Cambs Ist team travelled to Worcestershire II on Sunday 11th November to build on their great start to the season and build further momentum on their push for promotion. Ist team regulars Tom Li, Sara Mason & Olga Bryant were all missing, providing opportunities for Paul Heads, Katie Morton & Jess Sharman to step up.
The men's singles got the match off to the perfect start with straight-sets wins for both Min Dabasinskas and Paul Heads. Min showed great composure & resolve in the 1st end to win 21-18 despite trailing 18-14, before dominating the 2nd end 21-17. Paul was always in control of his match winning 21-10 & 21-11.
The ladies singles was much less straight forward with Natalie Taylor battling back after dropping the first set to win a nail-biting 3rd end 21-19 in a gruelling encounter. At 2nd ladies singles Katie Morton started strongly taking the 1st end, but was unfortunately unable to hang on as her strong & athletic opponent took the tie in 3 ends.
In the men's doubles this season's new partnership of Simon Woodhouse & Min maintained their unbeaten start to the season, with their fast-paced attacking badminton producing another 2 comfortable straight-sets wins.
Neil Place playing for the first time with Paul Heads secured an important 3-end victory over Worcestershire's 2nd men's pair. However Worcestershire's top pair proved too strong, taking the rubber in straight sets.
The first ladies' doubles match saw an inspiring display of guts & composure as Nat & Jen Hewitt came from match points down at 18-20 in the 3rd end to win 23-21. Their 2nd match followed a similar vein as for the 2nd time they came from behind in the 3rd end to win 21-17.
The 2nd ladies' doubles pair of Katie Morton & Jess Sharman were unable to achieve the same success as they lost their first 21-8 21-14. In their 2nd game against Worcestershire's top pair they showed some great form, just missing out in 3 ends.
So going into the mixed Cambs were 8-4 up, already having won the match but needing 2 of the 3 mixed to secure the bonus point.
Up first, playing at top mixed, was Simon Woodhouse and Natalie Taylor who produced an exceptional performance to win 27-25, 18-21, 21-9.
In the absence of Olga, Jen stepped in to partner Min at 2nd mixed. Unfortunately they struggled to get a foothold in the game and fell to a 21-15, 21-17 defeat.
The final mixed game saw the regular 2nd team mixed pairing of Paul & Katie, who unfortunately were unable to capitalise on taking the 1st end as they lost in the 3rd end decider.
Player of the match is still TBC.
Cambs I are sitting comfortably at the top of the league with 8 points from a possible 9 and full of optimism for the season ahead.
Match report by Sara Mason.
More information about results of the Cambs I team is available on the Team Page.