The Borders U12 Badminton team won medals for the first time in 14 years at the Anglo-Scottish tournament in Ashington.
Teams from as far as Yorkshire and Cumbria to the north and west of Scotland all battled it out at the prestigious event.
Traditionally Borders teams have struggled against counties with several times their population, but this time out the Border Under 12 team punched well above their weight, winning three of their five matches to finish in third place overall.
With a mixture of experienced and some new players, the Borders team was up for it from the start, coming away with bronze medals after some titanic battles against some of the top players in both England and Scotland.
Each head-to-head match consisted of 15 games of singles, mixed and level doubles each to the best of three games (two to 21 with the final set up to 11). With a total of 75 games played, the Borders won 45, with nine out of 15 coming from tie breakers.
With most matches lasting more than two hours, there were some weary, but very determined bodies and little legs digging in during the long games.
The Borders got off to a difficult start with heavy defeats to Yorkshire and then Lothian. The day finished on a high, however with a superb 10-5 win over Lanarkshire.
Sunday was to be even better with first Cumbria being put to the sword by 12 games to three, then, in a tense final match, Borders dug deep to win 9-6 over Northumberland after some terrific individual performances backed by a tremendous team ethic and will to win.
The two captains, Eyemouth’s Robbie Patterson and Linsey Young (Kelso), led their team superbly over the weekend with Robbie leading from the front, showing strength and maturity in his play to win all but one of his singles, and then partnering an outstanding Gregor Murray (Duns PS) whose thinking play helped the team to several victories in both level and mixed.
P4 player Callum Smith (Duns PS) formed a fantastic partnership with another Berwickshire youngster, Abbey Nicol (Reston), the P4 pair surpassing all expectations in battling to three wins out of five in the mixed.
Keira Waddle and Leona Rhind, both Duns, were also showed fantastic, gritty play in winning more games than they lost. Keira also won her Singles game against a very good Northumberland player.
All the girls level doubles pairings each won three out of their five games. Kathryn Myatt (Eyemouth HS) had a strong presence this year in the team with mature play in both the level and mixed pairs. Her level partner Lizzie Edmondson also played some fine Singles and Level Doubles matches taking six out of her 10 games.
This was a fantastic whole-team performance from the Borders (including travelling ‘super’ substitute Ninian Grant), who supported and encouraged each other over throughout the weekend.
Coaches Hardie (Magpie), Purves and Young were all delighted with the third place and the team’s overall performance. Once again these youngster were great ambassadors for the Borders.