On the 16th December Cambridgeshire's Ist team travelled to Staffordshire to play their IInd team. Cambridgeshire fielded their strongest team, although they were carrying a few of injuries.
Min Dabasinskas started off the match with an impressive, although very close, win against Staffordshire's top mens singles player (22-20, 21-18). Unfortunately the other singles matches all went Staffordshire's way. Tom Li, returning from injury, struggled against a strong Staffordshire 2nd mens singles player, losing in two games 15-21, 13-21. Olga Bryant, Cambs' 1st ladies singles player struggled to adjust to the lighting in the hall, losing 17-21, 16-21. Cambs' 2nd ladies singles player, Sara Mason (filling in for an injured Natalie Taylor) put up a very gallant fight, but also struggled to adjust to the hall and shuttle speed, losing a close game, 21-14, 15-21, 17-21.
After a quick motivational team chat, and a few sugar filled chocolate brownies, thanks to Louise (the loyal Ist team supporter), Cambridgeshire were determined to pick things back up in the doubles. Cambs' 1st mens pair, Min and Simon Woodhouse, played their first game against an unorthodox pair from Staffs, and fought very hard for their 25-23, 23-21 win. Neil Place and Tom then played against Staffs' 2nd pair but unfortunately lost 15-21, 19-21. In the ladies doubles, the first 2 games were also split between Cambridgeshire and Staffordshire, with Sara and Nat beating their 1st pair comfortably 21-10, 21-17, whilst Olga and Jen Hewitt had a very strong start, but lost out in 3 ends (21-5, 17-21, 13-21).
At the half way point in the match, Cambridgeshire were 5-3 down and so needed a big effort to bring them back in to contention. Si and Min went on court against the Staffs 2nd pair and showed their dominance by winning in 2 games (21-13,21-12). Neil and Tom, playing against the Staffs 1st pair, put in a great fight but unfortunately left themselves too much to do in the third end after going down 11-2 at the start, eventually losing 16-21, 21-12, 16-21. It was then the turn of the ladies... Nat and Sara came away with another win, beating Staffs 2nd pair 21-7, 16-21, 21-17, after the Staffs pair staged a small comeback in the 2nd end. Jen and Olga then put in an outstanding performance, beating the Staffs 1st pair 23-21, 21-19 - Jen continues to be the player most able to hold her nerve when it comes to winning games in setting!
So, going into the mixed doubles, Cambridgeshire needed to win 2 out of 3 to win the match and maintain their winning streak. Min and Olga very quickly overcame the Staffs 1st pair winning comfortably 21-11, 21-17. Then, after a nervy start from Neil and Sara, they came off court triumphant against the Staffs 3rd pair winning 15-21, 21-19, 21-5, securing the match win for Cambridgeshire. Finally Si and Nat battled against the Staffs 2nd pair, but unfortunately, they were unable to tip the balance and win the game, eventually losing their first mixed of the season 21-19, 16-21, 16-21.
So, Cambridgeshire finish the match with their 100% winning record intact and definitely maintain their reputation as the most vocally supportive team in the league... Go CAMBS!!!!!
Player of the Match: TBC
Match report by Natalie Taylor.
More information about results of the Cambs I team is available on the Team Page.