The first fixture of the season for 2008-2009 started with a nine games to six victory. In the singles, Cambs took three out of the four singles with newly crowned restricted champion James Watkins comfortably beating his opponent 21-17, 21-9. The second of the three came from Jason Lai who took his in three ends, 10-21, 21-11, 21-18, a superb battling performance indeed. In the ladies singles Liz Salmon won in two ends 21-13, 21-12 with her serve catching out the opponent on more than one occasion. The last ladies singles saw Isabel Gutteridge take on a strong Bedfordshire player who after a battling three ends gave Bedfordshire their only singles point 19-21, 21-15, 16-21.
Having attained a 3-1 advantage at this stage the level doubles begun with new men’s pairings Will Hodgkinson/Dan Bates as well as James Watkins/Neil Place. Watkins and Place successfully took both or their games to add another two to the Cambridgeshire total, with Hodgkinson and Bates adding another point. Not a bad effort considering it was their first time on court together. With some necessary practice together this could be a very fruitful partnership.
Moving onto the ladies doubles the pairings of Amanda Godfrey/Tracey Bichener and Liz Salmon/Sandra Ashcroft both added single victories in three end epics with Godfrey and Bichener unfortunate to take both.
Going into the mixed games Cambridgeshire had already been assured of the victory after Salmon and Ashcroft fought to victory sending the Camb’s squad into a rapturous cheer. Within the mixed pairs, Place and Salmon took the only victory capping a fine day for both players. The other pairings of Bates/Godfrey and Hodgkinson/Gutteridge both went to three ends but were sadly pipped at the post by their Bedfordshire counter parts.
All in all, considering the new look squad and a newly promoted side a victory away from home was a superb effort by all. With more experience together we expect the new pairings to get even better and predict a successful season. Having just come into the side I personally feel the one thing this team has is a lot of fight and support for each other, which no doubt will only increase as the season progresses.