The Yonex Scottish National Badminton Championships ended with a world class men’s doubles final today as Alex Dunn and Adam Hall regained the trophy they last won in 2020 at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth.
In a final contested by the Scottish Open men’s doubles champions of 2019 (Dunn and Hall) and 2021 (the Grimleys), it was the more experienced pair who claimed the title, muting the birthday celebrations of the twins who turned 22 today.
They won 21-19 25-23 to take their fourth and fifth national men’s doubles titles respectively.
Dunn and Hall had got the afternoon’s finals off to a rousing start when they faced up to each other in a competitive mixed doubles event.
In the first final of the day it was Hall and Julie MacPherson who emerged triumphant, winning 22-20 21-8 against Dunn and Ciara Torrance.
Both pairs had looked close to suffering shock semi-final exits this morning. Top seeds Hall and MacPherson took 42 minutes to beat Chistopher Grimley and Eleanor O’Donnell 10-21 21-13 21-18 while second seeds Dunn and Torrance also came from behind to beat Jack MacGregor and Sarah Sidebottom 15-21 21-7 21-18.
Speaking after the final, MacPherson said “It feels really good. We missed last year because Adam was injured so it was good to get the trophy together again.
“We played quite a solid final. We started quite strong and got a good lead in the first before they brought it back, but we were happy to get the win in the end.
“The standard has been good today, especially the mixed doubles. I think both the semis went to three sets. We know Chris and Eleanor quite well, we play them a lot in training, so it’s just whoever comes out on top today and thankfully we were.”
Hall added “I’m happy to be back. It was bad timing last year but luckily it wasn’t a serious injury and I’m happy to be back playing with Julie and back playing the Nationals again.
“For us it’s probably a little bit more pressure because we’re the ones everyone is trying to beat so that makes it a little bit more difficult for us.
“I think that’s what happened in the mixed semi-final when Chris and Eleanor played unbelievable in the first set and we were nowhere near them but thankfully our experience shone through a little bit and we just hung in there until we got our rhythm.”
In a repeat of last year’s men’s singles final, Callum Smith retained his title, coming from a set down to beat Joshua Apiliga 14-21 21-11 21-14.
It was the first time either player had lost a set on their way to the final as the top two seeds dominated the event, but in the end Smith proved just too strong and Apiliga will have to wait another year for the chance to win a maiden senior national title.
“It feels really good to come away with a second national title at 19-years old, said Smith. “I was quite nervous and I think it showed, but I’m happy to come away with the win in the end.”
Rachel Sugden also defended her women’s singles trophy, beating U19 National Champion Abbie Brooks 21-14 13-21 21-15.
“It feels really good” she said afterwards. “I wouldn’t say I played my best over this weekend but I’m happy to have been able to just get through the games and take the win.
“I think the nerves got to me a little bit more this year because I felt the pressure of already having the title. Last year there wasn’t that pressure there.
“But I was happy to hold my nerve enough to win.”
Joint 3/4 seed Brooks had upset the seeding in the semi-finals with a 24-22 21-12 win over second seed and last year’s finalist Basia Grodynska while Sugden squeezed past the other 3/4 seed Toni Woods, but only just. The top seed won 21-15 21-23 21-15.
And in the women’s doubles, MacPherson and Torrance won their third title in a row, beating Holly Newall and Sarah Sidebottom 21-8 24-22 in the final.
That gave MacPherson her second title of the day, her sixth women’s doubles title in a row and her tenth national senior title in total.
The prizes were presented by Provost Dennis Molloy of Perth & Kinross Council, accompanied by Badminton Scotland’s President Frank Turnbull.
The Yonex Scottish National Championships was staged at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth with support from Perth and Kinross Council, Live Active Leisure and the Perth Common Good Fund.
Full results and draws are at https://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament?id=B19702AA-98C9-4B53-B2E0-39055D5AA5FF