Sugden through to Yonex Nationals Semi-finals at first attempt

Rachel Sugden is through to the semi-finals at her first Yonex Scottish National Championships in Perth.

The 15-year-old from Alexandria, who last weekend was runner-up at the Swedish Under 17 International in Uppsala, is looking forward to a contest tomorrow morning with last year’s runner-up and second seed Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh).
To reach the semi-finals Sugden scored two straight-game wins. First she overcame Ralston’s Erin Waddell 21-12 21-13 then toppled Prestwick’s Ciara Torrance 21-18 21-17.
She said: “This is my first time in this event and I have never played Julie before, not even in a club match.
“I have no expectations. I just want to go out and enjoy myself.”
Sugden, who was also still in contention in the women’s doubles as the event moved into the quarter-final stage, added: “I finished second in a junior tournament last weekend in Sweden and that his given me a lift.”
MacPherson, who was runner-up in singles, doubles and mixed at last year’s Nationals, began with a bye then knocked out Edinburgh’s Basia Grodynska 21-7 21-8.

The other semi-final will see Bothwell’s top seed Kirsty Gilmour taking on 2014 and 2015 runner-up Holly Newall of Mauchline.
Gilmour, back on court after her long injury lay-off, started her bid for a sixth successive women’s singles title with a bye then disposed of Dundee’s Lauren Middleton 21-12 21-2.
Newall had to work for her place in the semi-finals. She had to come back from a game down to beat Musselburgh’s Rachel Cameron 19-21 21-10 21-11 and then toppled Falkirk’s Toni Woods 21-8 21-7.

In the men’s singles Kieran Merrilees is seeking a fourth title after being forced to sit out last year’s Nationals through injury.
The top seed from Glasgow booked his semi-final place with a 21-4 21-9 win over Craig Young of Falkirk before disposing of Stonehaven’s Matthew Duguid 21-13 21-9. That earned him a semi-final against joint third seed Ben Torrance of Paisley.
Torrance beat Glasgow’s Christopher Grimley 21-19 21-13 and Steven Stewart of Alexandria 21-17 21-10.

In the bottom half of the draw South Queensferry’s defending champion and second seed Matthew Carder scored straight-game wins over teenagers Joshua Apiliga of Glasgow 21-11 21-13 and Ciar Pringle of Giffnock 21-15 21-10
But there was a surprise in the last quarter-final when Glasgow’s Danny Leinster knocked out Motherwell’s 3 /4 seed Alex Dunn 22-20 24-22 in the closest of all the singles semi-finals.
Dunn had led 19-16 in both games and held game point at 20-18 in the first and held three game points in the second at 20-17, 21-20 and 22-21 before Leinster won on his first match point.

The line-up for the mixed doubles final was decided last night with Gilmour and Patrick MacHugh of Kinross taking on his men’s doubles partner Martin Campbell of Edinburgh and MacPherson

The action continued into the early evening with men’s and women’s doubles quarter-finals.
Tickets for tomorrow’s Yonex Scottish Nationals semi-finals (from 10am) and finals (from 1.45pm) are available at the Bell's Sports Centre.

The Yonex Scottish National Championships are being staged at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth courtesy of Perth and Kinross Council.

BADMINTONscotland are also indebted to Yonex UK, Live Active Leisure, Perth Common Good Fund, the management and staff at Bell’s Sports Centre, and BADMINTONscotland Court Officials and volunteers.

Results can be viewed at