Motherwell’s Alex Dunn returned from last week’s European junior badminton championships in Poland with a bronze medal.
The teenager reached the semi-finals of the boys’ doubles with playing partner Adam Hall, from Mauchline, to guarantee at least a bronze.
And they weren’t far away from reaching the final itself, pushing second seeds and eventual winners Alexander Bond and Joel Eipe all the way before just losing out 21-17 18-21 21-15 in a 48-minute contest.
The Danes took control from 14-14 with a four-point burst to take the first game. But the young Scots turned the tables in the second with a three-point surge from 17-17 on the way to squaring the match.
And Scottish hopes were high when Motherwell’s Dunn and Mauchline’s Hall led 11-7 at the midgame interval in the decider only for the Danes to hit back hard with six points in a row to create the platform for victory.
Despite the defeat Dunn was delighted at earning Scotland’s first European under-19 medal since 2005.
He said: “I’m disappointed to have lost such a close game but I’m pleased with the way we played and I’m delighted to come away from this tournament with a medal.”
Team manager Karen Stalker added: “It was a truly outstanding performance by Alex and Adam against the second seeds from Denmark and they have played really well throughout the whole tournament.
“They were unfortunate not to win the match but both boys should be extremely proud of their performances and of winning a bronze medal.”
Returning to the city of Lubin, where they won the Polish Junior Championship in January, Dunn and Hall were seeded joint fifth and opened with a quickfire 21-5 21-9 win over Greek pair Panagiotis Botelis and Asimakis Vlahopoulos in just 15 minutes overall.
Germany’s David Peng and Jan Colin Volker were then overpowered 21-10 21-16 to set up a return clash with French third seeds Toma Popov and Thomas Vallez in the quarter-finals.
The previous week Dunn and Hall beat their opponents in the team competition - the only players to take a point from any French players in three group matches - and repeated their victory, winning 21-18 21-13.
Doubles success provided more than adequate consolation for Dunn going out of the singles at the first hurdle.
An unkind draw paired the youngster with Denmark’s rising star, joint fifth seed Anders Antonsen who beat him 21-9 21-14 and then went on to win the gold medal.