January

YONEX Scottish International Masters Championships review

Mark Mackay made the most of his pre-tournament billing to take home a hat-trick of trophies from the 2018 YONEX Scottish International Masters Championships.

The Scot completed the clean sweep of men’s singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles from the competition in Glasgow, where more than 20 victors were crowned across an entertaining weekend.

Six different age categories took to the court – ranging from over-40s right through to over-65s – with a total of 210 seasoned players from as far afield as the United States, Canada and China taking part.

With strong turnouts from the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, there were plenty of returning faces too, with plenty looking to keep their hands on the trophies they won 12 months ago.

Men’s Singles

Mackay once again got his hands on the 40+ singles trophy, following up his victory when second seed last time out, showing why he was the tournament favourite this time.

He was not to drop a game en route to the final, before going on to beat second seed Craig Lamb 21-11 21-11 in an entertaining final in the Sir Craig Reedie Centre.

In fact all six of the top seeds prevailed in the men’s singles, including Timothy Cope and Alistair Jones in the 45+ and 50+ categories respectively, while Danes Per Juul and Per Dabelsteen also topped the podium.

Dan Travers – one of Scotland’s biggest hopes and 1986 Commonwealth champion – also had a title to defend and he did so in some style, overcoming third seed George Joseph in the final, 22-20 21-14.

Women’s Singles

Aileen Travers was the dominant force of the women’s singles 12 months ago and history repeated itself as she took the 40+ title on home courts.

Once again she was faultless with two victories from two, overcoming compatriot Claire Johnston 21-13 21-15 and then Carolyn Young by the same scoreline.

The 50+ category saw English shuttlers take the honours – favourite Betty Blair defeating Susan Tooke in the final, while Denmark’s Jette Nielsen was atop the podium in the 60+ competition.

Men’s Doubles

Favourite on paper, Mackay ensured he put that to good use in the 40+ men’s doubles, with he and Lamb this time on the same side of the net in Glasgow.

Again they were to be an unstoppable force on the court, as they were a whole year ago, not dropping a game before getting the better of Peter Hansen and Rene Serve in the final.

But they were not the only Scots celebrating as Alan Mcmillan – alongside Irishman Mark Peard – defied their third/fourth seeding to beat Alistair Jones and James Teale in the final and take the spoils.

Wins also went to Trevor Darlington and Paul Mitchell in the 45+ category and Nick Goode and James Wong in the 55+, while the 60+ gong went to Scandinavians Jens Dall-Hansen and Magnus Ericson.

Women’s Doubles

The women’s doubles saw a mixed bag for the favourites, with three top seeds taking the honours and three unseeded pairs securing glory.

Among them were England’s Julie Bradbury and Lynne Swan in the 40+ category, though they faced a tough battle against Scotland’s Lynne Campbell and Kirsten Thomson in fighting for gold.

The same could be said for Louise Culyer and Tracy Hutchinson, victorious in two tough games against Anne Robertson and Travers, the latter still doing enough for her second podium of the week.

Mixed Doubles

Once again Mackay was flying high in doubles action, though this time it was alongside Carolyn Young in the 40+ mixed.

Their competition got tougher and tougher as the games went on but it mattered little come the final battle, as second seeds Patrik Bjorkler and Swan proved no match in the 21-19 21-15 scoreline.

The rest of the discipline was dominated by the strong Danish contingent, with Jan Petersen and Helle Buch winning the 55+ category despite being seeded fifth.

There were also wins for Morten Aarup and Culyer, Henrik Lykke and Lise Bilgrav as well as Ian Purton and Christine Crossley, Christian Hansen and Gitte Rasmussen.