Mixed fortunes for local sides as basketball season finishes

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The Banchory Bulls recently won the Grampian U18 Cup after a hard fought final against Beacon. All the players played very well and contributed to this deserved win which completed a very successful season for the Bulls.

The Banchory Academy team also reached the semi-final of the U18 Scottish cup only to be narrowly beaten in Troon by four points.

In a season of near misses the Banchory Ravens U15 girls team went one better than last season and reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup only to be beaten by eight points in a match that could have gone either way, but in only their second season it marks quite an achievement.

The Banchory Stags’ remarkable season ended without the much hoped for silverware.

The team had enjoyed complete success in both local and national competition but ultimately lost out in both competitions to a very good Portlethen side who look odds on to complete the cup double.

The Stags lost the Grampian Cup final in a tense battle at the Beach Leisure Centre against Portlethen, but buoyed by the return of Stuart Gray for the Chairman’s Cup semi they felt they could go on to repeat their success of three years ago and win the cup again.

The Stags were excellent in the first half and at one point led by 10 points, but a third quarter lapse led to Portlethen seizing the initiative in an absorbing game and deservedly progressing to the final.

Archie McKechnie has done great things at Portlethen as head coach and no-one in Banchory would begrudge him his success this year.

It was a bitter blow though for Scott Williams who has been excellent as Stags’ coach and Matt Halliwell and David Hughes who have both travelled great distances to attend matches.

Stags said goodbye to one of the club’s stalwarts, Neil Dolton, when he emigrated to Perth, Australia last week. He will join ex players Matt Morrison, Bret Dods and Russell Tattersall who all now live in the same area.