Cambs went away to Leicestershire hoping for at least a point to finally put them safe from relegation next year. There was some dismay at the apparent strength of the Leicester side as the men's singles started. Neil Place fought valiantly with only one good ankle to lose 24-22 21-16 . Jason Lai suffered against older opposition but continued to work hard in the second end to improve on his first game score. The ladies singles went the same way with Liz Salmon having several small runs of points but not achieving enough to take an end. Tracey Hayward reluctantly declined to play singles due to a dodgy back so Sandra Ashcroft stepped in. Sandra had some excellent cross court shots that were leaving her opponent for dead, but sadly Sandra's experience is strong for doubles and her killer shots kept finding the side tramlines.
The men's doubles showed more of a glimmer of hope when Rob Couch & Daniel Bates took an end off Leics. first pair, sadly this form did not hold to lose the third end 21-16 16-21 18-21. Neil Place and James Watkins also took the first men's pair to 3 ends, again narrowly missing out 14-21 21-18 17-21. It later transpired the Leicester pair were not on usual form, being tired from winning the U18 England championship the previous day. The second pair were vicious in their attacking and beat the Cambs Men in 2 ends each.
Sandra Ashcroft and Liz Salmon paired up and took the early lead against the Leics first ladies winning the first end. Things slipped quickly though until there was an injury in the Leicester pair. Sadly time did not improve the situation and Leics had to concede both rubbers. The second Leics ladies pair did not have much trouble beating both Cambs pairs, so Lisa Hawes & Tracey Hayward just had 2 games together.
Cambs were 10-2 down going into
the mixed so with the elusive point already but of reach and sore bodies
affecting Neil Place and Tracey H in two Cambs pairs there was little
hope left. All 3 pairs- Neil Place & Liz Salmon, Rob Couch &
Sandra Ashcroft and Daniel Bates & Tracey H lost in 2 ends each.
Sadly the brownie could not do too much to lift spirits on the way home, but when after Rob finally admitted defeat with his sat nav and the team followed an unerring instinct to the nearest pub the team's spirits lifted. After defeating Beds 2 in both fixtures this year the only way for Cambs not to be safe from relegation would be an unlikely win for bottom team Beds over league leaders Kent. Wishing the best of luck to Kent in their forthcoming match, we hope to look forward to improving our place in division 4 again next year!