Exmouth Lane brothers Alex and Ben had stormed into a new badminton season with Alex landing a major title.

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Exmouth’s Alex Lane took the first Under-19 tournament title of the season with two wins against the top two ranked players in England in the Under-19 age groups.

The event took on extra importance this year as teams for the Danish Cup and World juniors will be announced shortly after the tournament.

The mixed event was first and it saw Lane, with partner Chloe Birch, win their two matches in straight sets to reach the semi-finals.

Meanwhile brother Ben Lane and Jess Pugh faced team mate Alice Feesey, and emerged victorious in a close match. The pair then went on to also reach the last four which, given that they are still in the Under-16 age group, was some achievement!

Next up was the men’s singles and Alex Lane, seeded thre/four, topped his group without being stretched. Ben Lane again found himself facing a friend in his group , as he and Dan Chow played to decide the group winner after both had beaten Dan Clark. Lane put in a strong performance to overcome his god friend in straight games, 21-18 21-15.

In the quarter finals Ben Lane faced the tall number-two seed Tom Wolfenden. A close encounter ensued with Wolfenden winning 21-15, 21-8.

Alex Lane played Darren Adamson and won in convincing fashion 21-10 21-12.

In the doubles Ben Lane and Sean Vendy lost a thrilling match against Aaron Cheng/Darren Adamson, going down 21-18 in the third set.

Day Two of the championships started with last years European Under-17 champion Alex Lane facing the top seed, Rhys Walker. Lane made a slow start, but clawed back Walker’s initial lead to take the first set 21-18. In the second set Lane controlled the game from start to finish to complete a 21-15 win.

In the mixed semis Alex Lane and Chloe Birch lost out to the top seeds Wolfenden and Smith whilst Ben Lane came through a great three set match with Aaron Cheng to reach the final.

In the boys’ singles final Alex Lane faced Tom Wolfendon. Lane is the current reigning European and National Under-17 champion whilst his opponent had beaten him on his way to being crowned national Under-19 champion.

This meeting at the start of the new season was highly anticipated and with many spectators and national selectors watching they played a great three set match lasting over an hour!

Lane led 11-3 at first game interval, but his opponent fought back only for Lane to emerge with a 21-19 win. Lane led again in the second game, however this time Wolfenden saved crucial points at the end with a great slice and then a fortunate net cord took the match to a decisive third game.

Woolfenden had the momentum and led early, but Lane clawed his way back to have match points in his favour which he eventually claimed to win the title 21-18, 20-22, 21-18.

In the mixed final Ben Lane and Jess Pugh found the older players’ size and power too much, but still put in a strong performance losing 21-8, 21-18.

So a second successive win this season for Alex Lane and a great runner-up spot for Ben Lane. Next up Alex travels to Belgium for their national Junior Championship whilst brother Alex travels to Switzerland for their national event.

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