A good day for Glasgow saw them take three titles in a chilly Edinburgh at the 2013 Scottish Universities Championships.
The first final of the day saw the only representatives left for the hosts, as Caroline Collinson and Aisha Kerr of Edinburgh faced Kaity Hall and Kirsten Geals of Strathclyde in the womens’ doubles. The pressure of the final showed as Collinson / Kerr committed too many unforced errors as they lost the first game 21-12. Leaving their nerves behind, they played much better in the second game, but were overcome by a clinical performance by the Strathclyde pair, as Hall / Geals took the second game 21-17.
The men’s singles final between Andy Gilliland and Danny Leinster, both of Glasgow University, provided one of the highlights of the day as a very even match played out to three ends. Gilliland settled in to the game quickly, dominating with powerful attacking play, but Leinster stayed with him and a solid defence saw him able to take the first game 19-21.
Gilliland, the first seed for the singles, showed experience to level the match taking the second game to a brisk conclusion, 21-7 to force the rubber game. The third game was played at a much higher level, with players showing off dives and great control at the net, but the long rallies took their toll as the players tired, Gilliland eventually getting the better of his opponent, 21-16.
The ladies’ singles saw Viktoria Tsvetanova of Glasgow win her first final of the day, as she beat Fiona Archibald in straight games. A good match, the local rival Glasgow Caledonian player couldn’t match Tsvetanova’s level, lacking composure on the final shots when the chances arose. The match ended 21-12 21-17.
Gilliland and Leinster played their second final of the day, this time as a pair in the mens’ doubles, where they faced Dundee’s Rieger / Walker. The Glaswegian pair struggled to get out of the singles mentality as poor communication saw them clash rackets fairly regularly, this did not prevent a close game however as Rieger / Walker took the first end with a generous helping of extra points, 25-23.
A strong performance after the change of ends saw Gilliland and Leinster stroll through the second game, with the Dundee pair’s defence lacking as they crashed out 5-21. This did not upset their game however, as a spirited performance saw them out-last an increasingly tired Glasgow pair, taking the final game 21-19.
The final match on court saw Kaity Hall play her second final with Lewis Gallacher of Strathclyde against Glasgow pair Leinster / Tsvetanova, themselves playing in third and second finals respectively. With time running out for the hall, the match was always going to be an epic game, where three long games did not disappoint.
The first game saw a nervous Strathclyde pair fail to take five match points, conceding the first game 22-20 to Leinster / Tsvetanova. Again with nothing to separate the pairs but a tiring Leinster, the second game saw the Strathclyde pair force a decider with an attritional 21-23 victory.
In the end it was Kaity Hall of Strathclyde who really started to feel the effect of the day’s games as Leinster, despite looking completely out of it in the second game found a second wind. The third game went the way of Glasgow with the quicker score line of 21-13, to the relief of sports hall staff and organisers alike.
For more video’s of the matches, please go to the SSS Championship playlist on Youtube by visiting here.
Article by Michael Burke of Edinburgh University Badminton Club