SSBU Season Opener: Round Up

By Hugh Ainsley

The SSBU started off their new season with two events last weekend. On Saturday 28th October it was the 2010 Age Group event at Wishaw.

The boys singles had 19 entries and went entirely to seeding with Charlie Junnor, Calum Tsang, Reyansh Arora and Dylan Jia winning their pools and then getting through to the semi finals.

Unfortunately in the bottom semi Reyansh had to retire injured during the second set. leaving Dylan to face Charlie in the final. Dylan came close in the first set in the final but Charlie won the event with a 21-18,21-5 scoreline.

There were 5 pairs in the boys doubles and here Charlie paired up with Calum. There were some long games in the pool but Charlie & Calum won all their matches without dropping a set to take the title with Melrick Dsouza & Dylan taking second place.
13 girls entered the singles with the 4 seeds again qualifying for the A knockout but Zoe Dickson had only finished second in her pool losing to Akshara Chavan. Akshara put up a good fight against Emily Jobson in the semi-final but finally lost 21-15,21-19 leaving Emily to face Elona Kennedy in the final. The final was also close with Elona justifying her top seeded place with a 21-16, 22-20 victory.
There were 5 pairs in the girls doubles and it looked as if the deciding match was between Riya Bhaskar & Lexie Boland and Emily & Elona. This match took 34 minutes with Emily & Alona losing the first set 21-10 but then taking the next 2 games 21-17, 21-19. However Zoe Dixon & Zoe Tait had been playing well and in a 38 minute tussle defeated Emily & Alona 14-21,22-20,22-20 leaving a 3 way tie in the pool.
Unfortunately for the Zoe Dixon and Zoe Tait, this victory only took them to third place as they had only won 6 games with the other 2 pairs having won 7. It did however mean that the winners were Riya & Lexie.

Senior Inter-Area Event

Some of the players from Saturday were back with SSBU on Sunday for the senior inter-area event at the Sir Craig Reedie Centre.

An unfortunate clash of dates with an Anglo-Scottish event (not known at the time of setting the dates) meant that teams were struggling for players and had to use younger players in this senior event.

Although 4 teams were initially entered only Lothian, Lanarkshire and Glasgow & North Strathclyde were able to play. The Lanark team were particularly young even playing young Arisha Manir who achieved a singles victory in one of the matches.

The opening rubber was Glasgow against Lanark with the Glasgow team winning 9-1 although the match was much closer than the scoreline suggests with many tight games.

There was then a slight delay as problems on the M8 caused Lothian manager Douglas Walker to arrive late and in fact the match between Lothian and Lanark started before he eventually arrived.  Lothian won this match by 8 rubbers to 2 with Lanark taking both girls singles games – Elona  Kennedy defeating Jennifer Feng 21-17, 22-20 and Arisha beating Louise Newcombe 21-17, 21-18.

With 6 courts available  the mixed doubles and singles games were all on court  at the same time for the final. Lothian won both mixed and both boys singles but Glasgow took the 2 girls singles giving a 4-2 scoreline in favour of Lothian with the level doubles games still to come. Lothian took the first boys doubles but with Glasgow & North Strathclyde taking the other boys double and both girls doubles the match was tied.

The event was won by the Glasgow/NS team due to their better scoreline against Lanark although they did win the match against Edinburgh on points if required.

SSBU are hoping that with the SSBU areas now aligned with the Badminton Scotland groups it should be easier to get area teams to enter the team events.

It is disappointing that there are only 4 teams entered for the Intermediate event in 2 weeks time and we hope to have a better entry for the junior event in December. These events are always enjoyable for the players and often with very close results.