Shetland Luca Russell’s Triple Title Success at Orkney Highland Championships

Over 90 competitors took part in Highland Badminton Group restricted tournament held in  Orkney at the weekend.

Players from Shetland, Western Isles, Inverness, Caithness, Ross-shire  and Orkney descended on the Pickaquoy  Leisure  Complex, in Kirkwall for the 2 days of competition.

This is the second year Orkney Badminton Association hosted this event  for under 14, under 16 and under 18’s in all 5 disciplines.

Singles and doubles were held on the Saturday  with all 8 courts in constant use form 9.30 through to 6pm.

The mixed competition ran on the Sunday from 9am to 2pm, allowing the many travellers,  time to catch their ferries and planes back to their respective location.

With so many competitors arriving on the Friday, players were keen and eager for the competition to begin.

From the off,  competition was fierce, rallies were hard fought  and with little separating so many of the competitors, it was not surprising that so many of the spoils were spread across all areas of the Highlands & Islands.

This is very reassuring for Highland Badminton Group and all the local coaches to see the quality in depth across the area. Players had to battle through the group stages, before making it into the main knockout draw.

Jane Grant said: “A huge well done to all the organisers and volunteers that ensured the smooth running of the event. Keeping tabs on results and ensuring there were no empty courts was a mammoth task.

“Thanks to the excellent planning and organisation before and during the event, from Margaret Campbell, Eion Ballantine and their team of helpers, the event ran very well, keeping to the time line and allowing players time to recover between matches.”

Coaching Convenor for Orkney Junior Badminton, Eion Ballantine said:

“Hosting this event was a big deal for us and we are absolutely delighted to have had such a big entry (  93 competitors). Thanks to the coaches and parents for bringing your players over.

“The standard of play was very impressive, across all age groups, as was the conduct of players both on and off the court. It was a really friendly competition with many new friends made and old friends re-acquainted.

“Many games went to 3 sets, with long rallies, pushing the players to their limit. It was very encouraging to see how the youngsters handled the pressure of competition and responded in such a positive fashion.

“On behalf of Orkney Junior Badminton , I would like to thank all the volunteers and helpers that made this tournament so successful, helping at the tables, gathering the players, providing food for lunches and so much more, also the Picky for preparing the venue for the event and providing the suppers in the evening.

“A big thank you to Margaret Campbell HBG, who prepared the draw and was on hand throughout the event to ensure scores were always updated and available to view on line.

“There will be some very tired people heading home at the end of this competition, tired, but I hope happy to have played”


U18 results:
Luca Russell picked up the triple titles in singles doubles and mixed; albeit having to battle to the end in the singles semi-final to secure the win over Joe Thomson in a thriller battle.  Chloe Hitchin secured singles title and mixed title but could not get past Megan Campbell and Morven Coghill for doubles title with partner Kira Eldridge – very tight 3 setter.  The boys’ doubles saw an tough 3 setter between Igor Gazda/Joe Thomson against Ian Campbell/Mark McCoustra with Ian/Mark securing the win for 2nd place.  The mixed saw continual movement of placing in the round robin where the last game went to points difference for 3rd place – very close indeed for all pairs.

Boys Singles Title: Luca Russell Shetland
Final Luca Russell  –  Kingsley Ho 21-11 21-9 ;
3/4 Igor Gazda  –  Joe Thomson 18-21 21-16 Ret.;
SF Luca Russell  –  Joe Thomson 18-21 21-14 21-16 ;
SF Kingsley Ho  –  Igor Gazda 21-18 21-19 ;
Plate Reid Kemp  –  Mark Mccoustra 21-10 21-11 ;

Girls Singles Title: Chloe Hitchin, Shetland
Final Chloe Hitchin  –  Megan Campbell 21-16 21-14 ;
3/4 Freya Stevenson  –  Morven Coghill 21-10 21-0 ;
SF Megan Campbell  –  Freya Stevenson 21-19 21-13 ;
SF Chloe Hitchin  –  Morven Coghill 21-16 21-10 ;
Plate Ruth Morris  –  Kirsten Keay 21-12 21-8 ;

Boys Doubles Title:  Luca Russell & Kingsley Ho, Sheltand
Final Kingsley Ho+Luca Russell  –  Ian Campbell+Mark Mccoustra 21-18 21-14 ;
RR Ian Campbell+Mark Mccoustra  –  Igor Gazda+Joe Thomson 18-21 21-18 21-12 ;
RR Kingsley Ho+Luca Russell  –  Igor Gazda+Joe Thomson 21-14 21-15 ;

Girls Doubles Title:  Megan Campbell & Morven Coghill, Inverness/Caithness
Final Megan Campbell+Morven Coghill  –  Kira Eldridge+Chloe Hitchin 21-16 16-21 21-14 ;
RR Kira Eldridge+Chloe Hitchin  –  Molly Cant+Freya Stevenson 25-23 21-15 ;
RR Megan Campbell+Morven Coghill  –  Molly Cant+Freya Stevenson 21-19 25-23 ;

Mixed Doubles Title: Luca Russell + Chloe Hitchin, Shetland
Final Luca Russell+Chloe Hitchin  –  Igor Gazda+Kirsten Keay 21-11 21-17 ;
RR Igor Gazda+Kirsten Keay  –  Kingsley Ho+Kira Eldridge 21-18 16-21 23-21 ;
RR Luca Russell+Chloe Hitchin  –  Kingsley Ho+Kira Eldridge 21-7 21-12 ;
Plate Mark Mccoustra+Morven Coghill  –  Igor Gazda+Kirsten Keay 21-15 21-18 ;

U16 results:

Double titles for Tommy Ballantine and Nicole Miller.  Sophie Barrie dominated to take girls singles title – 2 years out of her age group; preventing the triple win for Nicole Miller.  Tommy missed out on the triple title in close 3 setter in mixed with Ian Campbell and Nicole Miller narrowing winning 21-18 3rd set.

Boys Singles Title: Tommy Ballantine, Orkney
Final Tommy Ballantine  –  Ian Campbell 21-13 21-12 ;
3/4 Andrew Seator  –  Bye ;
SF Ian Campbell  –  Andrew Seator 21-11 21-13 ;
SF Tommy Ballantine  –  Liam Barnett 21-5 13-4 Ret.;
Plate Aiden Foubister  –  Calvin Slater 21-17 21-14 ;

Girls Singles Title: Sophie Barrie, Inverness
Final Sophie Barrie  –  Nicole Miller 21-12 21-4 ;
3/4 Maria Hutchison  –  Abby Munro 21-14 21-10 ;
SF Sophie Barrie  –  Maria Hutchison 21-16 21-13 ;
SF Nicole Miller  –  Abby Munro 21-16 21-12 ;
Plate Olivia Brown  –  Erika Poke 23-21 21-14 ;

Boys Doubles Title: Tommy Ballantine & Aiden Foubister, Orkney
Final Tommy Ballantine+Aiden Foubister  –  Connor Scott+Andrew Seator 21-9 21-7 ;
3/4 Ross Fraser+Stephen Leask  –  Wayne Leask+Matthew Spence 21-19 16-21 21-13 ;
SF Tommy Ballantine+Aiden Foubister  –  Ross Fraser+Stephen Leask 21-9 21-11 ;
SF Connor Scott+Andrew Seator  –  Wayne Leask+Matthew Spence 23-21 21-15 ;
Plate Fahmad Askari+Zaigham Askari  –  Alex Cooper+Calvin Slater 18-21 21-12 25-23 ;

Girls Doubles Title: Nicole Miller & Abby Munro, Caithness
Final Nicole Miller+Abby Munro  –  Maria Hutchison+Karis Leask 21-12 17-21 21-10 ;
3/4 Ann Lennie+Keira Stevenson  –  Olivia Brown+Nia Hunter 21-8 21-11 ;
SF Nicole Miller+Abby Munro  –  Ann Lennie+Keira Stevenson 21-10 21-18 ;
SF Maria Hutchison+Karis Leask  –  Olivia Brown+Nia Hunter 21-12 21-4 ;
Plate Katie Munro+Nicola Sutherland  –  Fern Mackay+Beth Mackenzie 21-18 21-13 ;

Mixed Doubles Title: Ian Campbell & Nicole Miller, Inverness / Catihness
Final Ian Campbell+Nicole Miller  –  Tommy Ballantine+Keira Stevenson 21-23 21-14 21-18 ;
3/4 Andrew Seator+Nicola Sutherland  –  Stephen Leask+Maria Hutchison 19-21 21-13 21-18 ;
SF Ian Campbell+Nicole Miller  –  Stephen Leask+Maria Hutchison 21-18 21-12 ;
SF Tommy Ballantine+Keira Stevenson  –  Andrew Seator+Nicola Sutherland 21-19 21-10 ;
Plate Nairn Hall+Erika Poke  –  Connor Scott+Beth Mackenzie 21-12 21-7 ;

U14 results:

There were 4 double titles: Erlend Ballantine, Keith Bray, Beth MacPhail & Sophie Barrie (U16 singles title).  Erlend narrowly missed out on triple title in a thriller against Keith Bray and Beth Macphail in mixed final with Keith and Beth prevailing 21-18 3rd set.  In the boys’ singles saw an epic 3rd place play off with Keith Bray and James brown with James winning 22-20 3rd set.  The youngest competitor of the day saw Abi Barrie battle to the final of the girls’ singles – one to watch for the future.

Boys Singles Title: Erlend Ballantine, Orkney
Final Erlend Ballantine  –  Thomas Calder 12-3 Ret.;
3/4 James Brown  –  Keith Bray 15-21 21-18 22-20 ;
SF Thomas Calder  –  Keith Bray 21-12 21-14 ;
SF Erlend Ballantine  –  James Brown 21-12 21-4 ;
Plate Zaigham Askari  –  Drew Leslie 21-16 21-14 ;

Girls Singles Title: Beth MacPhail, Western Isles
Final Beth Macphail  –  Abigail Barrie 21-9 21-15 ;
3/4 Leah Gunn  –  Sophie Tait 21-13 21-17 ;
SF Beth Macphail  –  Sophie Tait 21-16 21-12 ;
SF Abigail Barrie  –  Leah Gunn 21-17 16-21 21-14 ;
Plate Martha Colclough  –  Cady Shearer 21-15 21-16 ;

Boys Doubles Title: Erlend Ballantine & Keith Bray, Orkney/Western Isles
Final Erlend Ballantine+Keith Bray  –  Thomas Calder+Sven Thomson 19-21 21-13 21-13 ;
3/4 William Anderson+Yann Mouat  –  James Brown+Connor Wares 21-17 21-14 ;
SF Thomas Calder+Sven Thomson  –  William Anderson+Yann Mouat 21-11 21-13 ;
SF Erlend Ballantine+Keith Bray  –  James Brown+Connor Wares 21-17 21-8 ;
Plate Robbie Clouston+Jamie Tulloch  –  Daniel Ross+Jack Wallace 21-16 21-10 ;

Girls Doubles Title: Abi Barrie & Sophie Barrie, Inverness
Final Abigail Barrie+Sophie Barrie  –  Millie Flett+Leah Gunn 21-15 21-14 ;
3/4 Gemma Foulis+Shannon Leslie  –  Jody Groundwater+Erin Miller 22-24 21-16 21-15 ;
SF Abigail Barrie+Sophie Barrie  –  Gemma Foulis+Shannon Leslie 21-11 21-14 ;
SF Millie Flett+Leah Gunn  –  Jody Groundwater+Erin Miller 21-11 16-21 21-17 ;
Plate Kirsty Henderson+Beth Macphail  –  Payton Johnston+Evie Stubbs 21-8 21-10 ;

Mixed Doubles Title: Keith Bray & Beth MacPhail, Western Isles
Final Keith Bray+Beth Macphail  –  Erlend Ballantine+Jody Groundwater 16-21 21-11 21-18 ;
3/4 Thomas Calder+Sophie Tait  –  Drew Leslie+Shannon Leslie 21-10 21-17 ;
SF Keith Bray+Beth Macphail  –  Thomas Calder+Sophie Tait 21-17 21-15 ;
SF Erlend Ballantine+Jody Groundwater  –  Drew Leslie+Shannon Leslie 21-10 21-18 ;
Plate Yann Mouat+Cara Montgomery  –  Zaigham Askari+Erin Sutherland 21-18 21-18 ;

Many thanks:
A great big thank you to the Pickaquoy centre for hosting the event.  The tournament was run by volunteers who made the day a success – grateful thanks; especially to Eion Ballantine for before hall preparations and on day smooth running.  More importantly to all players for the fabulous efforts throughout the day and their parents allowing them to take part.

Refreshments throughout the day – many thanks to Orkney community for putting together a very large table with sandwiches/pizza, home baking, fruit & juice/tea/coffees.  It was such a welcome sight for all travelling.

Click here for full results

You can find loads of pictures on the Orkney Junior Badminton facebook page

Report & images courtesy of Margaret Campbell, HBG Organiser