THE JOHN Leask & Son second division badminton league is now in full swing.
Sandwick played host to Yell C in Sandwick, and although the final score seemed like a resounding 7-2 victory for the North Isles players, the score did not reflect the amount of hard work, determination and sweat on the courts.
Sandwick romped off to a promising start, taking two of the three mixed games with Iain Smith and Jane Morton beating Ross Keith and Stephanie Keith 21-14, 23-21. Duncan McGregor and Wilma Sineath also battled their way to a win over Carly Gray and Callum Gray (26-24, 16-21, 21-16) Yell stayed in contention as Stanley Gray and Jennifer Nisbet beat Iain Hay and Eileen Chisolm 22-20, 21-14.
All to play for then, as the teams met in the level doubles. However, Yell showed their dominance in this event, going on to win all the games. The closest of these were Wilma and Eileen’s nail biting match against Jennifer and Carly, with the Yell pair showing a wider range of shots and perhaps Wilma’s long boat trip the night before beginning to tell on her weary legs.
In the men’s doubles, the final match between Iain Hay and Duncan MacGregor and Stanley and Callum proved to be an entertaining and hard fought finale to a good day’s badminton. Stanley and Callum finally put a seal on the outcome of the match with a 21-13, 15-21, 21-9 scoreline.
Unst A against Whalsay B was an eagerly anticipated top of the table tie, with Unst A looking for revenge after Whalsay B had vanquished their comrades Unst B earlier in the season.
In the mixed doubles, Unst showed their dominance. The highlight was the second mixed where Peter Hunter and Lauren Hogg beat Sandy Kay and Cathy Shearer 21-13, 21-14. This was Lauren’s first taste of victory in Unst colours as she was drafted in to play at the last minute.
The ladies’ doubles was a tighter affair, with Whalsay winning two of the three as Vaila Kay and Cathy Shearer beat Kathleen Johnson and Lauren (21-13, 19-21, 21-16). In another tight game, the mother daughter pairing of Kathleen and Linda Thomson beat Vaila and Abby Irvine, 21-18, 18-21, 21-15.
Unst completed the victory when Andrew Hunter and David Sutherland beat Magnie Irvine and Jimmy Tulloch 18-21, 21-10, 21-14 to take the third men’s game. Final score – Unst A 7, Whalsay B 2.
Players of the match were Peter Hunter for Unst and the ever-steady, unruffled Cathy Shearer for Whalsay.
Another very closely fought match in the league was played out between Unst B and their hosts Gulberwick.
The home team began well in the mixed doubles with a win for Gail Bray and Jim Wood against Megan Burns and Kevin Priest (17-21, 21-19, 21-14).
The winning start for Gulberwick continued when Jane Hulme and Brian Hill just edged out Hazel Spence and Gordon Thomson 21-18, 21-15. The Unst team then rallied with a win for their third mixed couple Elizabeth Johnson and Frank Josephs over Mairi Thomson and Ross Anderson by 21-11, 21-8.
It was neck and neck in the level doubles with wins for Jim and Brian over Kevin and Gordon, and for Jane and Mairi over Hazel and Elizabeth, before the visitors responded with victories for Gordon and Frank against Brian and Ross and for Megan and Elizabeth against Gail and Mairi.
That then left the match score poised at 4-3 in Gulberwick’s favour with two remaining ties. Unst’s Megan and Elizabeth took the full three sets to edge out Jane and Gail 19-21, 21-17, 22-20, before the Unst men Frank and Kevin clinched the match with victory over Jim and Ross.
Best for Unst were young Megan Burns and veteran Frank Josephs, while Jim Wood shone for Gulberwick.
Gulberwick also played host to Sandwick B, and again fought all the way only to go home with a frustrating 6-3 loss.
In the first mixed doubles match, George Kerr and Jane Morton just had the edge over Brian Hill and Jean Sinclair, winning in a close three setter, 21-19, 17-21, 21-14.
Playing at the same time to make best use of the three courts at Clickimin were ladies and gents doubles pairings. Gulberwick were victorious in both, with Jane Hulme and Mairi Thomson beating Wilma Sineath and Eileen Chisolm. At the same time Jim Wood and Ross Anderson beat John Bain and Duncan MacGregor 21-13, 21-16.
Sandwick then got back on the winning trail in the second and third mixed doubles. Again the margins were very narrow as John and Eileen took three sets to overcome Jim and Jane. Meanwhile although Duncan and Wilma grasped their victory in two sets they were both battled to the last few points.
The match was finally secured for Sandwick in the next two level doubles. Jane and Wilma overcame Jean and Mhairi while George and Duncan beat Brian and Ross.
The best player for the visitors from Sandwick was Jane Morton who still plays with a deftness of touch and real finesse around the net. Special mention must be given to young Ross Anderson from Gulberwick who played exceedingly well as a late call up for his team.