SMC Debating Success

Posted on 21st Nov 2014 in Stewart's Melville College, Debating, Competitions

The SMC senior debating season began successfully when the team reached the final of the West Coast Worlds event at St Columba's.  This competition attracts all of Scotland's finest debaters as it is the only one to follow the format used at the world championships.  Hamish Innes (S6), Greg Ritchie (S5) and Evan Adair (S6) reached the final with three straight wins, although didn't quite do enough to take the title.  Nevertheless, the boys refused to be bowed and three teams of debaters represented SMC at the Glasgow University Championships, one of the three Scottish majors, involving more than 40 schools from all over the country.  All three pairings had a successful day, recording commendable victories during the four rounds of debating.  Indeed, Rory Hardie and Patrick Longmate, both in S4, captured the spirit of SMC debating by overcoming the blow of losing two close calls in the early rounds to finish with two clear wins.  Chae Gordon (S6) and Evan Adair were in the running for a place in the final until the last round.  However, most praise must be reserved for Hamish Innes and Greg Ritchie, a pairing that won every debate up to and including the final.  This saw them triumph over a number of the best debaters in Scotland, including rivals from Heriot's, Dollar, High School of Dundee, Watson's and St. Columba's, and their superlative performances saw SMC bring home this major title for the third time in six years. 

This feat was repeated in November when the same teams, with the substitution of Fraser Maclean (S4) for Patrick Longmate, headed to St Andrews University.  There were victories for all; yet the obvious highlight was seeing Greg and Hamish argue against negotiating with terrorists so convincingly that they retained the title they won last year.  Again this is the third time this "major" has been claimed by SMC in just six seasons - a remarkable feat recognised by St Andrews as they have decided to allow us to keep the trophy.

Our juniors should not be overlooked, with Peter Molloy and Nelith Bandularatne (S1) competing in their first-ever competition at the Edinburgh University Junior event, alongside Joe Knoeppel and Charlie Finnie (S3).  However, plaudits must go to Hector Mcintosh (S2) and Tom Collins (S3) who reached the final but unfortunately narrowly lost out in a split judging decision.

The present season must be our most successful in recent memory, for SMC has reached the final of every competition we have entered this year - a remarkable achievement.

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