Players from Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles returned from the 2019 Island Games at Gibraltar with their heads held high.
After a very intense week of competition, starting with the team event before moving on to the individual events, players left the Europa Point Sports Complex having given it their all.
Shetland were the best placed team from Scotland, finishing in 6th place, going down narrowly to Jersey 3-2.
Orkney had a convincing 5-0 win over Aland to secure 11th place. Western Isles although finishing in 16th place and going down 3—2 to Ynys Mon should take a great deal of encouragement from this event as it is the first time that they have entered a badminton team. Their youngest member Beth McPhail (indeed youngest Western Isles competitor), picking up a couple of wins.
Shetland’s Shona Mackay and Ramsay Hogg were the well- deserved singles plate winners, unfortunately at the expense of their near neighbours Orkney.
Shona Mackay & partner Laura Guthrie made it to the quarter finals in the ladies doubles, before going down 2-0 to the eventual winners from the Isle of Man.
Making the last 16 were:
Men’s Singles – Luca Russel (Shetland), Dean Guthrie Shetland
Ladies Singles- Chloe Hitchin ( Shetland), Rebecca Reid ( Orkney)
Men’s Doubles – Rory Irvine & Luca Russell ( Shetland), Eion Ballantine & Sam Rendall ( Orkney)
Ladies Doubles- Chloe Hitchin & Amy Keith (Shetland), Lyndsay Mackenzie & Beth McPhail (Western Isles)
Mixed Doubles- Liam Flaws & Amy Keith (Shetland), Andrew Reid & Emma Work (Orkney)
It was agreed by all athletes who took part, that the venues, setting and organisation of the Nat West Island Games in Gibraltar was one of the best. A hard act to follow.
Along with the many new friendships, old acquaintances that were a big part of this week of fierce competition, the greatest incentive for so many players was to come back in 2 years’ time, fitter, stronger and totally motivated for the next challenge.