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U15s and U19s battle it out in Highland open badminton championships

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Ava Cook won the U15 girls' singles and level doubles and was a runner-up in the mixed doubles.
Ava Cook won the U15 girls' singles and level doubles and was a runner-up in the mixed doubles.

Caithness players competed well in Highland Badminton Group's annual under-15 and under-19 open championships, held at Inverness Leisure on Saturday. The U15s had an entry of 20 players, while 34 battled it out at U19 level.

The under-15s began with the singles events. Both boys' and girls' events had a knockout format with a consolation competition.

Ava Cook beat the number one seed Ashlyn Gunn 21-10, 21-12 in her semi-final and then defeated the number two seed Natalie Macaulay 21-9 21-11 in the final.

The boys’ consolation event was won by Rory Nicolson, 16-14 against Alexander Mackay, while Freya Mackay came out on top in the girls’ consolation by the same scoreline against Carla Edwards.

In the levels competitions the boys played knockout with a consolation, whereas the girls competed in a round-robin with four pairings.

The finalists in the singles, Natalie and Ava paired up and proved unbeatable as they won all their games, dropping no games throughout the round-robin competition.

The boys’ doubles final, the first game went to Alexander Mackay and Lewis Malcolm by 26-24 but Angus Mackay and Rory Nicolson dug deep and took the next two games 21-12, 21-19.

Drew Murdoch and Liam Sinclair won the consolation.

The mixed doubles featured two groups of four, with the top pair in each group playing in a final.

Callum Richardson and Natalie Macaulay won 21-11, 21-16 against Matthew Cook and Ava Cook – this was the third final of the day for Ava.

Under-19 consolation winners Chloe Mackenzie and Sam Groundwater.
Under-19 consolation winners Chloe Mackenzie and Sam Groundwater.

The under-19s started with the singles competitions, with both boys and the girls playing a knockout with consolation.

The boys' final was a well-fought battle between the top seeds with Daniel Harris winning 21-16, 17-21, 21-6 against Thomas Calder.

The consolation final saw Callum Craig get the better of Alfie Sweeney.

The girls’ singles had three first-round games leading to the quarter-finals.

Victory in the girls' final went to Ella Haime by 21-13, 21-14 over Shannon Leslie.

The consolation final was between Chloe Mackenzie and Hailey Ho, with Hailey winning 21-12.

Next up were the level doubles, using the same format as the singles.

Andrew Flockhart and Daniel Harris won 21-11, 21-15 in the boys' event at the expense of Fraser Banks and Lewis Smith.

In the consolation final Callum Craig and Callum McWhirter proved too strong for Finn Callister and Alfie Sweeney.

The girls’ doubles were played to the same format. Top seeds Gemma Foulis and Shannon Leslie won the final 21-10, 18-21, 21-12 against Ella Haime and Hailey Ho.

In the consolation final, Emma Sendall and Cara Strath got the better of Chloe Begg and Shona Brown.

The mixed competition was played as a knockout with consolation. Winners were Thomas Calder and Shannon Leslie by 21-15, 21-11 against Erlend Ballantine and Jody Groundwater.

The consolation final saw brother and sister Emma and William Sendall taking on Sam Groundwater and Chloe Mackenzie, with Sam and Chloe taking the win by 21-12.

Highland Badminton Group convener Maressa Munro said: “Thank you to all the players who took part – there were some phenomenal games. Also a massive thank-you to the parents, guardians, coaches and volunteers who make it possible for players to compete in our competitions.”

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