On Sunday 16th December, Cambridgeshire IIIrd team visited Norfolk IIIrds for their 6th county match of a jam packed first half of the season.
The match got off to an interesting start as the slightly inept Cambs Captain Tibbutt misread the match information, and instead of turning up early for a 1pm start, turned up very late for a 12noon start. Luckily Norfolk were very gracious about Tibbutt's incompetence and the singles players began their warm up. Or at least they tried to. Kaylan Sutton-Ziaian pulled his trainers out of his bag to find the toe section of his left trainer all but hanging off. Fortunately senior-pro Paul Martell was on hand with a roll of gaffer tape to 'fix' the shoe and allow Kaylan to play. Dear Santa, please can Kaylan have some new badminton trainers for Christmas?
Finally the match could begin and Norfolk quickly gained the upper hand taking all 4 singles matches in straight sets. Kaylan, Aiden Foo, Stacey Knoop and Emma Brewster all fought hard, but were well beaten by stronger opponents. 4-0 to Norfolk.
Things looked better in the mens doubles as Kaylan teamed up with Paul and convincingly beat the Norfolk first pair in straight sets. Senior-pro number 2 Graham Barr and Aiden at second mens followed suit with a close 3 sets win. Unfortunately the ladies couldn't match the men as Jacquie Dennis and Stacey, and Dan Tan (Tanny) and Emma both went down in close games. 6-2 to Norfolk.
The second round of doubles also started positively as Paul and Kaylan comfortably beat Norfolk's second pair. Graham and Aiden couldn't match them this time, losing in straight sets, and Stacey and Jacquie also lost in the ladies. Tanny and Emma managed to find their form though and emerged victorious after a long 3 setter against the Norfolk first pair. 8-4 to Norfolk.
Despite the win going to Norfolk, Cambs still had a losing point to play for. Kaylan and Tanny slipped to a close 2 set defeat at third mixed, but Paul and Jacquie at first and Graham and Stacey at second battled well and ground out very close 3 set wins to secure the losing point. Final score 9-6 to Norfolk.
MVP for the match: Senior pro Paul Martell. For winning 100% of his games and also demonstrating previously unknown talents as a cobbler.
Match report by John Tibbutt.
More information about results of the Cambs III team is available on the Team Page.