Across 3 and 24 November, Cambs II faced a double-headed battle against the Beds II team away and at home, in what turned out to be a crazy tale of two matches.
The first match away at Beds was a cold and disappointing experience. On a tricky, undulating surface, it was immediately apparent that it was likely to be a tough day, with Stephen Pickering, Abu Kaher and Molly Carter all beaten in the singles - only Stephen taking an end. The only light in the tunnel was Adele Woodhams' singles, where she edged the third end 21-19.
In the mens doubles Cambs' recovered some composure. Abu and Stephen continued what is becoming a strong partnership by taking both their games in straight sets, and Neil Place and Daniel Bates also took their first game in two, but were annoyingly defeated 21-19 in the third end of their second game which had been so tight that both other ends had run into setting.
The ladies were still struggling to impose themselves, with Molly and Kate Marshall, and Adele and Vicky Norris losing all four doubles matches, albeit with three going to three ends.
That left Cambs 4-8 down going into the mixed, with only the single point to fight for. However, Neil and Adele succumbed quickly, and Daniel and Kate also suffered at the hands of a formidable singles player on the mixed court. It was only Stephen and Adele who put up a fight by winning their second end to 14, but couldn't maintain their performance and were beaten in three.
So having lost 11-4 away, it was a nervous Cambs team that finally got to play on home turf on 24 November when Beds II returned. Skipper Daniel Bates was suffering from a cold, so was replaced by James Watkins. Katie Morton and Louise Tarbit also returned to bring the squad to full strength. The Beds II team was familiar, albeit arranged in a slightly different way.
As soon as the singles began, it could be seen that Cambs were up for the fight. Stephen Pickering triumphed quickly in straight sets 21-10, 21-11. Neil Place and Kate Marshall both fought bravely, but were beaten in two, although Kate suffered a nailbiting 21-19 in the second end. Vicky Norris though showed a strong performance, and won her match - accelerating away to a 21-14 win in the third end.
Just the glimmer of a chance gave Cambs the spur they needed going into the doubles, and with all four CRC courts in use, the action was frenetic. Although this time three of the four mens' games went the distance, the Cambs men of Neil Place and James, and Abu Kaher and Stephen secured all four matches.
In the brightness of the home CRC venue, the ladies doubles was night-and-day from the previous experience, with a battling performance throughout. Katie Morton and Adele Woodhams gave a commanding showing winning both matches in straight games. Kate and Louise Tarbit also worked well together, securing their first match before enjoying a walkover due to injury.
So, in an amazing turnabout, the score was 10-2 to Cambs going into the mixed, and the team was clearly on a roll. Neil and Adele, and Abu and Katie, secured their matches in comfortable fashion in straight sets. After narrowly losing the first game, Louise and Stephen also got back into gear, and won with a commanding 21-11, 21-11 finish, resulting in a 13-2 success for Cambs.
The lack of baking was amply made up for by the provision of incredible Flake (tm) Rolls!
The team: Stephen Pickering, Neil Place, Abu Kaher, James Watkins, Katie Morton, Adele Woodhams, Kate Marshall, Vicky Norris, Louise Tarbit.
More information about results of the Cambs II team is available on the Team Page.