Alasdair Prott and Robyn McAlpine emerged victorious once again at the Scottish Under 23 National Championships at Scottish Squash Rackets Club, Glasgow last weekend after two action-packed days of squash. The competition returned to the calendar in season 2022/23, and this year again attracted a talented group of players between the ages of 14 and 22, thereby playing a vital role in development for young players as they look ahead to the senior level.
Alasdair claimed the U23 Men’s National title for the third time in his career (2020, 2023, 2024) with victory over third-seed rising star Rory Richmond: 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-3. The title match was a first national final for Rory since graduating the junior age groups in 2023, and is another sure sign of a bright squash future ahead. Alasdair bows out of the U23 age group this year, and proudly stands alongside Scottish legend Alan Clyne and current National squad teammate Rory Stewart with an impressive record of three wins apiece in the competition’s history.
Speaking after his win, Alasdair said: “I’m really happy to win my third U23 Scottish Nationals. It was a really strong field this year so I’m happy to have won the title in my final year in the age group!”
Elsewhere in the Men’s draw, 14-year-old Murdo Mackenzie finished up in ninth place, once again gaining invaluable experience as he looks ahead to the Junior National Championships. A thrilling battle for Bronze in the Men’s draw went the way of 2023’s runner-up John Meehan, with Andrew Glen missing out despite an excellent showing through five close games.
In the Women’s Championship, Robyn McAlpine continued her stellar form in National Championships with another victory, coming off U17, U19 and U23 titles in 2023, as well as a bronze medal at Senior Nationals.
On her latest win, Robyn said: “It feels good to be able to retain my title. I’m happy that I was able to not put too much pressure on myself and perform well throughout the tournament. I tried not to think too much about who I was playing and just focus on how I wanted to play.
“I didn’t really know what to expect in my final against Lucy, because she’s been out for a while. I knew she was a good player and wouldn’t lose her skills so I was just trying to focus on what I could control as much as possible. I definitely want to continue trying to defend the U23 title until I age out, as it’s always good winning a National title.”
The women’s event also provided more National Championship experience for junior prospects Natalie Main and Ella Bannister, while 20-year-old Lucy Murchie made a competitive return as the number two seed and showed her experience from multiple national titles at Junior level, claiming second place at U23s in her first time entering the competition. A win over Beth Moglia of Western Squash on Sunday morning proved the decisive round robin fixture for the bronze and silver medals.
View the full results from the Scottish U23 National Championships 2024 here on SportyHQ.