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2015 NatWest Island Games / Father-daughter duo reach Jersey badminton final

Team Shetland mixed doubles pair, father and daughter Gordon Keith and Shona Mackay, beat Greenland to reach tomorrow's final. Photo: Shetland Island Games Association

SHETLAND brought their overall medal tally to 20 and secured a place in the mixed doubles badminton final after another successful day at the NatWest Island Games in Jersey.

Unstoppable swimmer Andrea Strachan bagged her fifth medal of the week by winning a gold in the 100m individual medley, whilst Felix Gifford augmented his own haul with a bronze in the 400m freestyle.

Runner Faye Cox picked up a bronze medal in the 200m event with a time of 25.68s, adding to her third place finish in the 100m race final on Monday. 

Sophie Moar also pocketed a bronze in the in the women’s long jump final.

Father and daughter duo Gordon Keith and Shona Mackay proved to be one of the day’s big success stories after fighting their way to the mixed doubles badminton final, which is due to take place tomorrow. It guarantees them at least a silver medal.

They beat Greenland in the semi-finals 21-19 and 21-15 to land a place in the final against Gotland. 

Earlier in the day the pair knocked out the Faroese top seeds by two sets to one, 21-13, 21-23, 21-15.

Mackay said to be playing alongside her dad in Jersey “makes it even more special”.

“We had no expectations to get through the first round as we had a really tough draw, but we just took one game at a time and here we are,” she added. “It’s all to play for tomorrow.”

The football team lost 3-1 in the semi-final following a spirited display against tough opponents the Isle of Man – but remain very much in the hunt for a bronze medal on Friday.

Lee Gale opened the scoring for Isle of Man and goalkeeper Erik Peterson pulled off some important saves, before Shane Jamieson equalised midway through the second half to send Team Shetland’s supporters wild. However, two goals from Frank Jones later put the game beyond doubt.

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Niall Bristow’s men will grab some much-needed rest overnight before facing Menorca, who lost to Guernsey after extra time on Wednesday, in the bronze medal match at 11am tomorrow.

“The game went pretty much as expected. We’d been well warned about their very direct tactics but with the physical and fast players that they have it is so hard to play against,” the manager said.

“We’re all disappointed with the opening goal. I felt we had weathered their early pressure and it was a hit and hope ball over the top when we had been in an attacking position.

“After this we did brilliantly to stay in the game and although we didn’t create a lot in the way of chances, the equaliser was certainly not against the run of play. Unfortunately we couldn’t hold on long enough to get them really panicky and the third was simply a case of a tiring team who had given everything.”

An all-star crew of swimmers – including the likes of Strachan and Gifford – came last in the mixed 8 x 50m freestyle relay, which was won by the Isle of Man.

Caitlin Watt finished fifth in the final of the discus, while some of the shooters also missed out on medals.

Darren Leslie, Jim Work and Christopher Williams came a respectable seventh in the English sporting team event.

Their peers John Magnus Laurenson and Bryan Sutherland ended up 14th and 18th respectively in the English skeet individual open section.

The archers failed to pick up a medal but performed well against stiff opposition in the head to head team knockouts.

Shetland Island Council convenor Malcolm Bell, meanwhile, is among the guests visiting the team in Jersey. He said that he competitors have “done great” in the games so far.

“I saw Andrea Strachan and Elaine Park win medals last night,” Bell said. “It’s a great atmosphere. It’s the first time I’ve been to the away games, and it’s been a brilliant experience.”

Team Shetland remain in ninth place out of 24 on the medals table, with five golds, six silvers and nine bronzes to their name.

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