After quite a long journey to an away venue, and a rocky start in the singles, it looked for a short period like the Cambs IInd team were going to be in a long tough day when they travelled to play the Warwickshire IVth team on Sunday 22nd January.
With their sights set on promotion this season, the team were looking to reproduce their commanding form when they won the home leg of this match 15-0. However, with James Wilson, Katie Morton and debutante Geoff Green all losing their singles, it was clear that Warwickshire were resolved to put up more of a fight. Geoff and Katie struggled against tricky singles opponents and lost in straight games, while James took a close first end, before having the game slip away to a more experienced and patient singles player. A ray of hope was offered by Molly Carter (J), who commandingly dispatched her opponent 21-12 21-9 with her usual mix of power and apparently complete relaxation.
Thankfully though, as the doubles began it became clear that Cambs were coming into their own. Skipper Daniel Bates teamed up with James as they imposed themselves powerfully and won both doubles games comfortably in straight games. Molly and Liz Salmon, and Katie and Jessica Sharman (J) both look like pairs who are getting familiar with playing together this season, and won all four of the ladies doubles also in straight games and with convincing scores. This despite being surprised to find themselves facing Cambs alumn Lauren Pickering – representing Warwickshire for her first time since attending Birmingham University. Geoff teamed up with Paul Martell, but under match pressure they struggled to gel quickly enough. Although the beat the second mens’ pairing, they could not overcome the first.
That left Cambs with a 9-4 lead going into the mixed discipline, and needing the last game to ensure the bonus point needed to maintain the title challenge. With two courts available, James and Katie and Daniel and Jessica went on together. Daniel and Jessica held their nerve to win through in straight games. James and Katie lost their first end 19-21, but then settled into their game together to win comfortably in three. Liz and Paul then took to the court, safe in the knowledge that all the points were safe, and cruised to a very comfortable two game win.
So with that win, Cambridgeshire remain in the promotion hunt. Both Lincolnshire and Northants are competitive in the division, so everything still rests on the two remaining matches against them, and on results between them.
Daniel Bates (c), Paul Martell, Katie Morton: Hurst Badminton Club
Geoff Green: Comberton Badminton Club
Molly Carter, Liz Salmon: St Ives Badminton Club
James Wilson: Ely Victoria Badminton Club
Jessica Sharman: Court Badminton Club
More information about results of the Cambs II team is available on the Team Page.