Downham Market and Dersingham duo bring home trophies

Joe Rolfe and Jessi Bateman with their respective doubles winners trophies.'Ian Wakefield
Joe Rolfe and Jessi Bateman with their respective doubles winners trophies.'Ian Wakefield
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West Norfolk Junior Badminton players, Joe Rolfe and Jessi Bateman, brought home winners’ trophies from their respective doubles events at the Norfolk Junior Badminton under 17 county championships.

Fifteen-year-old Joe from Downham, also finished runners-up in both the boy’s singles and the mixed events, so narrowly missed out on all three titles.

Playing with his regular partner, James Salter from Norwich, the pair dominated the boy’s doubles event, winning all five of their matches, with only one pair managing to get to double figures against them.

Charlie Wakefield (13), from Feltwell, entered the doubles, with Norwich’s George Underwood. Playing up an age group, the boys did very well to win one match and push the eventual runners-up to a close 18-21.

Joe and James were the top two seeds in the boy’s singles and duly won their respective groups very easily. Joe then played a semi-final against the group C winner, winning comfortably to set up a final against his partner Salter. This was the most exciting match of the day, with nothing between the boys throughout the game. As expected, the game went to setting at 20-all, but Salter took the title in the end by 22-20.

Bateman (13), from Dersingham, challenged herself by playing up an age group, and in the singles was unlucky to be drawn in the same group as the top seed, Amy Hayhoe from Norwich, and although she won her first three games, she was unable to defeat the eventual winner.

However, in the girl’s doubles, Jessi paired up with her regular partner, Caitlin Parfitt from Norwich and caused an upset, by winning all five matches to take the title. This included two wins by the narrowest of margins, 21-20.

The final event was the mixed doubles, where Joe, playing with Lucy Jarvis from Norwich, finished with his second runners-up trophy, unfortunately losing out again to Salter and his partner in the final.

l West Norfolk Juniors are sponsored by Roythorne’s Garage of North Wootton.