Despite Orkney’s B team arrival being hampered on Saturday by a late take off at Kirkwall, they were not put off their game, shocking the Shetland team with an early 3-0 lead in the inter-county badminton match. The first two matches on court were exciting three setters but unfortunately Julie Keith and Jackie Guthrie and John Lowrie Irvine and Allan Johnson eventually lost out.
Linda Thomson and Vaila Kay never got going and lost out in straight sets while on the adjacent court another three setter was under way. Father and son combination Peter and Andrew Hunter had lost the first set and faced defeat at 19-20 in the second; with sheer determination they recovered and went on to win a thrilling match 16- 21, 24-22, 21-14.
Loraine Anderson and Diana Jamieson continued the Shetland comeback with a comfortable win at first women’s, but Orkney’s first men were too powerful for Brian Wood and Erik Henry. The match score after the level doubles was Shetland 2, Orkney 4.
Things got worse for the home side when the visitors took sixth mixed, but Vaila and Peter put up a gritty performance to win their match. Shetland were now trailing 3-5.
Shetland’s traditional strength at mixed then started to shine through. Linda and Andrew combined well to win 21-12, 21-17 against Joanne Pottinger and Stevie Harvey. Diana had come into the team at the last minute as reserve for the unfortunate Kathleen Johnson who was injured only a couple of days before the match. Despite this Diana combined well with John Lowrie and they saw off Jane Hill and Graham Beck 21-15, 21-18 to level the match at 5-5. By now spectators and players were very vocal in support of their team.
Jackie Guthrie and B team stalwart Erik Henry took Shetland into the lead when they won comfortably at second mixed against Alison Shearer and Robbie Norquoy. Youngster Alison had also come in as reserve for an injured team-mate. Loraine and Brian had a tough match against Karen Kent and hard-hitting Gary Nicolson. An exciting first set narrowly went to Orkney and although never far behind, the home pair eventually had to concede defeat 20-22, 16-21.
This made the overall match score Shetland 6, Orkney 6 and exactly the same overall match score as a year ago. On that occasion Orkney won the match on count back of sets in which they led 14-13. Amazingly the score this year was exactly the same, but this time in Shetland’s favour.
Next event in the badminton calendar is the A county match against Caithness on Thursday night at Clickimin. Spectators are warmly invited to come along to enjoy what should be a terrific battle.