Dersingham and Runcton Holme aces Jess and Joe strike gold and silver national medals

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West Norfolk junior badminton players Jess Bateman and Joe Rolfe won gold and silver medals at recent U18 national Badminton England tournaments.

Fourteen-year-old Jess, from Dersingham, won the gold medal in singles at the under 18 bronze grade tournament in Nottingham.



Playing up an age group, Jess caused an upset to take the title, defeating both the number one and two seeds en route.

After initially beating the number 2 seed, Amy Keedy from Notts in the group stage, Jess comfortably won her quarter-final, then defeated Yorkshire’s Lucy Walker 15-18, 15-10 in the semi-final to face the top seed Elizabeth Hambling from Worcestershire in the final.

After shocking the top seed to easily win the first game 15-6, Hambling rallied to take the second 15-13, but Jess held her nerve in the decider, winning 15-10 to take the title and gold medal.

Joe, 16 from Runcton Holme, who is personally sponsored by Top Spin Tennis, played in the under 18 bronze level tournament in Stevenage where he reached the final of the boys’ singles, only just missing out on the gold medal.

After winning all games in his initial group, Joe played Max Kelly from Bucks in the quarter-final and beat him comfortably 15-9, 15-8.

In the semi-final he met Stephen Elliot from Herts, where his good form continued and he reached the final after a 15-13, 15-11 win.

In the final, Joe played the top seed, Harry Morgan from Surrey. Joe won the first game 15-9, and the second game was close throughout, but Harry won it 15-13, then took the final game 15-5, leaving Joe with a very creditable silver medal.

l West Norfolk Junior Badminton is sponsored by Roythorne’s Garage of North Wootton.