The Shetland B inter-county team travelled down to Orkney at the weekend hoping to retain the silverware they won on a count back of sets won last year (Shetland won one set more than their Orkney rivals). Orkney had other plans this year. They were determined not to let it go down to a count back and won the match 8-4.
The level doubles got started with Andy Torbet and Brian Williamson losing to Shetland’s Steven Clark and Allan Johnston in a close three setter 21-17, 20-22, 12-21, the two Shetland boys taking a game to settle before being too strong for the Orkney pairing.
In the next two men’s level Orkney got off to good starts and proved too strong and determined for the Shetland boys to turn the games around. Ronald Thomson and Stevie Harvey beat Peter Hunter and Ramsay Hogg 14-21, 21-12, 21-16. Calm Flett and Graham Beck beat Kevin Robertson and John Lowrie Irvine 21-10, 21-16.
The ladies’ doubles started with an Orkney win. Kim Mackintosh and Laura Gray had a good win against Julie Keith and Amanda Slater 21-19, 17-21, 21-15. This was a good display from start to finish with some good rallies but Orkney used some good net play to win the game. It was a good strong show from Shetland’s latest cap Amanda Slater who no doubt will be back next year.
Jane Hill and Joanne Pottinger beat Shetland’s Sandra Petrie and Stephanie Keith 19-21, 21-15, 21-12. This was also a good game to watch – a lot closer than the score suggests but Orkney proving just that bit stronger to win the vital rallies.
Shetland’s number one ladies’ pairing went onto the court with real determination not to let the Orkney team take a 5-1 lead into the mixed doubles and they didn’t let their team down. Sandra Deans and Karan Kent lost to Shetland’s pairing of Vaila Kay and Kathleen Johnston 12-21, 14-21. It was hoped this would kick start the Shetland team for the mixed doubles.
The mixed doubles started with Laura Gray and Brian Williamson losing to the young pairing of Amanda Slater and Allan Johnston 16-21, 25-23, 15-21. The Shetland pairing were strong in the first game but seemed to let the Orkney pair control the second. But the young pair showed great determination and strong play not to let the third game go to the Orkney pairing.
The next two mixed all went in favour of the Orkney team. Both these matches were won in two sets but could have gone either way. Joanne Pottinger and Ronald Thomson beat Sandra Petrie and Steven Clark 21-17, 21-17. And Orkney’s Karan Kent and Stevie Harvey beat Julie Keith and Peter Hunter 21-17, 21-19. On another day both these games could have easily gone in favour of the Shetland pairings but Orkney were just that bit stronger on the day.
Shetland’s Stephanie Keith and Ramsay Hogg had a really good match against Orkney’s Kim Mackintosh and Callum Flett. There were a lot of long hard hitting rallies throughout the game with both the ladies managing to play strongly at the net. The first set went to Orkney 21-16 due to strong cross court drives from Callum. The second set went to Shetland 14-21. The Shetland pair controlled the game from the outset by playing straight drives which seemed to throw Callum off his game and allowed Stephanie to control the net. Orkney took the third 21-16; this game was close then the Orkney pair went on a run of points and proved too strong for the Shetland pair to pull back.
In the second mixed Jane Hill and Graham Beck lost to Shetland’s Vaila Kay and John Irvine 14-21, 21-17, 18-21. This was a good match from the start but with the ever determined Vaila and John Shetland looked the strongest from the start of the match.
In the final game of the day Sandra Deans and Andy Torbet beat Shetland’s Kathleen Johnston and Kevin Robertson 18-21, 21-15, 21-17. The Shetland pairing started out strongly hoping to keep the overall score to 7-5. After the first set the Orkney pair seemed to have the tactical edge on the Shetland pair and won the final game 2-1.
After the match the cup was presented to the Orkney captain Sandra Deans. Players of the match for Shetland were Vaila Kay and Allan Johnston for winning both their games.
The Shetland team would like to thank the Orkney team for the good match and the hospitality over the weekend.