Dunnet couple prove themselves unbeatable
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MARK and Shona Mackay repeated their clean sweep of trophies at Caithness Badminton Association’s annual open championships in Wick.
The Dunnet couple again proved unbeatable in the singles and level doubles before combining to take the mixed title.
Mark, the longtime county kingpin, won the round-robin single competition without dropping a set.
One of the best games of the day involved Halkirk youngster Peter Sangster and Wick’s Stephen Hill. Peter toughed out a marathon, stamina-sapping first set 27-25 before Stephen levelled after edging the second set 23-21. Peter claimed the decider 21-14 to finish overall second.
Mark went on to team up with club colleague Gavin Robertson to land the level doubles, with Peter and Stephen runners-up.
He and Shona then won their qualifying group in the mixed before getting home in a two-set final versus the other group winners, Peter and Carole Mowat, Thurso.
Shona did not drop a set in landing the singles crown before partnering Halkirk youngster Kate MacNicol to victory in the doubles.
Wick’s Donna Majilton was twice the bridesmaid, finishing second in the singles and, along with Thurso’s Michelle Cowie, runner-up in the level doubles.
Euan Jappy meanwhile starred in the restricted championships held in Thurso.
The Wick youngster followed up his singles success with victories in both the level and mixed doubles.
He comfortably topped his qualifying group in the singles before cruising to a 21-7, 21-3 win in the final versus Castletown teenager Michael Stone.
Euan and Wick club-mate Andrew Falconer then topped the four entries in the level doubles, which was played on a round-robin format. They did not drop a set, with their hardest match coming against runners-up, the veteran pairing of Davie Swanson, Halkirk, and Andy Nicolson, Castletown.
Nine couples contested the mixed event, in which Euan again tasted success along with Halkirk partner Kate MacNicol.
Straight-sets victories in their four group matches was followed up with a 21-15, 21-11 win in the final versus Andrew Falconer and Karen Miller, Lybster.
Kate earlier took the women’s singles after prevailing in a very competitive final versus Joanne Mackay, from Wick. The latter claimed the first set but Kate battled back to level before taking the decider 21-15.
Joanne was also pipped in the level doubles when she and partner Bronwyn Ross, from Thurso, were edged out by Pauline Gunn, Thurso, and Marina Swanson, Halkirk.
The decider in the round-robin series saw the latter battle back from losing the first set to come through 18-21, 21-19, 21-13.
Tomorrow, Caithness and Orkney will make a third attempt to play the first leg of the annual intercounty challenge.
Stormy weather prevented the islanders travelling on two previous occasions. They are hoping to make it third time lucky for tomorrow’s rearranged fixture in Wick High’s games hall.