Badminton Life

Leith Repeats History for The Family Line

Whilst the big name international players get the majority of attention from badminton fans there needs to be attention given to the grass roots level of the game.

One of the most important tournaments for youth players in Scotland is the Scottish Primary Schools Badminton Championships. Bringing together some of the best young players in the country, this tournament is an exciting attraction and addition to the Scottish badminton calendar.

A little bit of history was repeated in the Males Doubles tournament, which was won by Mark Leith and Jacob Reynold. Mark Leith's father, Donald Leith, won the same prestigious tournament 31 years ago when he was partnered by David Moreland.

The level of skill and quality shown by Leith and Reynolds throughout the tournament was indicative of their overall talent. The duo never dropped a single set throughout their thrilling triumph and were worthy winners. They started the tournament as the sixth seeds but there was some hope that they would be able to win the competition and so it proved.

The duo passed through their pool without much fuss or trouble, but they were expected to be facing a tricky tie in their first round knockout match. They were going to be facing the eventual winner of the singles Alasdair Gordon and Andrew Smith but they proved no match for Leith and Reynolds.

Following from this, the quarter final match up saw them against Andrew Milton and Matthew Crawshaw of Ayrshire. As tough as the game was supposed to be on paper, the 21-4, 21-11 triumph showed that Leith and Reynold were worthy of their place in the semi-final.

In the semi-final, they were up against Robert Clark and Jordan Curtis but yet again, the eventual winners breezed through the tie with the minimum of fuss. The final followed much of the same pattern as Leith and Reynolds triumphed 21-16, 21-17 over Callum McMillan and David Moffat.

There was to be no stopping Leith and Reynolds but the match was a perfect example of the emotion and dedication shown by the young badminton players. Driven on by a noisy crowd and playing in front of parents and grandparents, there was little sign of nerves from the players.

With the tournament being for young players, it is difficult to say if any of the players will make it but the display would have warmed any badminton fan. There is a school of thought that young players shouldn't be exposed to such intense pressure but these players showed composure and quality far in advance of their years.

Other victors in the tournament were the Morrison twins, Sophie and Hannah who were triumphant in the Girls Doubles event.? Sophie Morrison also managed to triumph in the Girls singles event and can be seen as a good tip for the future.

With the current national team enjoying a rich run of form, it is comforting to know that the future of Scottish badminton looks equally bright. Who can say if the current crop of youngsters will progress to international honours and tournaments but if they continue at the current rate, the possibility shouldn't be ruled out.

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