Ben Lane and Sean Vendy ran the world champions close in a YONEX All England classic and now want to bring down the world’s best on a consistent basis.

The English gave as good as they got against Japan’s Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi, battling back from a game and 7-4 down to take the second-round clash to the wire.

Vendy and Lane harnessed home support to win the second 21-19 and played out a pulsating deciding rubber, with highly-charged rallies and frantic exchanges ending in 24-22 defeat.

“We struggled a bit in the first game because the conditions were very different from the first round,” said Lane.

“One of the sides was much worse to play on – you could barely touch the shuttle and it’s flying, totally different to yesterday.

“We know they also had to play on that side, it was tough for them as well, and we did very well to get back into it in the second and played well in the third but just in the end, didn’t have enough to turn it around.”

Vendy added: “They’re world champions for a reason, they’re a very good pair. We knew we had to play our best to beat them.

“We hit our best in patches but just couldn’t maintain it throughout the whole match and that’s why we lost.”

The pair made prodigious progress in 2021 to reach the Olympics and with the Commonwealth Games in the second city soon to come, remain hungry to stay at the top.

“Our aim would be to play more matches like that, to be honest, and win a few more titles this year,” said Vendy.

“We’ve got a good mixture of tournaments that should help us get better and we’ll see what we can do.

“It’s just a case of us doing it day in, day out. I’s been a little bit up and down over the last six months, but in the last two months we’ve been really on it.

“It showed, we got really close to the world champions and we’ve got to take positives from that.”

Elsewhere Chloe Birch and Jessica Pugh showed glimpses of their potential as a partnership in a second-round exit.

The newly-formed pairing went down 21-16, 21-15 at the hands of Chinese surprise packages Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu.

A partisan evening crowd inspired the pair to good spells, particularly in the first game when they won five successive points, but watched them slip to defeat in 38 minutes.

“We haven’t seen too much of them play, they’re a new partnership, but they’re very good badminton players,” said Birch.

“We did some good stuff in there and it’s a good game to look back on and move forwards from.”

Having clubbed together for the first time at last week’s YONEX Gainward German Open, both chose to take the positives from their maiden Super 1000 together.

Pugh said: “Every match is a bonus to play and get more time together. The first round showed we’ve got some great fight in us, to get through whatever comes in our way.

“Today was a notch up in level but we gave our best out there and we know what we need to improve.”

The YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships return to Utilita Arena Birmingham with the best players from around the world from 16th – 20th March 2022.

Don’t miss out, get your tickets today.

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