MacPherson and O'Donnell out of Italian International at quarter-fianal stage

Julie MacPherson and Eleanor O’Donnell’s YONEX Italian International campaign has come to an end after missing out on a place in the last four.

The pair had battled through to the quarter-finals after beating Danish opposition in three gripping games on Friday, but the Swedish pair of Emma Karlsson and Johanna Magnusson proved a step too far.

The two teams had never played each other previously and are sat close together in the rankings, though it was Karlsson and Magnusson who progressed 21-11 21-17.

That was despite the Scots taking the early lead, only for their counterparts to reel off nine straight points to wrestle the advantage.

Another run of points saw them extend their lead, and while MacPherson and O’Donnell fought valiantly – successfully defending five game points – they couldn’t quite do enough to prevent the opener going to the Swedes.

The second game was a much tighter affair, though Karlsson and Magnusson held the lead after the early stages.

From there the Scots battled resiliently, but found the final few points to be out of their grasp as they missed out in 29 minutes, bringing to an end their week in Milan.

That draws to a close an exciting year of badminton for Scotland’s shuttlers, with a big 2018 also in store at every level of the sport.