Scotland Women secured their first badminton team medal but their journey at the 2020 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships came to an end with a 3-1 defeat to Germany.
Kirsty Gilmour got the contest off to a perfect start with victory, but three consecutive defeats brought Scotland’s brilliant week to a close with a bronze.
In just reaching the semi-finals though, Scotland qualified for the Uber Cup for the first time in the competition’s history.
Gilmour got the Scots off to a flying start, despite losing the opening game of her match with Yvonne Li 19-21.
But she fought back in style and narrowly edged a tight second game 21-19 before pulling away in the finale 21-15.
Rachel Sugden was next up but Fabienne Deprez proved too strong, prevailing 21-13 21-8 to level up the match at one apiece.
The third contest was a real barnstorming encounter, with Ann-Kathrin Spӧri beating Julie MacPherson in a three-game thriller.
And the Scot started sensationally, winning the opening game 21-19 before being pegged back in the second 17-21.
The final game was much more straightforward, however, as Spӧri won it 21-9 to put Germany ahead overall.
The doubles duo of Eleanor O’Donnell and Ciara Torrance were next up, facing off against Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich.
But it was the Germans who led both legs from start to finish to win 21-19 21-14 – booking a place in the final against first seeds Denmark.
Reflecting on the defeat, O’Donnell said: “We’re a bit gutted. But overall, we’re quite happy with the way this week went.
“We wanted to get to the final, but we came quite a bit further than we expected. We have mixed emotions, we’re really happy that we came this far but we’re really gutted that we couldn’t go that one step further and actually make it to the final.
“Now we go back to Scotland and get more work done before the Uber Cup in May. It’s been a very good week and I think everyone on the team will agree.”
It has indeed been a memorable week for Scotland, with their victory over second seeds Russia in the last eight providing the shock of the tournament.
Lots has surely been learnt while the future can only be bright after the performances of the week, with Torrance praising the team ethos shown this tournament.
“It feels amazing,” said Torrance. “I feel a bit bad because I’ve only played two matches here, but this team have put in such a good effort.
“We’ve come here and proved we’re here to do a job and win medals, so we’ll see how the Uber Cup goes now.”