January

Scotland prepare to face England in the annual McCoig Trophy Match

With an unprecedented 15 national singles titles in an international career spanning 20 years, Robert McCoig is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s greatest badminton players of all time.

He won Scotland’s first badminton medal at a Commonwealth Games, claiming bronze with Muriel Woodcock in 1966, as well as a hatful of Scottish Open titles and other major national events.

And the trophy that bears his name is set to be decided once more.

Every year at the Scottish International Masters Championships, which in 2018 takes place from January 19-21, some of the best veteran players the world has to offer do battle on the courts at the Sir Craig Reedie Badminton Centre in Glasgow.

Hours before the main competition gets under way on the 19th, however, players from England and Scotland will face-off for the Robert McCoig trophy.

Now in its 19th year, England have triumphed in all the matches between the two nations so far, but they will have their work cut out if they are to keep up this record this time around.

Six different age categories are set to do battle – over 40, over 45, over 50, over 55, over 60 and over 65 – with 28 ties in total.

Here is an analysis of how Scotland’s players line up against their English counterparts.

THE DRAW

Over 40s
In the youngest round of action, Mark MacKay, Craig Lamb and Carolyn Young will lead the Scotland charge.

MacKay’s men’s singles match is against Mark Trebble, while MacKay and Lamb face Mark King and Carl Jennings in the men’s doubles. Lamb and Young play Jennings and Lynne Swan in the mixed doubles.

Young and Lynne Campbell must negotiate Swan and Sarah Renton in the women’s doubles, with Dorothy Jim facing off against Wendy Taylor in the women’s singles.

Over 45s
Five more ties follow in the over 45s, with Chris Middleton battling it out against Tim Cope and Anne Robertson entertaining Betty Blair in the singles.

In the men’s doubles, Frazer McCulloch and Gordon Milne play Trevor Darlington and Paul Mitchell, while Robertson and Aileen Travers take on Louise Culyer and Tracy Hutchinson in the ladies’ doubles.

McCulloch and Karen MacDonald face Blair and Justin Andrews in the mixed doubles.

Over 50s
Travers also takes to the court in the Over 50s category, where she and Ross Gladwin face off in their respective singles clashes against Susan Tooke and Alistair Jones.

In the men’s doubles, Alan McMillan and Gordon Keith take on Don Burden and Jim Teale.

The women’s doubles will see Alison Johnston and Lynn Robb host Blair and Debbie Miller, with Steve Thomson and Jill Smith up against Dave Wood and Viv Gillard in the mixed.

Over 55s
Dougie McBriar faces Mike Nevett in the men’s singles, while Jim Dyet and Jim Torrance will try to negotiate a clash against Nick Goode and James Wong.

Jill Gladwin Greig and Margaret Robertson have been drawn against Chris Summers and Viv Gillard, while in the mixed doubles, it’s Colin Ross and Robin Martin against Summers and John Bowker.

Over 60s
Seasoned competitors Dan Travers and Christine Black team up in the mixed doubles over 60s against Ian Purton and Christine Crossley, with each going in their respective singles against George Joseph and Ann Bridge.

Jim McCartney and Jim McMillan face off against Trevor Hampson and Phil Richardson in the men’s doubles, while Lorraine Bennett and Margaret Robertson will aim to see off Crossley and Jenny Cox in the women’s doubles.

Over 65s
McCartney will take to the courts in his singles capacity against Graham Robinson, while England’s Robinson will join forces with Graham Holt as they battled Alastair Davidson and Alan Pirie in the men’s doubles.

In the women’s doubles, Margaret Emery and Linda Smith play Ann Hurst and Margo Witty, while Emery and Pirie take on Peter Emptage and Betty Bartlett in the mixed doubles.