THE WEEKEND brought the first flurries of shuttlecocks, heralding the onset of winter and the start of the second division badminton season.
Whalsay B and Unst B took to the courts with some close mixed doubles action. Whalsay’s Alan Thomson and Vaila Kay played a mature game of mixed doubles to beat the experience and energy of Unst duo Gordon Thomson and young Megan Burns.
Sandy Kay and Cathy Shearer had two good games against Belle Spence and Hosea Moar, while Unst’s pairing of Kevin Priest and Mairi Coutts held their nerve to take third mixed for their team.
Whalsay Ladies displayed good tenacity and endurance in the doubles and took all three matches.
In the men’s doubles Alan Thomson’s fitness and athleticism, Sandy Kay’s power and the finesse and fine touch of Magnie Irvine all combined to give Whalsay three good wins. This made the final score a convincing 8-1 win to Whalsay.
Both teams are delighted to have a scattering of youth and energy in their ranks with Abby Irvine, Sandy Kay and Mairi Coutts all receiving recognition and shared honours in the Player of the Match category.
Unst A are also playing in the John Leask and Son second division league this year, having been relegated at the end of last season. They played their first match with the look of a team determined to fight their way immediately back to the top, taking no prisoners on the way.
In the mixed doubles there were some thrilling encounters for so early in the season, with David Sutherland and Linda Thomson putting on a good display as they beat Carly Gray and late substitute Lee Jamieson. Second mixed was literally the centre court game with Jennifer Nisbet and Alec Brown fighting all the way to the last nail-biting points. However, Peter Hunter and Karen Priest stuck to their task and took the match 22-20 in the last game.
First mixed pairing for Unst, Kathleen Johnson and Andrew Hunter also produced a positive result for Unst despite the fact that the Yell pairing of Ross Keith and Belinda Anderson often looked like taking the game into a third set.
The experience and power of the Unst players certainly helped them to seal the result of the match with all level doubles matches going Unst’s way. Final result, Unst 9, Yell C 0.
A good start to the season, with both teams enjoying the banter, the bannocks and the badminton.