SSBU Round Up: Secondary Championships

134 players from all over Scotland gathered at Grange Academy, Kilmarnock on 9th & 10th March to take part in the SSBU Secondary Championships. They came from as far afield as Peebles in the Borders to Mid Yell in Shetland. This year the organisers reverted to playing all events on Saturday with semifinals and finals on Sunday. However there was a slight adjustment to this with the senior girls events where both singles and mixed had just 5 entries and a pool of 5 was completed on Saturday.

There were 30 players in the junior boys singles and in this event all 8 seeded players made their way safely to the quarter finals. Top seed Calum Tsang had a hard semi-fianl beating Nathan Luo 21-10,17-21,21-11 before taking on Reyansh Arora(Jordanhill) in the final.  The final was to prove even closer with Reyansh winning in 45 minutes with a score of 12-21,21-17,21-17.Reyansh had a good championships as he went on to win the doubles as well with partner Nathan Wong. In this doubles event our Shetland players Callum Brown & Max Finnie (Mid Yell) lost their first match in 3 sets but went on to take the consolation medals back to Shetland.

The seeding for the event obviously worked quite well with the top 8 players also reaching the quarter finals in the girls singles. The final was between Jaagruti Mannem & Shreya Vergheese, both from St. Ninian’s. Jaagruti took the title winning 21-11,21-8 before pairing up with Shreya to win the girls doubles event. In the junior mixed it was time for players from the East to take top place with the title going to Craigmount High pair Melrick Dsouza & Amy Hunter.

On to the Intermediate events where the boys singles had the largest entry of 32 players. Yet again the 8 seeded players all reached the quarter finals. And the first upset was top seed Alfie Sweeney (Bellahouston) losing in the semi final to Max McCabe. Max then had to face second seed Lucas Chin (Hutcheson’s) in the final. Irene Blair was in charge of this match and having just had been in charge of Reyansh’s 45 minute final now had a 48 minute match. Lucas eventually took the title winning 22-20,20-22,21-19. In the boys doubles the seeding just didn’t work out with 3 of the seeded pairs losing their first match. Tharun Kalva & Abhi Verma (Williamwood High) had a good event going all the way to the final but Alfie Sweeney wanted to make up for his loss in the singles and with partner Ciaran Hope won the final 21-5,21-10.

In the girls singles top seed Anshita Jaiswal (High School of Glasgow) had a tiring event. She first had a fairly close game against Lucy Degg, winning 21-14,21-17 and then came up against Bellahouston’s Shona Brown in the semi final. Anshita took 34 minutes to win this match and then took a minute longer to defeat Thurso player Chloe MacKenzie 21-16,11-21,21-17 in the final.

The girls doubles proved a bit of a nightmare for the organisers. Dunblane players Esme Burns and Ana McKie won their quarter final on Saturday evening and were due to play top seeds Anshita Jaiswal and Swara Shimpi in the semi final on Sunday. Unfortunately Esme was ill on Sunday and Anshita and Swara were also unable to play so the bottom half semi-final became the final. Bellahouston’s Shona Brown & Esther Meldrum had to play Thurso pair Chloe MacKenzie & Ava Cook. Chloe was having a good championships and the title went to the Thurso pair who won a tight final 21-18,21-17.

This year there were no triple winners at the championships but quite a few won 2 titles and Lucas took his second title in the Intermediate Mixed when he paired up with Thenoo Annamalai winning 21-13,21-18 in the final against Bellahouston pair Ciran Hope & Esther Meldrum.

In the senior boys singles Luca Ianetta (Grove Academy) played really well defeating ¾ seed Max Law in the quarter final and 2nd seed Matthew Brown (Williamwood) in the semi-final. In the final he came up against top seed Finn Callister (Bellahouston)  and with another 48 mnute final it was just as well that the organisers were able to use 3 courts for the finals. Finn eventually took this title with a score of 21-23,21-12,21-15.

Luca was top seed in the boys doubles with partner Scott Fraser. In this event however unseeded pair Jack Adamson & Alistair Milne from Perth Academy came through to take the title beating Luca and Scott in yet another 3 set final 22-20,16-21,21-15.The senior girls singles was played as a pool of 5. Bellahouston player Lanna Campbell lost only 21 points in total in the 8 sets she played to take the title. The girls doubles had just 3 pairs and the title here went to Berwickshire High players Erin Doyle & Millie McManus, with runners up Danya Kakumani & Padma Podugu for West Calder High.

Lanna and Finn became another of our double champions by winning the mixed doubles. This was again a pool of 5 players so it was quite difficult to schedule all the matches required but fortunately none of the games in this pool went to three sets.

The championships went very well and thanks again to Grange Academy where staff always do their best to ensure that everything can run as smoothly as possible. Tournament TV was on display in the main hall, outside the second hall and in the cafeteria  on 75 inch screens and the Provost of Kilmarnock visited the finals. We hope the primary championships at Stirling will prove to be equally successful.