The 31st Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament took place on Perth’s North Inch on a glorious weekend which saw many competitors suffer from sun burn. Players from many nations descended on the Inch with Belgium, Faroe Islands, Canada, Equador, France, Russia, Holland being represented in one way or another.
Former Kinross High School pupil Ruari Soutar had assembled his team with the name “Six Nations” based on the fact that he had a Scotsman an Englishman, a Belgian, Frenchman and an Equadorian to compete in men’s division one.
A west coast Canadian, Brian Cook, who was touring Scotland happened upon the Inch on Saturday morning and found himself roped into playing for Craig Donaldson’s Kinross based “Kelty Chiefs” acquitting himself favourably over the weekend where almost 350 games were played over the two day competition with 104 teams playing in the seven divisions of competition. Driek ten Haaf’s Leuven based side Dust featured a six foot ten player Ive Gofflo which caused a bit of a stir when he stepped on court.
Rosa Jacobson’s Faroe Islands’ women’s team were offering opponents the opportunity to sample one of the Islands’ delicacies dried whale meat and blubber! I am yet to be convinced that this would encourage tourists to visit the Faroes.
Saturday’s competition started in glorious sunshine with all 32 courts in action.Sunday also began in good style with local sides much to the fore. In men’s division one both Kelty Chiefs and Six Nations just failed to reach the final with some extremely close games finishing with only a couple of points difference. It was Sunderland men who overcame Killie Legends 25-21; 25-17 to lift this year’s trophy.
In women’s division one, Livingston Rainbows overcame their other six opponents to win the straight league competition.
Rab Murdoch’s Perth side Dodgy Spikers played particularly well over the weekend and the Perth Premier League Champions lifted the Scottish Open title, defeating Tynedale from North East England in the final by a close two sets to one.
Carol Hardie’s Fife side, Dunfermline Phoenix, Perth Recreational League Champions lifted the Men’s Division three title, coming from behind to defeat Aberdeen side Drinks’ Team 19-25; 29-27; 15-6.
The mixed division competition attracted 60 teams spread over three divisions with local sides again very much supporting the one-off opportunity per season to compete in mixed volleyball. Mixed division one was won by Edinburgh based side Desperados who defeated another Edinburgh team Served Hot. The mixed division two trophy also went to an Edinburgh team, The Pandas. Their final against Dundee side Gettin’ Diggy Wit’ It was very close Pandas winning the first set 26-24, the Dundee side winning the second set 26-24 with Pandas eventually winning the third set decider 15-8.
Greg Marshall’s Perth side The Renegades lifted the mixed division three trophy, the consolation trophy for this division also staying in Perth with Susan Scott’s side “Plus Perth Mental Health.”
The small volunteer committee deserve massive congratulations for, once again, proving how much Perth’s natural amenities can be utilised for international sporting events and the Scotttish Open Volleyball Tournament is surely now, well established as “the best fun volleyball you can get” tournament in the whole of the UK.
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