Commonwealth Games: Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith set sights on bronze return in badminton

Marcus Ellis insisted there was no need for any home truths with partner in life and badminton Lauren Smith after England were consigned to the bronze medal match at Birmingham 2022.

The Huddersfield hero, 32, and girlfriend Smith lost the opening mixed doubles of England’s semi-final defeat to Malaysia, but Ellis believes it is a case of ‘minor adjustments’ rather than anything major ahead of today’s third-place play-off.

Toby Penty was then edged out 21-13 21-14 before Ben Lane and Sean Vendy’s defeat in the men’s doubles completed a 3-0 win for Malaysia which meant Preston’s Chloe Birch did not even get the chance to take to the court in the final women’s doubles rubber alongside Smith.

Ellis said: “Not only have we played together for a few years now, we have both played professionally for many years.

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith in action at the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham's NEC Arena on Monday Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

“We know individually what we need to do when we go out there. It is only minor things that we must adjust when we are out there.”

Ellis and Smith took the first set of their opening mixed doubles match against the Malaysian pair of Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See to get England off to a perfect start.

But a tight second set went to the Malaysians 21-18 before they completed the comeback by taking the third set 21-13, leaving Penty to reflect on what might have been.

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BRONZE TARGET: Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith in action at the Commonwealth Games at the NEC Arena in Birmingham. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images