Over the weekend of 28 & 29 April 2018 Black Isle Leisure Centre hosted the 2018 Highland Championships.
With players travelling from all across Scotland competing for the singles, doubles and mixed titles, Highland Badminton Group were busying themselves preparing to ensure players got the most games possible in the limited time available.
The format was an elimination competition with A, B and C rounds – if the player lost their first game in A round then they proceeded to B round, then if they lost second game in B round they proceeded to C round.
If the player lost their second game in A round then they proceeded to B round. This was to ensure all players received a minimum of three games in an event.
Anyone proceeding to the semi-finals and above in A round received medals/trophies. Winners of B & C rounds received medals. All games were best of three to 21 with setting.
Saturday 28 April
A Round – The first semi-final was between Paul Geri (Glasgow) and Duncan Grant (Inverness) who won 21-13, 21-19 over John Qua (Ayrshire) & Micky Thien (Lochcarron). The second semi-final was between Mark Mackay & Martyn Cook (Caithness) who won 21-12 21-17 over Liam Delday & Andrew Reid (Orkney).
Mark and Martyn then went on to beat Paul and Duncan 21-13, 21-11 in the final. This was Marks first title win of the weekend. In the third place playoff Liam and Andrew beat John and Micky 23-21, 21-18.
In the B Round the all Caithness final saw Craig Jappy and Euan Jappy beat Sam Campbell & John Durrand in a tight contest 15-21, 23-21, 21-18. Craig and Euan had missed out of the semi-final against Paul and Duncan in a thrilling match at quarter final stages.
In the C Round the final saw father and son Sam Johnson and Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh) beat John Young and Robert Morrison (Elgin/Keith) 21-16 21-14.
In the A Round the first semi-final saw Britt Ashton and Megan Munro (Edinburgh) beat Suzanne Henderson (Inverness) and Claire Johnston (Aberdeen) 21-17 21-12. In the second semi-final Carole Begg and Shona Mackay (Caithness) beat Megan Campbell (Inverness) and on day substitute Ashley Donald (Moray) 21-8, 21-9.
In the final, Britt and Megan won a tight contest 21-18 12-21 21-18 against Shona And Carole. The third place play off saw Suzanne and Claire beat Megan and Ashley 21-16 21-10.
In the final of the B Round Angela Bell and Emma Donald beat Rebecca Reid and Alison Shearer (Orkney) 21-14 21-15, while the final saw Beckie Gun and Lauren Gunn (Caithness) won 21-10 21-16 against mum and daughter Nicole and Karen Miller (Caithness) in the C Round final
In the A Round the first semi- final saw Martyn Cook and Carole Begg (Caithness) beat Matthew Reid and Alison Shearer (Orkney) 21-15 21-16 with Mark and Shona Mackay beating Greg Broadbent and Britt Ashton (Edinburgh) 21-19 21-10 in the other half of the draw.
Mark and Shona then went on to take the title 23-19 21-11 against Martyn and Carole in an all Caithness final. It’s the fourth year in a row Mark and Shona have won this title – an amazing achievement, along with the fact it was Mark’s second title of the championships.
Greg and Britt beat Matthew and Alison 21-13 21-14 in the third place play off.
In the B Round the final saw Duncan Grant (Inverness) and Laura Muir (Glasgow) beat Andrew Reid and Rebecca Reid (Orkney) 18-21 21-18 21-18 in an epic match.
In the final of the C Round, Johnathan Fyfe and Megan Munro (Edinburgh) beat Micky Thien and Megan Campbell (Lochcarron/Inverness).
Sunday 29th April
The first semi-final of the A Round saw Mark Mackay (Caithness) beat Matthew Reid (Orkney) 21-15 21-10 while on the other court, an epic battle between Callum Smith (Borders) and Owen Turner (Nairn) resulted in Owen eventually prevailing 10-21 21-17 21-19 in what was the match of the day.
The final then saw the mighty Mark Mackay with a dominate title win 21-11 21-7 over Owen. This made Marks triple win of the weekend. The 3rd place playoff saw Callum Smith beat Matthew Reid 21-14 21-18.
In the B Round – the final should have been between Andrew Reid (Orkney) and Marc Graham (Glasgow) but unfortunately Andrew had to leave to catch the ferry before he could complete the final. Both players received medals.
Earlier there had been an epic battle between Andrew Reid (Orkney) and Duncan Grant (Inverness) with Andrew prevailing 21-18 14-21 21-18 in the semi-final match. However, at least Duncan took the HBG record for most three setters played in one weekend…
The C Round was the battle of the Sam’s. Sam Johnson (Edinburgh) beat Sam Campbell (Caithness) 21-18 21-19 in the last game of the weekend.
The first semi-final of the A Round saw Megan Munro (Inverness) beat Lindsey Ireland (Aberdeen) in another long hard fought match 12-21 22-20 21-19. In the other half of the draw Shona Mackay (Caithness) came from behind to beat Laura Muir (Glasgow) 16-21 21-13 21-14.
The final went Shona’s way with a 21-15 21-11 win over Megan making it Shona’s second title win of the weekend, while the third place play-off saw Lindsey beat Laura 21-15 21-19.
In the B Round final Emma Donald (Moray) beat Rebecca Reid (Orkney) 21-10 21-7 and Claire Johnston (Aberdeen) beat Alison Shearer (Orkney) 21-19 21-10 in the final of the C Round.
Many thanks to all players for entering and to Black Isle Leisure Centre staff in their continued use of the facility.
HBG volunteers did provide tea/coffee, sandwiches and home baking and I would like to thank Marion McCoustra, Andrew Durrand and Jane Grant.
HBG are all volunteers and I would like to thank all helpers at the weekend who freely give up time to make Highland tournaments possible – Ian Campbell, Jane Grant, David Barrie, Sharon Barrie, and our youngest helper Abigail Barrie, with the phrase of the weekend ‘Don’t worry – I’m on it’ to ensure new shuttles were out and table kept tidy.
Juniors admittance to adult tournaments – HBG would like to make all juniors aware that we do allow you into adult tournaments and we do expect a level of behaviour - you must show respect to facility staff and HBG officials. It has been reported that some juniors were being asked continually to sit down and stay away from courts whilst players were on, along with upsetting facility staff. Most juniors’ behaviour was exemplary but we must insist all juniors show respect else will not allow the offenders admittance into future adult tournaments; this is not a playground you are in.
Finally I would like to thank those who do travel miles to our tournaments for the continued support – Orkney in particular, along with those who have overnight stays due to excessive distance to travel. This is a mammoth effort for accommodation and transport costs.
Report and images courtesy of Margaret Campbell, HBG Tournament Organiser
Full results are available here