Lucky 13 for Milngavie’s Imogen Bankier

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Milngavie’s Imogen Bankier took her Yonex Scottish National title haul to a total of 13 as she dominated finals day at the Bell’s Sports Arena in Perth.

But she wasn’t the only big winner - singles stars Kieran Merrilees and Kirsty Gilmour both claimed their third titles, Gilmour completing her hat-trick before the age of 20, while Robert Blair scored a doubles double.

Bankier, the Scotland star who won a world mixed doubles silver medal in 2011, started finals afternoon by lifting the women’s doubles title with Gilmour.

It was her fifth women’s title and Gilmour’s second, having won last year with Jillie Cooper.

The pair beat Cooper, the winner four times in the previous five years, and Sarah Bok in the final, coming back from 17-11 down in the second game to win 21-9 21-19.

The morning semi-finals of the doubles event had gone to form with the top two seeds coming through to contest the finals.

But there were surprises in the singles, where Holly Newall defeated second seed Rebekka Findlay 21-17 13-21 21-14 in the women’s event and Matthew Carder toppled second seed and defending champion Calum Menzies 21-12 22-20.

The only other semi-final to go to three games saw second seeds Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh defeat third seeds and two-time champions Jamie Neill and Keith Turnbull 19-21 21-17 21-15 in the men’s doubles.

And the young second seeds pushed Robert Blair and Paul Van Rietvelde all the way for 60 minutes in the men’s doubles final before the top seeds came from behind to win 18-21 21-18 21-14 in the longest of the five finals. That meant Blair retained the title he won last year with Gordon Thomson while Van Rietvelde also claimed a second men’s doubles trophy after winning with Watson Briggs two years ago.

But the singles finals went to form with Gilmour defeating Newall 21-9 21-6 in the women’s singles while Merrilees, who had beaten two-time winner Thomson in the semi-finals 21-14 21-14, overcame Carder 25-23 21-13 to follow up his 2011 and 2012 men’s singles wins.

In the last final of the afternoon, 2006 world men’s doubles silver medallist Blair teamed up with Bankier to take their first mixed title together as Bankier made it eight mixed titles in a row. But second seeds Van Rietvelde and Cooper made them fight all the way before completing a 21-7 18-21 21-12 victory.

The Derrick Roarty Award, presented to a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to badminton, went to long serving volunteer Jim McCulloch from Lenzie and was presented immediately before the commencement of the finals.

The triumphs for Gilmour, Bankier and Blair will put the Scotland trio in good heart as they aim to lead Scotland’s Commonwealth Games challenge later this year at Glasgow 2014.

BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “This was a last opportunity to see our top players in action at home before Glasgow 2014 and the quality of today’s semi-finals and finals showed how Scotland have some real strength in depth to draw on over the coming months when there a big challenges ahead in Europe, at the Commonwealths and at the World Championships at the end of August.

“There is a good balance now between youth and experience among the players at our disposal.”