This weekend saw the opening fixtures of the new county season with the first team travelling to play to Norfolk 1. The team has seen many changes this season with several key players leaving the county, however new blood has also arrived and the team welcomes newcomers Kate Balls, junior Jaclyn Lai and university player Peter Galloway. Having closely missed out on promotion last season the team was confident of another successful season, however Norfolk were unfortunate to be relegated from division 1, and have been greatly strengthened with the addition of several new players.
The opening singles games saw straight sets defeats for Rob Pace and Peter Galloway against very strong opponents. The ladies singles players (undefeated all last season) also found their opponents too strong, with both Olga Bryant and Jaclyn Lai suffering straight sets defeats.
Cambridge were hopeful of better results in the doubles matches, however the first pairing of Jon Carson/Peter Galloway were unable to change Cambridge’s fortunes, losing to the Norfolk first pair then despite taking an end against the second pair, unfortunately again being beaten. Cambridge second pair of John Tibbutt/James Wilson, reunited after a season apart due to injury suffered no better luck, also losing both their games.
Cambridge champions Olga Bryant/Alison Bennett had a close match against an extremely strong Norfolk first pair and were unfortunate not to get a result, however they got Cambridge off the mark with a tight three end win over the second pair. Kate Balls/Jaclyn Lai, playing together for the first time in a competitive match found the Norfolk first pair too strong, but had a very close game against the second pair, unfortunately just missing out on a win.
The mixed doubles also did not go in Cambridge’s favour with pairings of Bryant/Carson and Balls/Pace finding their opponents much too tough. However third pairing of Bennett/Tibbutt won a consolation game with an exceptionally tight win to leave the final score a disappointing 13-2.
Despite the heavy loss several positives came out of the game, with two good wins for Alison Bennett, and good performances from new pairings of Balls/Lai and Carson/Galloway. Norfolk must be strong favourites for promotion back to division 1 and Cambridge are confident of much better results against their other opponents.