After three straight defeats Cambridgeshire 1 faced a bottom of the table clash against Worcestershire in a battle to stay in division 2. A host of illnesses, injuries and various unavailabilities saw several new partnerships being tested out for the first time and several players making their first team debut having been called up from the seconds.
The opening singles saw both Rob Pace and James Watkins being defeated in straight sets before Olga Bryant playing as steadily as always took her game comfortably. Junior Jaclyn Lai lost the second singles in straight sets.
The mens doubles saw Pace team up with James Wilson in an untested partnership which seemed to be paying off until several dubious decisions gifting the game to the home team. James Watkins and Neil Place stepped up from the second team and played extremely well to take one of their two games in a close 3 set match.
It was hoped that the ladies would level the scores for Cambs, however Bryant and Kate Balls in their first competitive match together were disappointingly beaten by the Worcs first pair, before claiming a victory over the seconds. The second ladies pair was another new partnership and Lai and Amanda Godfrey pushed both pairs extremely hard before just losing out in very close finishes in very tight games- extremely unlucky not to take a point.
Cambridge needed all three mixed to salvage a point but this never looked likely as yet another new pairing of Bryant/Place were beaten in straight sets at first mixed. With only pride left to play for Wilson/Godfrey were unable to reproduce their winning form from the previous week and were also beaten in straight sets at third. The longest and closest game of the day went to Pace/Balls who fought out an epic and bloody three set game (including some bizarre scoring from an umpire who hadn't quite grasped the new scoring system) finishing the match bandaged and blooded, and very unlucky not to come away with a result.
Overall a very disappointing result to finish the first half of the season. Despite having several key players missing this is a match Cambs really out to have taken points away from. Things will have to improve in the new year to have any chance of avoiding relegation.