Jessi from Dersingham and Joe from Downham Market victorious at schools championships

Joe Rolfe and Jessi Bateman
Joe Rolfe and Jessi Bateman
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West Norfolk Junior Badminton players Jessi Bateman and Joe Rolfe both won titles at the Norfolk Schools under 16 championships in Norwich last weekend.

Jessi, 13 years old from Dersingham, won two titles, including retaining the girl’s singles.

She won all her initial group matches in straight games to reach the semi-final, where she beat an U17 county player to reach the final against her doubles partner Caitlin Parfitt from Norwich. Despite previous matches between the two being close, Jessi won 15-13, 15-7.

Jessi then retained the girl’s doubles title, with partner Caitlin, after winning all of their matches in straight sets.

Joe Rolfe (15), from Downham, who is sponsored by Top Spin Tennis, was the winner of the boy’s singles. The biggest entry of the day, this was split into four groups, with the top two going forward to the quarter-finals and the bottom two into a plate competition.

Joe easily won his group and quarter-final, and then he won his semi 15-7, 15-10. In the final he beat Norwich’s Morgan Taylor 15-10, 16-14.

Harry Wakefield, 10, from Feltwell, caused an upset in his group, defeating an U17 county player to reach the quarter-finals, and finished eighth overall.

Ten year-old Cole Fowler from Downham challenged much older opposition and did very well in the plate in his first-ever county tournament.

With his regular partner unavailable, Joe partnered Harry in the boy’s doubles and did very well to reach the semi-finals. They won the third place play off 15-11, 15-10.

The mixed doubles finished in a three-way tie with two wins each, and had to be decided on games difference. Joe and partner Abi Davis finished runners-up.

l WNJB is sponsored by Roythorne’s Garage of North Wootton.