East London under 15 singles winner, Joe Rolfe

BADMINTON: West Norfolk junior player Joe Rolfe scored his biggest national success so far this season at the East London u15 bronze level event in Essex.

Rolfe, 14, from Downham Market, won the boys’ singles title in a strong field, which involved players from as far afield as Sussex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Kent.

Winners from 14 groups progressed to the elimination rounds with Rolfe comfortably winning his group matches 21-6, 21-16 and 21-5.

His first knockout match went 21-18 in his favour and the quarter-final was surprisingly easier with a 21-8 victory.

Rolfe took on Kent’s Harry Wang in the semi-final and found himself 16-10 down but dug deep to level the match and eventually prevailed 23-21.

With the entry of 52 boys down to the last two, Rolfe met Connor Strudwick from Surrey in the final.

It was a close match but having survived a close match in the semis, Rolfe was on top form and that gave him the edge with a 21-16 victory.

In the boys’ doubles with Raymon Ramakrishnan from Essex, Rolfe reached the quarter-finals before going out 21-15.