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Beach Stars’ Darnhall Destiny

With the olympics showering medals across a wide variety of sports, including both beach volleyball and indoor volleyball, the focus for local lad Connor Boyle is to see if he can add another gold medal to his impressive tally so far. Over four thousand miles travelled to compete in eight competitions resulting in 3 gold medals and 1 bronze since the start of this year’s beach season.

The Perth Beach Volleyball Club treasurer partners Stewart Caldwell again in what they hope will be a replay of their previous gold medals won at Darnhall in the UK Beach Tour 3 star event held earlier this season.

This weekend sees Darnhall host its first UK Beach Tour 4 star event, more prestigious and with a more competitive field from across Britain heading to Perth this weekend.

There is further local interest with Jack McKelvey, another product from Kinross Volleyball Club, hoping to go at least one better than their fourth place finish last time at Darnhall, coming so close to the bronze medal position.

Beach volleyball within Perth is growing slowly with a junior development programme already taking place in conjunction with Scottish Volleyball. Although there will be no junior coaching this weekend a number of local juniors will be assisting in the running of this prestigious event as well as learning from the experienced field of players from around the UK.

Saturday is sure to be an exciting day of men’s volleyball with Perth’s Lord Provost, Dennis Melloy carrying out the duty of presenting the medals to the podium winners.

Sunday sees the women take to the sand but the gold winners from last time, Lynne Beattie and Mel Coutts will not be present this time as they are competing in a continental competition, further boosting their ranking points with the aim of representing Scotland at Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games.

Scotland pairing in Katie Barbour and Rachel Morrison, who won Gold in the Scottish Beach Tour event held at Darnhall, will be in attendance with some tough competitors from England. One of Last weeks Runners Up in the Grand Slam Event, Sophia Johnston, will be back on the sand with her usual partner. There will be further stiff competition from Englands Anaya Evans and her partner Millie Constable.

That gives the other teams an incentive to go for gold in what will be the final day of Darnhall’s UK Beach Tour events for 2021 in the hope that they can attract the competitors to return next year.

The Darnhall Club will then focus on attracting adults to “come and try” beach volleyball, adding to the junior programme already underway.

Spectators and local residents are welcome to come along and support the athletes and engage in discussions with the club about their plans for the future. These will include a full engagement with the local residents to promote the sport and the wider benefits it brings to healthy living.

Darnhall Downpours Don’t Dampen Medal Dreams

Darnhall downpours didn’t dampen the spirits of the 17 men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams as they competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in the first UK Beach Tour event hosted by the new Perth Beach Volleyball Club.

Previous Kinross players

Early rain on Saturday morning soon cleared as the men’s teams took to the sand courts with three former Kinross Volleyball Club lads competing in three of the seven competing teams.

Number one seeds were club treasurer Connor Boyle partnered by Stewart Caldwell from the West Coast Beach Volleyball Club. Jack McKelvey, recently moved to work in Tyneside whereas Ruari Soutar travelled in the opposite direction for work in Edinburgh. All three teams found themselves drawn together in the opening round of fixtures.

The opening match on court one paired Boyle & Caldwell with McKelvey & Mastebrockis, the number one seeds winning 21-13; 21-17. Next up was the McKelvey team against the Soutar team with McKelvey’s team winning 21-18; 21-16. The Boyle/Caldwell partnership also won against Soutar/ Stougiannos 21-14; 21-18 to qualify for the quarter finals.

In the other section, two of the games went to three sets to decide the eventual winner with the Avesani/Candeli partnership just edging Edinburgh pair Sean Platts-Stobie & Cameron Hook 23-21; 15-21, 15-10. The other game which went the distance was between the McHardy brothers and the Gorecki/Soberiacki partnership with the McHardy’s just missing out 17-21; 21-18; 12-15.

The other qualifiers saw the McHardy boys dump Ruari Soutar and his partner following this with the McHardy brothers” combination easing Jack McKelvey and his partner out of the bronze medal position 21-19; 21-17 in the third/fourth play-off.

Strangely enough the final between Boyle/Caldwell and Gorecki/Soberiacki saw a similar scoreline in favour of the number one seeds as they grabbed gold as well as ranking points for the end of the beach season.

The Perth gold medalists head to Weymouth next weekend for yet another beach ranking tournament.

Sunday morning saw the ten women’s teams assemble just as the rain became heavy but luckily it didn;t last long and play continued with number one seeds Lynne Beattie & Mel Coutts caught local rivals Fowler and Waldie cold with an impressive 21-7; 21-9 scoreline.

The Barbour/Morrison partnership breezed through their section, joining Mason/Verdu-Schlie who topped section three.

The knock out stages were completed lining up Beattie/Coutts and Barbour/Morrison in the final but this was delayed due to a typical Scottish deluge. Once the storm passed it was the number one seeds who struck gold, winning 21-15; 21-19.

This Sunday sees the next round of junior beach coaching at Darnhall from 10:00 – 13:00 with local youngsters keen to improve their beach skills. Places can be booked via the Scottish Volleyball website.

Darnhall will host a UK 4 star Beach Tour over the weekend 31 Julyl/1st August to complete their hosting of this summer’s beach tour events.

You can view the photos from Sundays Women’s Competition on the Volleyball Photos website. Please remember that photos can be purchased directly from Volleyball Photos, who volunteer alot of time to shoot these photos, and have been hit extremely hard during the pandemic. Lets help our Volleyball people with their small business.

Volleyball Photos Website

Perth Beach deliver inaugural event

Darnhall Beach Centre hosted an inaugural weekend tournament for men and women, the Zeon Scottish Beach Tour.

The maximum twelve women’s teams competed on the Saturday, starting play at 9 am and continuing throughout the day until the competition drew to a close at 5:30 pm.

The weather conditions were ideal on Saturday morning, fairly bright, no sun and minimal wind and the teams reacted positively with some fine play being displayed on the two sand courts. The women’s competition reached its climax with a thrilling final between Barbour/Morrison and Crusey/Waldie with the former edging the title 21-14; 21-15.

Women’s Top 3 Teams

Sunday saw the weather warm up with the sun breaking through the white fluffy cirrus clouds for the nine team men’s Zeon competition which featured local players, the Boyle brothers, Connor and Declan, with Declan making his beach debut with big brother Connor.

The pair took a while to settle in losing their first set 15-7, but their play improved, winning the second set 15-10 and the third set decider 11-7.

The Boyle brothers’ second match was to be against the eventual winners’ Aberdeen based Budnik/Kaniowski and this was another close fought three set match. The Aberdeen pair edged the first set 16-14 with the Boyle brothers fighting back to level things in the second set with a 15-11 score. The third set decider was poised at 9 points each before the Budni/Kaniowski partnership crept ahead to win 11-9. Finishing second in their pool of three the Boyles were drawn against Zavaki/Broz in their quarter final tie and they had a comfortable 21-11; 21-11 victory to see them reach the semi-final stage where they faced Candeli/Avesani. It was here that they lost out and were also edged out of the third/fourth play-off place against the Hockey/Zavrel partnership.

Men’s Top 3 Teams

There was a general feel good factor around the weekend’s inaugural local competition with players praising the Perth Beach facility in terms of the sand quality, sheltered location and clubhouse access to toilets and fresh drinking water.

Junior coaching resumes next Sunday before a 3 star UK Beach Tour event takes place the following weekend, 10th July 2021.

All results can be found on the website here!

Beach Stars to Shine in Perth at ukbt event

The country’s best beach volleyball players from across the UK, both men and women, will converge on Perth’s Darnhall Beach Centre over the weekend of July 10th/11th for a UK 3 star Beach Tour event which will see teams of two scrambling in the sand towards valuable Commonwealth Games match practice.

This prestige event will put the Darnhall Beach Centre firmly on the UK beach volleyball map with the men’s competition taking place on Saturday 10th July with a maximum of 12 teams competing in four sections of three teams with the top teams progressing to the knock-out stages. A similar format will see the twelve women’s teams compete on the Sunday, again all looking to get match practice in before a final qualification tournament at the end of the summer.

Players from all the home nations will be represented at Darnhall and it will be an early start for the teams with a 9 am start of play on the two sand courts on both days with the competitions reaching a climax in the late afternoon with semi-finals and a final.

There will be local interest in the men’s competition in particular and local volleyball enthusiasts can cheer on the Scottish players, willing them to reach the semi-final spaces in the first instance in the hope that they will reach the medals’ podium at the end of the competition.

The 3 star UK Beach Tour event will be supported by Perth & Kinross Council and Perth Beach Volleyball Club members.

You can sign up for the competition below

Darnhall Sun helps Juniors’ Shine

The second regional junior volleyball coaching day took place at Perth’s Darnhall Beach Centre on Sunday morning with a pleasing 50% rise in the number of participants. Coach Jamie Salvin was pleased with the local juniors’ commitment and willingness to learn as the youngsters focused on improving their skills on the sand. Fun warm-up activities were followed by specific drills with an emphasis on ball control including mental and physical preparation as well as the mechanical components surrounding each skill focus. The fact that there was a breeze blowing throughout the session meant the youngsters’ awareness of how it affects ball flight including last second body adjustments to cope with this, kept them on their toes throughout the three-hour session.

With the summer sun beating down on them, there were frequent “water stops” to allow the youngsters to keep up their hydration levels.

Scottish Volleyball’s junior beach development programme will continue to operate throughout the summer, not just in Perth’s Darnhall Centre but also in Aberdeen, St Andrews, Portobello, Liberton and West Coast beaches. The next four Darnhall dates for youngsters to pencil in their diaries are July 4th & 18th, 8th & 22nd August and interested youngsters can sign-up for the coaching sessions on the Scottish Volleyball website (scottishvolleyball.azolve.com)

Regional Development Session 1

Perth Beach Volleyball Club opened its doors yesterday to the first regional junior coaching session at the Darnhall facility in the Craigie area of Perth.

It was a glorious sunny day and it was good for the youngsters to sample the “sand between their toes” as they were put through their paces by local coaches, keen to see this inland beach facility being put to good use. What better way than to engage with local youngsters in the hope of attracting them to this dynamic version of the sport. 

The three hour session started with a simple warm up to get them used to moving on the sand – not an easy task with the sand constantly moving beneath their feet. A good mix of boys and girls between the ages of thirteen and eighteen worked on individual skills, moving on to working in pairs and then on to court awareness responsibilities before finishing with games.

The next session will take place on Sunday 13th June, from 10:00 till 13:00 and any new youngsters keen to sample the sand version of volleyball, can sign up on the Scottish Volleyball website.

Diary of a Volleyball Addict

Another Saturday, another weekend traveling for local volleyballer, Connor Boyle- but this time a little closer in London.

This time Connor arranged a partnership with England International volleyballer Jake Sheaf in the 4 star UKBT event at Deep Dish, Crystal Palace, London.

With the competition being a very high level, each pool of players had to fight for ever point and every win as only 8/12 would proceed to the Quarter Finals.

Game 1
Vs Alex/Sawko. In the opening game the BOYLE/SHEAF partnership came out strong. Getting to know each other’s playing styles as well as managing the game was tough but they fought hard to secure a narrow victory. 

Game 2
A small rest in between games allowed a quick food and hydration break before heading back to the court to play Team Wales and strangely enough, competing against his playing partner of last week, Noam Devey.
Again, it was a tight game, scrambling for every point as rallies saw points going back and forth. With each team winning a set each this one needed a third and final set which eventually went in favour of the BOYLE/SHEAF partnership.

Game 3
A well needed rest before playing 2nd seeds and good friends Mark and Jay in the final game of the round robin pool to decide the pool positioning.
A game of fantastic volleyball ensued with no quarter asked or given, both sides producing smart and hard hits but unfortunately it saw their first loss of the day (2-0)

Quarter Finals
Into the knockout rounds.
The draw for the quarter finals saw the pair meet the ‘Bournemouth Boys’ in what was expected to be an ‘early final’ style game, a match which did not disappoint the band of spectators. This was another close match with each side taking a set, requiring a third set decider to separate the teams.
After 90 minutes of beach volleyball later, it was the Bournemouth Boys who progressed to the semis, so no medals this weekend.
 

It had been another fascinating beach volleyball journey, battling sun, rain, thunder and lightning but a fifth-place finish for the BOYLE/SHEAF partnership with both looking to improve over the coming weeks.

Next weekend Connor plans to compete in London at the Side-Out event in, Leyton next weekend. looking to develop a more cutting edge to his play.

Kinross Beach Player wins bronze at 4* UKBT

Former Kinross Volleyball Club member and now Scottish Internationalist, Connor Boyle decided on a last-minute entry into the UKBT (UK Beach Tour) in Worthing.  Connor, treasurer of the newly formed Perth Beach Volleyball Club at Darnhall, set off on a 1,100-mile round trip for his first beach volleyball games of the new summer season, being particularly excited for this, his first competitive event of the year.

The competition was a UKBT 4 Star event held at Side Out, Worthing and saw competitors from multiple nationalities across the UK come together for a day of high-level beach volleyball.

Noam Devey, Connor Boyle’s Welsh beach volleyball partner for the day, started their journey in the pool play against London based Aldo & Andrea. With the pair not having played together, there was a lot of communication needing to be established between them in order to make the game as competitive as possible. With the first set not going smoothly, the pair lost out by a margin of 6 points. The second set saw the Celtic pair’s play improve, but it wasn’t enough, narrowly losing the 2nd set and the game. The pair quickly earned the nickname of the ‘Celtic Underdogs’ of the competition earning a well-deserved rest before their second game against pool favourites, Bournemouth pairing and competition contenders Harry and Matt. The pair started their second game of the day positively, pushing for every point and making what should have been an easy game for the favourites a real ‘nail biter’. Narrowly missing out on the 1st set the second set could not be concluded within the normal game limit of pool play points 15 and concluded 21-19 to the Bournemouth Boys.

Bronze Medallists

Finishing bottom of the pool with 2 losses the Celtic Underdogs moved to series of single-elimination knock-out games. Their first opponents were The Team of Volleyball Addics, (Lewis & Tom). Taking the 1st set comfortably, the second set was far more problematic for Team CU. Going 16-4 down (with games up to 21) the road ahead left them having to make one big tactical decision: lose the set and try to win the last (3rd set) or go 110% and try to reclaim the set and win. With sheer determination, the CU lived up to their name and won the set 21-19 after showing everyone exactly what they could produce on the sand with pure determination seeing them through.

On reflection, the quarters finals were always an aim, but now for the CU it was a reality. Being paired against an experienced and youthful team of Marcin & Enrique (London based team) the momentum was with CU. With some great play and improved tactics CU overcame their opponents for their second win of the day.

It was now semi finals’ stage and the pair were drawn against The Bournemouth Boys who had beaten them earlier in the day. The CU had time to refine tactics, and build up momentum but legs were getting heavy and tired. One final push was needed and the pair knew that. Starting strong but up against tough opposition, it was the Bournemouth boys who scraped through in the first set. Set two started with tough points being won and lost. The CU side couldn’t quite hold on to a 19-17 lead and lost the 2nd set by 2 points in the final set.

The Journey had ended, but nothing but smiles continued. Connor Boyle & Noam Devey, The Celtic Underdogs had secured 3rd position in a last-minute tournament and developed a potential new partnership opportunity for future games.

Connor then embarked on his  505-mile return journey from Worthing to Kelty before going to work on Monday morning – dedication on and off the court is what is needed.

Connor continues his UKBT journey with UKBT Director and Commonwealth English Athlete Jake Sheaf in a 4-star event in Crystal Palace this coming weekend, hopefully improving on to improve on his opening 3rd place finish last weekend.

Perth Beach Volleyball Club is hoping that with this new easing of restrictions that they will be permitted to “open their doors” to organised “come and play” sessions at the Darnhall site which houses two full size beach volleyball sand surfaces and space for two grass courts adjacent to the beach courts.

European SCA Beach Volleyball Finals – Day 3

The CEV Small Countries Association (SCA) Beach Volleyball finals ended on Sunday in Perth, capping three days of exciting competition. Despite the rather cloudy and soggy weather, the event was a success. Monaco’s Vincent Ferry/Pascal Ferry claimed the men’s final after delivering an impressive performance against home heroes Ross McKelvie/Callum Stewart of Scotland (21-14, 21-16). In the women’s tournament, Iceland won the gold medal thanks to Elisabet Einarsdottir/Berglind Jónsdóttir, who played a flawless match against a remarkable Cyprus team comprising of the sisters Katerina and Anastasia Yiasoumi (21-18, 22-20).

The Scottish Volleyball Association (SVA) is very pleased with the outcome of the event. This success would not have been possible without the precious collaboration with the Local Council of Perth and Kinross and the Community Justice programme, which accounted for the provision of a great venue where to host the tournament. A special mention goes to Volleyball Photos for the extraordinary pictures taken throughout the entire competition. Last but not least, Scottish Volleyball is very grateful for the exceptional work of both volunteers and staff members, without whom the competition would not have been such a tremendous success.

European SCA Beach Volleyball Finals – Day 2

It was a great day at the European SCA Beach Volleyball Finals. It was a second day full of sunshine and matches and Scottish Volleyball is thrilled with the running of the event. Today, after 19 good quality matches, the semi-finalists have been decided for both men and women.

Yiasoumi, K./Yiasoumi, A. (CYP), Graves/Gormally (IRL), Beattie/Coutts (SCO), Einarsdottir/Jonsdottir (ISL) have made it to the semi-final in the women’s tournament.

McKelvie/Stewart (SCO), Garcia-Kidd/Bialokoz (ENG), Ferry, P./Ferry, V. (MON) and Boyle/Brown, M. (SCO) are the four semi-finalists of the men’s tournament.

The expectation for tomorrow’s finals is very high, as the performance of the semi-finalists (and not only) have surprised with their high quality.

We are waiting for you tomorrow at the Darnhall Tennis Club of Perth to enjoy the finals and have fun all together!