Norman Lau, the Alpha 16 year old who lifted a double haul of titles in the Ulster Under 17 Championships back in September came face to face with the same opponent, Ryan Getty, in a major Under 17 competition in Redbridge three months later.
In the Ulster final Getty had taken the opening set 21-11 only to lose 21-13 in the deciding third set.
The pair were also in the Ulster squad which competed with considerable prowess in the prestigious Sainsbury Games while Lau was only put out of the Irish Under 17 championships by the No2 seed Wolfgang Gnedt at the semi-final stage in straight sets.
Lau, born in Hong Kong was to make an impressive start to the Under 17 Gold Tournament at Redbridge knocking out Rehaan Khan 21-19 21-11 and Shailen Patel 21-19 219 in the qualifiers .
Remaining unbeaten throughout the prestigious competition will surely enhance his reputation.
Lau booked his place in the semi-final against Jonathan Tang who won the Kent Under 17 Silver competition at the end of November with victories over Zach Russ 21-8 21-7 and Daniel Blair 21-13 21-13.
Lau was in a confident mood and this showed in his play and he was never in danger of dropping either set and won 21-15 21-12.
Having safely negotiated his way through the qualifying rounds Getty had a difficult passage through to the final against his Alpha teammate being taken to three sets in both the first round where he defeated Nathen Rossiter 19-21 21-17 21-15 and in the quarter-final against Jordan Trebert – coming through 21-16 having lost the first 22-24.
It wasn’t much easier in the semi-final either as he had to call upon all his stamina and reserves to come through24-22 21-19 against Max Flynn who in 2012 won the Under 15 Cheltenham Gold Tournament.
Unfortunately for Ryan he was unable to show the same form which had taken him to the final and Norman Lau dominated the match to win 21-14 21-9 but this will surely give both Norman and Ryan the confidence to take on the very best not only at home but also in Europe.