On a cold winters day at CRC the senior IIIrds turned up to play against last years play off finalists. Expecting a difficult fixture and with the team needing a win, everyone knew hard work was required. In a break with tradition the ladies started with new girl Alison Greenhill showing why Ramblers rate her so highly. It was a great start with a convincing 21-15, 21-14 win. Emma Brewster was up next, but in a difficult game Emma slipped to a 21-16, 21-18 loss.
Men’s singles up next, Kaylan Sutton-Ziaian playing after a long tournament Saturday won in straight sets 21-15, 21-16. Another good performance. It was a surprise for all - including Will Hodgkinson - to see him playing singles: not his usual game, but Will won again in straight sets 21-18, 21-17. Not a bad start then, 3 out of 4.
On next was the ladies doubles. Combining superior net play in the form of Sharon Chandler and the power and movement of Alison, the new form pairing took their opener in three ends 21-23, 21-14, 21-18. This was clearly an excellent partnership, definitely one to stay (hint to the Selection Committee). The second ladies did not find as much rhythm or movement with a new pairing of Jacquie Dennis and Emma. They lost out 12-21, 10-21.
Up next, the first set of the men’s doubles. First pair Graham Barr and Martin Harvey (making his senior county debut) showed a good combination of powerful attacking play and a solid defensive base. Victory went to the Cambs pair 21-15, 20-22, 21-12. Kaylan and Will played next against a new Lincs pairing. Kaylan played some of his best levels yet with great vision and combined well with Will. The pair eased through to a 21-8, 21-11 victory.
The second games for the ladies next, Alison and Sharon combined very well to win 21-18, 21-11. Emma and Jacquie worked hard and fought for every shot but were beaten to 11-21, 9-21. The men came on again and first pair Graham and Martin won 21-8, 21-17. Very solid. Will and Kaylan had an odd game, winning the first 21-14 but the Lincs pair mixed things up and fought their way back to win the next two ends 12-21, 13-21. By now the Cambs team had chalked up 8 wins but knew that another two would be crucial. Bring on the mixed.
To round off a wonderful debut Martin and Sharon won in two - 21-18, 21-17. Another super debut by Alison with 4 out of 4, Alison and Graham took Cambs to 10 wins, 21-9, 21-14. All three points in the bag, but with Kaylan feeling a bit unwell following what sounds like a lot of badminton, Will filled in for third mixed. Hoping to right last matches loss, Jacquie and Will stepped up to the plate and powered through, 21-18, 21-14. It was a great victory, 3 points in the bag and two debutants doing very well. Just one thing left, who should get player of the match. My vote... split it, Martin and Alison, please come again!
Final score: Cambs IIIrds 11 - Lincs IInd 4.
Match report by Will Hodgkinson.
More information about results of the Cambs III team is available on the Team Page.