|as of 10 December 2012|
Invitation Tournament - Season 2011-2012 - 02&03/03/12
Dunnet's Mark Mackay narrowly missed out on a back-to-back treble at the 15th annual Caithness invitation badminton tourney at the weekend.
The 38-year-old won the singles and partnered wife Shona to claim the mixed but he and young partner Peter Sangster were just pipped in an epic level doubles final.
The two day competition in Wick and Thurso attracted visitors from Shetland, Orkney and the central belt.
A particularly strong entry of women ensured the standard of play in the singles and level doubles was among the highest in the history of the contest.
Mark Mackay was not seriously discomfited in his run to the singles title.
He did not drop a set, seeing off Shetland youngster Roy Wood in the semi before getting the better of Falkirk's Paul Scott in the final.
The latter had been taken to the wire at the penultimate stage by Sangster.
The following day, the Halkirk youngster teamed up with Mackay in the doubles.
They defeated Shetland and Orkney combines en route to the final where they came up against Wood and his experienced island colleague Gordon Keith.
Keith had somehow managed to fight through the pain barrier after picking up an injury in the inter-county match last Thursday evening.
He and Wood survived a three set marathon in their semi versus Paul Wood and Wick's Stephen Hill, winning the decider 27-25.
The final was equally competitive with very little to separate the partnerships.
The Shetland duo took the first set 23-21 but parity was restored as Mackay & Sangster took the second 21-19.
Extra points were inevitably required to settle the intriguing contest with Keith & Wood toughing it out to prevail 22-20 in the clincher.
Mackay gained some measure of revenge over Keith in the mixed.
They defeated another Shetland pairing, Wood and Caithness exile Zoe Anderson, in their semi before scoring a two set victory over Keith and Morag Fox.
The latter had to pull out all the stops before getting home in a tense three-setter in their semi versus Sangster and Carole Begg.
Shona Mackay emulated Mark in not dropping a set on her way to claiming the women's singles title.
After defeating Thurso's Michelle Cowie in the semi, she comfortably accounted for Wick's Donna Majilton in the final.
Shona's run in the level doubles was ended at the penultimate stage when she and partner Kate MacNicol went down in two hard-fought sets to Edinburgh duo Caroline Young and Sandra Watt.
The latter went on defeat the reigning champions, Casey Sangster and Carole Begg in straight sets.
The latter negotiated a tough route to the final, including a tough three setter in their semi against Shetland number 1 pairing Anderson and Fox.
Caithness players almost completed a clean sweep of the plate silverware.
Wick's Ewan Jappy won the men's singles and combined with club-mate Benji Mackay to win the level doubles while Thurso's Pam Bain and Jane Grant won the women's doubles and Benji and Joanne Mackay took the mixed.
Shetland's Laura Guthrie beat Joanne to win the singles title.
report from Iain Grant