Grantham youngsters Jack Railton and Ryan Curtis both produced outstanding performances at the Lincolnshire Senior Restricted Badminton Championships in Lincoln at the weekend.
Jack, 17, began proceedings in the Men’s Singles with a stunning performance to defeat highly fancied number two seed and former champion Ben Garnham in a nail-biting three set battle, before 15-year-old Ryan, buoyed by his friend’s success, demonstrated great maturity and skill to defeat the more experienced number four and five seeds Kevin Liu and Tim Hought, despite losing the opening set in each contest.
The unranked pair, having won all of their three group matches to top their respective groups, then met in a memorable and entertaining late night semi-final, with Jack finally prevailing in a closely-fought encounter, 22-20, 21-17.
Jack, exhausted from his earlier efforts put in another fine performance in the final against top seed and reigning champion Tom Woodcock, but was unable to repeat his heroics, narrowly losing in straight sets.
To complete a memorable weekend, Jack and his partner Andrew Watson, both members of Grantham Badminton Club, put in a fine performance in the Men’s Doubles, before exiting in the semi-finals to the top seeds and eventual winners, Tom Woodcock and Ben Garnham.
Jack’s brother George, aged just 12, also competed in this senior competition but unfortunately he lost all of his games in singles and doubles but showed great determination and skill, gaining him some valuable experience for his next junior competition which is a badminton England under-15 gold tournament at Milton Keynes this weekend.
Thanks go to Jack and George’s coaches at Leicester and Nottingham performance centres where they train.