Cambs IInd team started their 2014-2015 campaign in style with a close but well-deserved victory over a youthful Middlesex IVth team.
With Cambs II narrowly missing promotion for the last 2 seasons, tensions were high for the opening game which featured several new faces in the team, including Shan Sundra, Marijn Prins and Jaclyn Lai.
With our most senior gentlemen, Neil Place and Dan Bates stepping up for the men’s singles, both put in a valiant effort but were defeated, with Neil Place taking his to a third end. Our new recruit Marijn Prins took on an excellent singles player from Middlesex but unfortunately lost in 2. Our reserve, Jaclyn Lai also lost in 2, having had a very close game against another Middlesex youngster.
In was Cambs turn to step it up a gear in the doubles. Both mens partnerships, Neil Place and Dan Bates and Abu Kaher and Shan Sundra won their first matches fairly comfortably, despite it taking our team a while to adjust to one side of the Middlesex hall which had the visibility of a murky pond!
Next it was the ladies turn to get going, with Adele Woodhams and Katie Morton winning comfortably in 2 games against Middlesex 1st pair. Marijn Prins and Jaclyn Lai put in a stellar performance but were pipped at the post in a close 3-ender by Middlesex's 2nd pair.
On the cross-over doubles, both mens teams won all their games, with Neil and Dan looking solid. Abu and Shan had a shakier win, taking the Middlesex 1st pair to three, but pulling out some classy badminton and some very sneaky shots to take the win. Adele and Katie also won in two against Middlesex 2nd pair. Jaclyn and Marijn played well and started to click on court, but were pipped to the post by the Middlesex ladies.
In typical Cambridgeshire fashion, we decided to leave it all down to the mixed doubles. At this point, the score was 6-6 and bums were beginning to get twitchy!
Cambs 2nd pair, Shan and Marijn got off to a cracking start, with Marijn exerting her dominance at the net. Abu and Katie were less successful, losing in 3 to their 3rd pair. This meant that it all rested on our first pair, Neil and Adele to bring home the bacon. In typical Cambs fashion, it went to a third end and despite being up on the turn, Neil and Adele went 20-18 down, and had a racket clash in which Adele broke her (brand new) racket. However, despite these factors, they both held their nerve and proceeded to win 27-25!
After a quick toilet trip for all(!), we left for the journey home feeling exhausted yet very satisfied with our team performance.
Well done Cambs II, a great start to the season!
The team: Neil Place, Daniel Bates, Abu Kaher, Sutharshanan Sundrapandi, Katie Morton (c), Adele Woodhams, Marijn Prins, Jaclyn Lai.
More information about results of the Cambs II team is available on the Team Page.