February

Gilmour wins eighth title as Newall takes her first

Kirsty Gilmour won her eighth consecutive women’s singles final today at the Yonex Scottish National Championships at Bell’s Sports Centre, Perth.

She beat Holly Newall 21-16 21-10 in the final, setting a new record of consecutive titles and taking her one step closer to Anne Robertson’s overall tally of nine titles, which was won over the course of 10 seasons from 1988 to 1998.

“I think it’s a new record of consecutive titles so I’m feeling pretty good” said Gilmour

“It’s always difficult. People might think it’s easy for me to come here and win but it’s definitely not.

“All the girls want to beat me so it has been good to come here, get the job done and check off another national title.

“In the doubles we had nothing to lose against Holly and Julie and we gave them a bit of a scare. It felt really good to be on the doubles court again and I enjoyed it but I’ll stick to singles being my main event!”

Newall and Julie MacPherson had beaten Gilmour and her partner Basia Grodynska in the semi-finals of the ladies’ doubles this morning before coming from a game down to beat Eleanor O’Donnell and Ciara Torrance in the final.

That meant Newall won her first senior national title, having contested a number of finals since 2014 without taking the top step of the podium and speaking afterwards she was understandably delighted.

“It feels amazing to be honest”, she said. “It’s a huge relief as well, I’ve been wanting one for years.

“Last year we came close and this year we dropped the first set at the start of the semi and the final but we dug deep and won the second and third.

“Overall I’m really happy with my performance. I think we played well. They played better than us in the first set but we just used the plan we knew before the match and overall it was pretty solid.”

Kieran Merrilees won his seventh title to continue his dominance in the men’s singles, beating Joshua Apiliga in the semi-finals before scoring a 21-11 21-11 final win over Ciar Pringle, who had beaten former champion Matthew Carder in the semi-finals to reach his first senior national final.

Alex Dunn and Adam Hall retained their men’s doubles title, beating Christopher and Matthew Grimley 21-14 21-14 in the final but the twins asked some difficult questions of the reigning champions.

“They always were going to be difficult to play, especially with their style of play” said Hall.

“They always get a lot of shots back so we had to work hard to win every point. You don’t get many easy ones against them.

“They definitely have a great future and we are looking forward to the challenge they will bring over the next few years.”

Dunn continued: “We’re pretty pleased about defending the title. Right from the get go I think me and Adam showed our dominance.

“There were a couple of times when they got a run of points but we always managed to turn things round quickly to get back on track so really happy to retain the title.”

In the final match of the day Hall and MacPherson doubled their trophy tally, beating defending champions Dunn and O’Donnell 21-17 21-18 to secure their first national mixed doubles title.

The Derrick Roarty Award, recognising the outstanding services to badminton of the recipient, was presented to Jim Duncan by Badminton Scotland President Ian Campbell, immediately before the start of the finals.

Mr Duncan has been a mainstay of North East schools badminton for the last 40 years, having started as a badminton volunteer in 1978, coaching children in the local primary school in Kemnay.

The Yonex Scottish National Championships were staged at Bell’s Sports Centre, Perth, from 1-3 February 2019 with support from Perth and Kinross Council, Live Active Leisure and the Perth Common Good Fund.

Full results at www.tournamentsoftware.com