Norman Lau the, No2 seed in the Irish Under 17 Championships, didn’t manage to secure the confidence boost he had been hoping for ahead of the U17 European Championships later this month, securing a solitary victory in the mixed doubles at the National Badminton Centre.
Having carried off the Ulster Under 17 title back in September when he beat his Alpha colleague Ryan Getty in three sets and enjoying some cross-channel success by winning the Under 17 Gold Tournament in Redbridge – again beating his team-mate Ryan Getty - the Hong Kong born player progressed through the early rounds without too much concern.
He then faced old adversary Ryan Getty for a place in the final.
With Getty only having recorded one win over Lau in the past couple of seasons these games are never anything less than a battle royal, with both players able to mix deft shots around the net with powerhouse smashes.
It was Getty, who shares his love of badminton with being a very promising hockey player at Wallace High School, who was to gain an early advantage and he took the opening set 23-21 only for the No2 seed Lau to take the match in to a decider 21-14.
The final set saw both players unable to gain any substantial advantage or run of points and there was nothing between the two semi-finalists right up to 15-all.
Then Getty piled on the pressure and a few unforced errors allowed Getty to race into a 19-16 lead.
Having only won one match in the past couple of years against Lau, he was never going to allow his opponent an opportunity to get back in to the game and he booked his place in the final against top-seeded Sam Mckay, who lifted the Under 15 title last season 21-16.
The final though did not quite live up to expectations and Getty could not produce the vital zip to his game that might have taken him to the coveted Irish title to add to the Under 17 Gold he won in Surrey back in January as he lost 24-22 21-18 in just short of the half hour mark.