Two young local badminton players returned from Orkney with more than their fair share of trophies.
In a field of more than 90 players from Orkney, Shetland and throughout the Highlands, Beth MacPhail, aged 13, of Newvalley and Keith Bray, 12, of Aird Tong, had a successful trip during the second weekend in September.
Beth won the u-14 singles without dropping a set. Then she won the ‘plate’ competition in the u-14 girls doubles with a partner she had never met before the tournament. The first day was a good one for Beth.
Keith had made it into the semi-finals of the u-14 boys singles, only to be pipped by the Number One seed; an older giant of a player from Shetland.
However, in the u-14 doubles, Keith paired up his regular doubles partner Erlend Ballantine from Orkney. They were set on winning the u-14 boys doubles title despite both being a year younger.
After group stages and knock out rounds, the final was a match where the top Shetland pairing were toppled by Keith and Erlend; two games to one.
A good first day but the best was yet to come on day two!
Keith and Beth teamed up in the u-14 mixed. Although not seeded, they fought their way through to the final after two group stages. Once there, there was no giving up. They ground out a tenacious victory over an Orkney pairing in a three-game nail-biter; even after going a game down at the start. Lots of guts and a fair amount of guile was on show from the Lewis pair. And a worthwhile trip was complete.
Both players would like to thank Highland Badminton Group and Orkney Junior Badminton Club for organising the large event and also those who contributed to their car wash in Tong before their trip.
Special thanks also to the Lewis and Harris Sports Council for their ongoing financial support.
(Issued by Western Isles Badminton Association)