Val enjoys Euro debut
Bradford on Avon's Val O'Neill was one of three Avon players in a 92-strong England squad for the European Masters Badminton Championships, which took place in Bulgaria.
O'Neill – who plays for Chew Park at Keynsham Leisure Centre – made her continental ladies' singles debut when she competed in the WS60 age category.
And she acquitted herself well, beating Germany's Renate Becker 21-15, 11-21, 21-15 to reach the quarter- finals, where she lost 21-15, 21-12 to eventual runner-up Jessy Havelaar of the Netherlands.
O'Neill also reached the last eight of the ladies' doubles with Surrey's Sue Camblin, beating French duo Viviane Bonnay and Michele Bontemps 21-18, 16-21, 21-10 before losing 21-9, 21-17 to Scandinavian pairing Gitte Rasmussen and Lotten Wengberg.
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Fellow Avon players Dave Gribble and Penny Shears also travelled to Sofia, with the former going out in the second round of the MS50 singles.
Gribble and regular partner Sue Coulson also lost a nail- biting three-set match to Michael Huber and Ilona Kienitz in the mixed doubles but reached the second round of the men's doubles with Italian Roberto Scarabello, again losing to German opposition.
Shears teamed up with Derbyshire's Janet Fletcher in the WD60 ladies' doubles, reaching the quarter-finals where they lost 21-17, 21-17 to Germany's Brigitte Prax and Monika Regineri.