Shetland won the under-18 badminton inter-county 18-6 at the weend, but lost to a very strong Orkney team 23-13 in the under-13 competition.
Right from the start Orkney were under pressure and found themselves 3-1 behind after the first four singles matches. Calvin Leask, team captain Alan Johnson and debutant Jennifer Sim all won in two sets. Amanda Slater lost but only after a fight in three sets 21-14, 18-21, 19-21.
The next four matches all went Shetland’s way. Inga Woods, Kirstin Sineath, Roy Wood and Shane Jamieson performed well and Inga’s match went to three sets. Stephanie Keith beat Chelsea Cook and Stuart Sineath won the battle of the top boys, again both in two sets.
Orkney’s first seeded girl Rebecca Reid was just too strong for Lauren Hogg while Robert Smith did well to recover from a disastrous first set before he too lost narrowly in three sets. The match score after the singles was 9-3 to Shetland.
The third ranked level doubles pairs – Amanda and Jennifer and Alan and Calvin – both won comfortably. The second girls Inga and Kirstin won in two sets while their male counterparts Roy and Robert eventually lost out to Rory Anderson and Ewan Gray 18-21, 27-25, 16-21.
Both top couples were also involved in three set matches. Lauren and Stephanie won against Rebecca Reid and Chelsea Cook to seal overall victory and Stuart and Shane only just lost out to Orkney captain Gary Nicolson and David Delday in a top-quality encounter.
The match score was now 13-5 and the home players could relax in the knowledge that they had achieved their ninth successive inter-county victory.
Lauren and Calvin got the mixed doubles off to a good start as they overwhelmed Susie Manson and Magnus Wylie, and Amanda and Alan won 21-17, 11-21, 21-8 against Rhian Mackay and Matthew Reid.
Jennifer and Roy then saw off Alison Shearer and Rory Anderson before Inga and Robert won the most exciting match of the mixed round. The home couple edged a close first set before Rebecca Reid and David Delday levelled. With Robert moving well and hitting strongly and Inga picking off winners at the net, the pair regained the initiative to see off their opponents 21-19, 16-21, 21-14.
Orkney’s only victory came when Kirsten Tait and Ewan Gray defeated Stephanie and Shane, but the match ended on a high when Kirstin and Stuart gave a controlled display to see off Orkney’s best Chelsea Cook and Gary Nicolson.
With a final score of 18-6 the Peterson Shield was presented to winning captain Alan Johnson by Shetland senior singles champion Kevin Smith.
Orkney led by 9-3 after the first round of singles, with only Kerry MacGregor, Eoin Leask and Liam Flaws winning their matches for the home side. Kerry attacked well and won in two sets, as did Eoin, while Liam used good technique and fluid movement to take his match against Andrew Reid 21-17, 21-17.
Stuart Fraser, slightly flustered in the first game, had a close second set. Amy Sineath was drafted into the team on the day of the match and despite losing the first game to 10, she won the second game 21-16. Despite losing the third game narrowly 21-17, Amy showed that she has a good future on a badminton court. Claire Johnston made a good start in her singles and only just lost after three hard-fought games.
On court at the same time as Liam was Shetland’s number one boy Rory Irvine, facing Liam Delday. Rory reached a 19-16 lead in the first game only to lose at the death. Shannon Hughson put on a good display of girls’ singles, serving consistently well and being unlucky to lose.
Lynsey Morrison played with speed and agility to win 21-16, 21-16. Despite losing his first match Dean Guthrie came on to the court recharged. He won the first set comfortably and held on to take the second.
Liam Henderson fought many long rallies during his singles matches and although losing his first match, he regained composure and resolve before stepping on the court for a second time. He narrowly lost in three sets.
Shannon and Kerry showed real determination to win a close first set and they continued to take the second. Stuart and Liam proved to be a winning combination while Eoin and Dean always produce an entertaining game of level doubles. The first boys’ match produced excellent quality from all four with Shetland’s Rory and Liam proving to have superior power and flair.
Liam Henderson and Kate Tyler showed a level-headed approach to their game, staying calm under pressure. Dean and Shannon also had a close three-setter which they eventually won 21-19.
Liam and Lynsey’s game was another three close sets while Amy was thrown in at the deep end at first mixed. However, Rory played a forceful game and Amy displayed a sweet touch which repeatedly flummoxed the Orkney pair. It was a tremendous match to bring the whole event to a close with Shetland eventually losing to a strong Orkney team 23-13.
Kevin Smith stepped up to congratulate all the players and to present the shield to Claire Johnston, the Orkney captain.
A spokesman said Shetland Badminton Association wanted to thank everyone involved in a successful weekend, the parents of the Shetland players for hosting the visitors and main sponsors John Leask & Son for once again providing practical assistance over the two days.
Thanks were also given to catering and janitor staff at Sandwick school and to Graham Keith for driving the visitors all weekend.
Kevin finished by praising the players for an enthralling weekend of badminton with the promise of much more in future.