COMPETITIVE judo is back and West Fifers have marked their return to the tatami by winning a host of medals.

After 18 months of no action, the beginning of November saw the sport return in the shape of the Scottish National Age Band Championships in Largs, with a number of local athletes impressing on their way to podium places.

A highlight of the opening day of competition was a victory for Destination Judo's Jocelyn Callaghan in the Cadet (under-18) girls' under-48kg class, her second national title in succession, having also reached the top step of the podium in the last edition of the championships in 2019.

In the medal round, Callaghan held her first opponent to the ground for ippon, before grinding out a crucial victory with a wazari throw against Sportif JC's Lois Henderson in the second minute of overtime in the gold-medal match.

It proved to be an excellent weekend for the Callaghan family overall, as younger brother Isaac claimed a silver medal in the Pre-Cadet (under-15) under-34kg category, while elder sibling Jacob took some notable scalps on his way to the semi-finals of the senior men's under-73kg category, where he lost to fellow Dunfermline fighter Ryan Turnbull.

In the biggest and most competitive category of the day, Turnbull reeled off a series of impressive victories, throwing former Carnegie Judo Club competitor Benjamin Fox Kennedy in the final seconds of his opening fight and then showing superior strength and speed to edge past Second Dan Billy Rodman in golden score in his quarter-final fight.

The final proved a step too far, with the vastly-experienced Aiden Moffat, from Tayside Judo Club, taking the honours deservedly, leaving Turnbull with a hard-earned silver medal.

Inverkeithing High School pupil Kirsty Lawson bolstered her long-standing reputation as a big tournament player with an impressive showing in the Cadet girls’ under-52kg class, winning her opening two contests and finishing with the bronze medal, while fellow Destination Judo member Kirsty Marsh, of Dalgety Bay, won her sixth national title.

She took the senior women’s under-57-kg class with straight ippon victories, continuing a good sequence of tournaments with the JudoScotland national squad this autumn for the University of Edinburgh student, who finished seventh in both the senior European Open in Sarajevo and the senior European Cup in Dubrovnik.

Marsh also enjoyed an ippon win in her opening fight in the senior European Open in Malaga, which took her world ranking to 125th, and boosted her outside chance of being selected for the 2021 Commonwealth Games.

Attention now turns to the British National Age Group Championships, which are being held as ever over the first two weekends in December in Sheffield, but the West Fife contingent will travel with confidence after the impressive showing in Largs.