Badminton Life

Students Shine at the Scottish University Championships

The 2008 Scottish University Badminton Championships yet again turned out to be a thrilling tournament and yet again the victor was Stuart Gilliland who made it two triumphs in a row as he successfully defended his Men's Singles title at the event which was held at Strathclyde University.

In a hard fought final, Gilliland who is a Glasgow University student which no doubt made his victory in the home of their great city rival even sweeter, managed to hold out for a 21-14, 22-20 victory over Craig Goddard. This in itself was no mean feat as Goddard is the current National Men's Singles Champion but this could not prevent the 23 year old West of Scotland University student from slipping to defeat in the final.

Whilst Gilliland was able to celebrate being a successful defending champion the Ladies Singles event had a different twist with Alison Laing, also of Glasgow University, losing in the final which meant it was the second year in a row where she had lost in the final.

It takes great courage to come back from a final defeat and no doubt many of the crowd were rooting for Laing to triumph this year but in the end, Laing was comfortably defeated by Glasgow Caledonians Julie Boyd by a score of 21-8, 21-8. Given the closeness of the Men's final, the Ladies was unable to match up in tightness but it was still an enjoyable tie where Boyd deserved her victory.

If coming back from a losing final last year to participate again wasn't a large enough sign of Laing's character, it was even more on show when she managed to retain her Doubles event title as she and her partner Lynne Kerr held their nerve to be another set of returning champions at this years event. And to top off the joy felt by Laing, one of the defeated finalists in the Ladies Doubles was Julie Boyd, who had won the Singles event. Boyd and her partner Jennifer Laing were the defeated finalists but no doubt were heartened by their overall showing in an enjoyable tournament.

The Men's Doubles tournament was decided in the favor of home venue competitors David Gilmore and Greg Anderson with a 21-12, 21-11 score line over the Heriot Watt pairing of Peter Hockey and Greg Petrie and if that wasn't enough of an example of Gilmore's Doubles prowess, it was underlined by a 22-20, 14-21, 21-14 victory in the Mixed Doubles final, where Gilmore and his partner Lynn Dargie triumphed in an epic match.

One person who would have been shattered by the result would have been Peter Hockey, who added his Men's Doubles defeat to the Mixed Doubles loss as he and his partner Rova Arabashi battled hard and did well in taking the second set but couldn't win the all important third set.

The Scottish University Badminton Championships aren't just important for the chance to pick up some silver wear but they act as a good indicator for which players will be selected for the Scottish Universities Badminton Team which participates in the Home Nations Badminton Championships so there is every chance that this tournament will not be the last time you will hear of the winners.

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