Glasgow & Strathclyde Under 15s
In a break from the International teams taking part in the Thomas and Uber Cups in Holland, Scottish fans had the opportunity to go along and see some of the finest young talent in the badminton game as the Glasgow & Strathclyde Under 15s tournament took place in Glasgow's Cockburn Centre on the 9th February
The real international action may have been taking place overseas but there was an international tinge to this tournament as for the first time ever, the competition allowed entrants from Ulster in Northern Ireland although the local entrants may have wished this was not the case as the eventual winner of the Boys Single event hailed from there.
The future of Scottish, and Northern Irish, badminton appears to be in safe hands if these players can continue their development and form that they have already hinted at in their careers so far.
The Boys event featured 35 players and a shock came when the number two seed, Edward Cogliano, was defeated at the quarter final stage by Josh Neil by a score of 18-21, 12-15 and 21-16. Neil was clearly making things hard for himself as every match he took part in on the way to the final lasted for three matches. On one hand it showed he did not have the total quality to dominate opponents but it says a lot for the boys determination and attitude in that he managed to bounce back in every single game and not let dropping a set affect his game too much.
Although he managed to triumph over the number two seed, Josh Neil could find the same magic formula to defeat the number one seed as Ruaraidh Sim justified his ranking with a convincing 21-6, 21-9 victory in the final. Sim had been equally comprehensive in all his matches throughout the tournament and it was no surprise to see him walk away with the plaudits and prize in the Boys Single event.
The Boys Doubles event also brought some excitement but like the Singles event went true to form as the number one seeds Neil Atterbury and Rajan Bhopal triumphed without dropping a single game and even though the final saw them competing against the number two seeds in Edward Cogliano and Usman Ulhaq, a 21-13, 21-18 score line was indicative of their quality and superiority.
The girl's event featured 25 players and contained far more surprises than the boys tournaments had conjured up. By the close of the quarter final rounds, three out of the four top seeds had been defeated, leaving joint third seed Caitlin Gilmour to carry the flag for the pre-tournament favorites.
Gilmour made it through to the final only to be defeated by Rebekka Finlay who triumphed 21-14, 21-13.
Although the top seed in the Girls Singles event, Anna Kay, would have been disappointed with her individual showing as well as her doubles showing. She along with partner Rachel MacLeod lost 19-21, 23-21, 16-21 to Robyn Glen and Caitlin Pringle. The close run nature of the final indicated the quality of the match and it was an exhilarating end to the event.
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