Beith’s Eleanor O’Donnell’s epic win was not enough as Scotland exited at the group stage of the European Mixed Team Championships in Finland.

Scotland qualified for the tournament at the end of 2020 and it was the first time since 2015 that the national team has made it to the final stages.

O’Donnell went into the tournament off the back of an injury which had ruled her out of the qualification campaign in December.

With that hindering her game time she missed out on the first match up of the group stage which saw the Scots lose 4-1 to Germany.

However, she came back in to play against Finland in the mixed pairs with Christopher Grimley in the tie deciding match with both teams having won two matches each.

It was a tough match and in the deciding game, O’ Donnell and Grimley came good winning 21-18 and gave Scotland their first win of the tournament.

Despite her heroics O’Donnell missed out Scotland’s 3-2 loss against eventual tournament winners Denmark, as they went home after finishing third in the group.

Speaking to the Herald, O’Donnell said: “I was injured in the period leading up to the competition, so I went into the tournament not really expecting too much.

“We have a strong squad, so I wasn’t expecting to play too much but I was glad that I got the win against Finland in the game I did play.”

“I think with it being such a young squad it was amazing for us even to qualify and then to get the chance to go and play against the top teams in Europe at the finals was just amazing.”

The 22-year-old has achieved a lot in her badminton career so far including a silver medal at the European Junior Championship in 2017 and representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Despite her accolades and achievements, O’Donnell still fondly remembers her humble origins at Beith Primary.

“I started playing badminton in school with Cathie McLaughlin, I was the youngest there, but I still always wanted to keep going and beating all the older kids.”