Aboyne Academy’s Shannon McWilliam, completed a great double at the weekend with a win in the Aberdeenshire Girls’ Championships. She defeated three-time winner and Aboyne clubmate Kimberley Beveridge by 7 and 6 in the final at Banchory.
Just last month, Shannon achieved her biggest win to date in the Loretto School Scottish Girls’ Under-14s Championship at Fortrose & Rosemarkie and she has now been selected to play for Aberdeen in the forthcoming County Finals.
At Fortrose, the 14-year-old Aboyne club champion held off an international field to win the title by three shots on the Black Isle. She posted rounds of 75 and 79.
The five tied for second place were Charlotte Munro (North Berwick High School), Kirsty Brodie (Webster’s High School), Katharina Steffl (Austria), and the English pair of Lucy Walton and Cloe Frankish.
Shannon is a member of the SLGA Foundation Squad and she said: “I had a good fifth-place finish in the under-14s last year and that gave me confidence going into this week.
“I enjoyed thinking my way around a short but tight course. It was a very enjoyable tournament and I loved meeting new people and making friends with the other girls in the tournament.”
Shannon paid tribute to coach Andrew Locke, who has been “a very important influence” and a recent lesson at Aboyne helped her game click into place for a great double. Meanwhile, as Catriona Matthew was showing the next generation the way to do it with her victory in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies’ Scottish Open, a number of her fellow professionals were on the practice range at Archerfield similarly inspiring the next generation.
Scots Vikki Laing and Heather MacRae, who finished sixth in the Open, plus England’s Rebecca Hudson and Wales’ Lydia Hall gave a clinic to a group of 40 girls who had applied through ClubGolf’s social media sites – www.facebook.com/clubgolfscotland and @clubgolfscot.
After the short game and full swing clinic, the professionals joined some of the older girls for a bucket challenge, everyone trying to chip a ball into a bucket. Two of Scotland’s newest professionals – Pamela Pretswell and Kelsey MacDonald – joined in the fun.
All the girls came from schools in the local area – East Lothian, the Borders and Edinburgh.
Stew-Mel set to provide stern test for Moffat
RUGBY: Stewart’s-Melville College made a positive start to their season with a 16-13 win over city rivals George Watson’s College at Myreside on Saturday in what College’s coach, Bryn Lockie, described as a “hard and close match”.
His side take on Merchiston this Saturday in a match that will test the Colinton school’s level of preparation for this season’s campaign as well as providing a first taste of real action for the former Edinburgh coach, Rob Moffat, who has taken over as director of rugby at Merchiston.
George Watson’s College travel south this weekend to play Royal Grammar School, Newcastle. “This will be a testing game and hopefully we can continue to improve,” said Watson’s coach, Ally Donaldson.
Watson’s, for whom back row Angus Coull scored their only try against Stewart’s-Melville on Saturday, expect to have sprinter Ben Robbins back in their side, but missing for a further few weeks will be Scotland Under-18 cap Ally Millar, who is recovering from a shoulder injury.
At Mayfield, Dundee High School, who had a successful tour to Canada in the close season, confirmed their strength with a 50-12 win over Glasgow Academy with an eight-try performance that included a hat-trick from wing Rhys Paterson. Elsewhere Dollar Academy recorded a 15-14 home win against George Heriot’s School.
Meanwhile, the 2013-14 Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup, Plate and Bowl competitions will be launched today at Trinity Academy’s playing fields in Edinburgh.
The one major change this season is the creation of a safety net for losing teams from the first round of the Cup, who
then drop down to a separate competition.
Holders Watson’s have been drawn away to North Berwick High School with the expectation that the match will be played on 18 September. Merchiston, another of the sides expected to be in the mix, begin their Cup campaign against St Aloysius College while Dundee High School will play the winners of Bell-Baxter High School and Trinity Academy.
While the Cup provides an element of stiff competition it is no substitute for the weekly pressure of league competition. In which scenario the clubs appear to have stolen the march on schools by establishing national leagues at under-18 and under-16 levels, both of which kick-off this weekend.
“This could be a very good competition” said Scotland Under-18 coach, Eddie Pollock. “The better the standard the boys play and the greater the pressure they experience, the more they will improve.”
Young duo inspired by Hoy and McLean
CYCLING: Two youngsters with great school role models are ready to ride for Scotland at Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield from 12-15 September.
George Watson College’s Emma Borthwick is following in the tracks of former pupil Sir Chris Hoy, while Grantown Grammar’s Elena Melton has been similarly inspired by Craig McLean.
The ex-Grantown boy competed in two Olympics – winning a silver medal in Sydney 2000 – and was a gold medalist as a tandem pilot at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
He even has a sports centre named after him just opposite the school in Grantown-On-Spey.
SCOTTISH TEAM Girls: Emma Borthwick (George Watson’s College), Elena Melton (Grantown Grammar School), Keira Johnston (Bishopbriggs Academy), Rhona Calendar (Stirling HS).
Boys: Stuart Balfour (Galashiels Academy), Andy Brown (Beaconhurst School), Matthias Barnet (Craigmount HS), Jack Carlin (Glennifer HS).
Games call-up for MacDonald possible
JUDO: Neil MacDonald (Uddingston Grammar School) is just 16 but the bronze medalist from this season’s European Cadet Championships in Estonia has been pinpointed as a possible 2014 Commonwealth Games selection.
This month, he will have an opportunity to underline his credentials when he competes for Scotland at Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Sheffield.
“Neil is very talented and we are fast-tracking him with the hope that he could make it to Glasgow 2014,” said Judo Scotland’s National Coach, Gary Edwards.
The squad for Sheffield includes another five who also took part in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht in the Netherlands in June – Eilish Walker (St David’s RC High School), Abbi Blackie (Gracemount High School), Michelle Boyle (Dalziel High School), Stuart Mowatt (Inverurie Academy) and Valantino Valente (St Modan’s High School).
SCOTTISH TEAM Girls: Rachel White (Bell Baxter HS), Kate Saunders (Bearsden Academy), Cassie Harris (Gracemount Academy), Eilish Walker (St David’s RC HS), Michelle Boyle (Dalziel HS), Helen Forbes (Albyn School), Kirstie McBeath (Aboyne Academy), Rachel taylor (Boclair Academy), Abbi Blackie (Earlston HS), Christine Milroy (Turnbull HS), Storm Imrie (West Calder HS), Aimee Grant (Fortrose Academy).
Boys: Colin MacDonald (City of Glasgow College), Aiden Moffat (Perth HS), Liam Donkin (Balerno HS), Stuart Mowatt (Inverurie Academy), Neil MacDonald (Uddingston Grammar School), Kieran Gehian (Alloa Academy), Sebastian Potter (George Watson’s College), Jack Murphy (Bellahouston Academy), Dai Imrie (West Calder HS), Valantino Valente (St Modan’s HS), Max Murphy (Bearsden Academy), Scott Thomson (Knoz Academy).
Scottish pair on song in Dubai
SWIMMING: Charlotte McKenzie (Larbert High School) finished fifth in the final of the 200m backstroke in 1:01.56 at the World Junior Championships in Dubai.
Mark Szaranek (Auchmuty High School) just missed out the semi-final in the 200m individual medley in a GB Team that landed seven medals, including a gold and a championship record in the boys’ 4 x 200m individual medley.
Team leader Mark Perry said: “It was a strong performance from such a professional group of young people and I’m sure we’ll be seeing good things from them in the future.”
Both Charlotte and Mark are aiming to take the next step up and compete for Scotland at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It is now just seven months until the trials.