Teenagers from Nuthall made a bold bid to win a national badminton competition for the first time since it began 25 years ago.
The lads from the Boys’ Brigade company based at Nuthall Methodist Church reached the grand UK finals of the competition.
And having progressed through all the qualifying rounds, they found themselves flying the flag not only for Nottinghamshire but also for the whole of England and Wales.
However, the finals, which were held at the Leicester University campus, ended in disappointment as they suffered three defeats and finished in fifth place overall.
“We still did ourselves proud because we were one of the youngest teams in the competition, which is one of the toughest of its kind” said captain Alex Gibb.
“We have gone close on many occasions to an overall tournament success, but it continues to elude us.
“We will give it another try next year and, as ambassadors for Nottinghamshire, we will do our best to bring home the grand prize.”
The badminton tournament was open to all Boys’ Brigade companies across the country. The Nuthall team represented the 32nd Nottingham company, and they powered through the early knockout rounds to qualify for Leicester, notching up four successive victories against rivals from Beeston, London, Birmingham and Hartlepool.
However, despite their best efforts in the finals, they were beaten by 4th Newton Abbey company from Northern Ireland, 1st Largs company from Scotland and the 9th Southend company from Essex.
The 65th Edinburgh company took the honours as title winners, with 4th Newtown Abbey taking the runners-up trophy.
As well as badminton, the Boys’ Brigade runs annual national competitions in five-a-side football (for seniors and juniors), chess and table tennis, plus a masterteam quiz contest.