Cambridgeshire IInd team further cemented their top-table position in Division 5D with a second win, this time against last years' bogey team and Division Champions Northants II.
With a sense of anticipation going into the match, and sharing the hall with the IIIrd team who were also playing close rivals Bedforshire, the atmosphere at the venue was febrile. The match started hopefully, with both James Wilson and Rob Couch leading in their singles after the first end. However, while Rob managed to put his immense reach and irresistible will into winning the second end 21-17, James was reeled in by an experienced and consistent first singles player, and lost in a knife-edge last game 20-22.
In the girls' singles, both Molly Carter and Kate Marshall proved too strong and able for the Northants players, and won comfortably in two ends.
The match took a less positive turn with Captain Daniel Bates and James combining in a particularly nervy first doubles game, in which they never truly settled into a rhythm and lost in straight sets. Rob teamed up with Paul Martell to more success winning their draw. In the return game, James and Daniel settled more and won comfortably, while Rob and Paul having won the first end against the Northants first pair could not maintain the effort and lost in three.
The Cambridgeshire girls however maintained their standards from the singles with a clean sweep of the doubles draws. Molly partnered Liz Salmon while Kate paired up with Jessica Sharman. Both pairs secured their game against the second pair in straight sets, while the first pair offered stiffer resistance. They pushed Jessica and Kate to a nailbiting 24-22 finale, with Jessica applying the final Coup de Grace with a disguised sliced drop shot which drew cheers and a standing ovation from the watching crowds.
Going into the mixed, which is traditionally a Cambridgeshire strength, with a 9-3 scoreline gave reason for optimism. However, the bonus point awarded for achieving 10 sets proved much tighter than hoped. While Jessica and Daniel put in a commanding performance to win 21-17, 21-14, James and Kate and Paul and Liz found their opposition tougher. Even though James and Kate also came out of the blocks blazingly fast, they were eventually tracked down and lost in three 21-10, 16-21, 16-21. Paul and Liz also lost their last game in the third end having taken the first comfortably, with another set game 21-13, 17-21, 22-24.
In the outcome then, Cambridgeshire were delighted to secure full points and remain firmly at the top of their division. Their next stop is a pre-Christmas trip to Lincolnshire.
More information about results of the Cambs II team is available on the Team Page.