Exmouth badminton ace beaten in first ever men’s doubles Grand Prix semi-final

PUBLISHED: 18:40 25 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:40 25 November 2017

Ben Lane in action

Ben Lane in action

© Sportsbeat/Roberto Payne

Exmouth badminton ace Ben Lane was left to rue mistakes after being defeated in his first ever men’s doubles Grand Prix semi-final.

Lane, 20, and doubles partner Sean Vendy, have enjoyed a strong week at the 2017 Scottish Open in Glasgow but lost to Dutch pairing Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling 21-13 21-18 on Saturday.

The English duo weren’t at their best during the first game and after a change of tack in the second were much improved, but Lane couldn’t hide his disappointment at not turning the game around.

“It’s hard to see the positives right now,” said the youngster. “We didn’t bring anything anywhere near our level.

“It’s disappointing for us because we played so well throughout the tournament, but we’ll watch it back and take some positives from it.

“We definitely thought we could turn it around, there were a couple of shots that we just missed — if they’d gone our way it could have been different.

“It’s our first Grand Prix semi-final, obviously we’re happy with how we played here.

“We beat two seeds and we’re unseeded, but we’re still quite disappointed.

“After beating the number two seeds we wanted to try and carry on our form but we couldn’t find it today.”

Despite the defeat, the English pairing have had a good week in Glasgow, and their first-ever semi-final appearance at a Grand Prix event capped off an event which Vendy only decided to play at the last minute due to an injury.

The youngsters played some excellent badminton throughout, and will no doubt look back fondly on their two wins on Friday, which came either side of a car crash whilst travelling between venues.

Lane also played alongside another rising talent of English badminton, Jess Pugh, in the mixed doubles draw at the tournament, and says he’ll continue with both disciplines in future.

“I don’t have a focus on one,” he added. “I’ll do both throughout my whole career.

“I need to play both events because they both help develop different things.

“We’ve got one more tournament before Christmas, in Italy, then we’ve got a bit of a down period in January before we start tournaments again.

“Over the last three months I’ve been away for nine weeks so it will be really nice to have a rest over Christmas.

“We’ve a couple of days off in between Christmas and New Year so I’ll be able to go back home to Devon.”

The Scottish Open Grand Prix is being hosted at the Emirates Arena by BADMINTONscotland with support from Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. Tickets are on sale at www.badmintonscotland.org.uk or at the Emirates Arena box office.

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