Badminton stars of the future head to Ravenscraig for Scottish Junior Nationals

Alex Dunn
Alex Dunn

More than 100 young badminton prospects will contest the first Scottish Junior National Championships of the 2014/15 season this weekend.

Motherwell’s Alex Dunn and Mauchline’s Adam Hall are poised to dominate the under-19 event at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility as they join forces for the boys’ doubles and vie for superiority in the singles and mixed doubles.

Both start their boys’ singles challenges with a bye before top seed Hall meets Ciar Pringle (Giffnock) or Jacob Reynolds (Stonehaven) while second seed Dunn awaits the winner of the first-round clash between Scott Waddell (Giffnock) and Luke Fossett (Clarkston).

Joint third seeds Mark Leith (Stonehaven) and Jack Stevenson (Glasgow) are the most likely to bar Hall and Dunn’s path to a final showdown if they all come through to the semi-finals.

Stevenson and Leith’s brother Sean are second seeds in the boys’ doubles and are expected to meet Hall, who won this title last year, and Dunn in the final while in the mixed doubles Hall will defend the title he won last year with Heather MacPherson when he partners her sister Julie.

The top seeds are expected to meet second seeds Dunn and Holly Newall in the final.

Defending singles champion Newall is chasing a hat-trick of titles but Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh) could be the one to deny her.

Newall (Mauchline) starts her bid to retain her girls’ singles title when the top seed faces last year’s under-15 singles and mixed doubles champion Rachel Lu (Edinburgh) or Ciara Torrance (Prestwick) in the second round.

Second seed MacPherson starts against Annabel Young (West Linton) or Sarah Allan (Milngavie) in her second-round opener.

Newall partners Sarah Findlay (Erskine) in the girls’ doubles but they are only seeded second behind MacPherson and Beith’s Eleanor O’Donnell.

MacPherson won the title last year with her sister Heather.

Fresh from their success at the under-17 Glasgow Junior Championships, Glasgow twins Matthew and Christopher Grimley are the boys to beat in the under-15 age group at Ravenscraig.

Matthew is top seed in the boys’ singles and starts against Kazio Wilowski (Banchory) while second seed Christopher meets Josh McKay (Stonehaven) after all four had first-round byes.

The Grimleys will start strong favourites for the boys’ doubles title as top seeds and defending champions and the winners of the first-round clash between John Arbuckle (North Berwick) and Alastair Campbell (Dunbar) or James Guckian and Ross McFarlane (both North Berwick) have the daunting task of facing them first in the second-round.

Ewan Mathieson (Aberlady) and James Morgan (Longniddry) are expected to face the Grimleys in the final if the draw unravels according to seeding.

They start with a second-round test against Glasgow’s Joshua Apiliga and Giffnock’s Adam Pringle or McKay and Dundee’s Kyle Middleton.

Edinburgh’s Lily Farnood is top seed in both the girls’ singles and doubles, where she partners Rothesay’s Sarah Sidebottom.

But the two girls could meet in the singles semi-finals as they have been drawn in the same half – and they will be in opposition in the mixed doubles where Sidebottom and Christopher Grimley are top seeds and Farnood and Matthew Grimley are second seeds.

Anne Smillie, chief executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “We are looking forward to this first Junior Nationals of the season, especially as some of our young prospects have already tasted international success in the last few weeks.

“It is a great opportunity for badminton fans to come along and support players who are going to be the future of our sport over the next few years.”

Play starts at 9.30am on Saturday with non-stop action throughout the day. The semi-finals start at 10am on Sunday with finals starting at 1.30pm.

For the full draw, results and schedule visit BADMNINTONscotland