the day, with barely anything separating the shuttlers throughout. England won 3-1 overall after wins in the mixed doubles, men's doubles and ladies' doubles.

And England claimed a 4-0 whitewash in the over-65s as they secured an overall 19-9 win, despite some outstanding individual displays within Scotland's ranks, to retain the trophy.