The girls team of Chaaya, Lydia, Neha, Natasha, Isabelle, Gabby, Sama, Sophie and reserve Tiffany played in group 3a at Hills Road with Nottinghamshire, Cheshire, and Wiltshire.
The team played very well during the weekend but lacked the experience of their number one player Megan who is currently side-lined which meant three under fourteen players stepped up to join the team.
First up on the Friday were Nottinghamshire and Gabby and Isabelle made their 18 debuts and played very well to get the team off to a great start. Gabby at number 6 won 6/1, 7/6 against Evie and then Issie at number 5 easily beat Sophie 6/2, 6/0. Number 4 Natasha had a tough match against Anna losing 0/6, 1/6 and despite some good rallies Neha at Number 3 lost a close match to Ellie 4/6, 4/6. The match of the day was undoubtedly Lydia’s against Jessica which was a marathon which Lydia eventually pulled through 4/6, 6/3. 6/4. Chaaya at number one was up against a very good opponent in Amelia and despite some excellent tennis could only muster one game and went down 0/6, 1/6.
So after the 6 singles it was 3 matches a piece and all to play for! Neha and Natasha playing at pair 3 won their doubles convincingly 6/2, 6/3. The top pairing of Chaaya and Sama was always up against it playing Ellie and Amelia and lost 0/6, 2/6. The overall result rested on the second pairing of Issie and Lydia who played some great tennis especially in the second set but just succumbed 3/6, 6/7 to leave Cambridgeshire 4/5 down on the first day.
On the second day Cambridgeshire took on the other winning team of Cheshire which was going to be tough. The girls had played Cheshire in the Ladies County Cup in the winter and knew how strong they were. Gabby was shown how tough 18 County Cup can be and lost her match 2/6, 0/6 to a strong number 6 Ellie! Issie had a marathon 3 hour match against Phoebe and just came out on the losing end 7/6, 2/6, 4/6 but gave it her all. Natasha at number 4 had a great second set against Amy and nearly took her all the way – 2/6, 6/7. Neha at number 3 played her best match of the weekend beating Ella 4/6, 6/3, 6/2 and came back strongly after losing the first set. Lydia at number 2 played the more experienced Jemma and lost 3/6, 1/6.Chaaya again had a tough time at number 1 losing to Rhona 3/6, 0/6.
Sophie came in to play doubles with Gabby at pair 3 and competed well against Ellie and Amy but they lost 2/6, 3/6. Neha and Sama played at pair 2 and had a close match with Jemma and Phoebe but just lost 6/7, 3/6. The top pairing of Chaaya and Lydia battled really well having lost the first set 1/6 to win the second 7/5 but then lost in the match tiebreak 10-7. Overall it was a 8/1 win to Cheshire.
On the third day Sunday 1st March Cambridgeshire were in a shoot- out relegation battle with Wiltshire to see who stayed and who went down. For three players this was their last 18 and under County Cup as they move out of the age group next year – so the team wanted a good send off for Chaaya, Sama and Natasha.
Gabby got the team off to a good start beating Louisa 6/3, 6/3. Issie then beat the hard hitting Jessica 6/1, 6/3. Natasha played her best match of the weekend and beat Amelia 6/0, 6/1 and Neha again playing very well beat Georgi 6/0, 6/1 to give Cambs a 4/0 lead. The next two matches were always going to be tough and so they proved as Lydia went down to Jessica 0/6, 5/7 and did cause a lot of problems to her opponent in the second set. Chaaya played her best singles of the weekend and again had her opponent worried in the second set when she led 5/4 but was unable to quite convert this and lost a great match to Rebecca 1/6, 5/7.
This was the anticipated score after the singles and the team was then hoping the strong third pair of Neha and Natasha would clinch the final rubber which they duly did beating Jessica and Louisa 6/3, 6/3. Issie and Lydia played some excellent doubles and took Georgi and Jessica to a match tie break before losing 4/6, 6/3, 6-10. The final doubles saw the Chaaya and Sama end their junior days with a 4/2, 4/2 win against Amelia and Rebecca. It was a fitting fair well to 3 players who have played for the County for a number of years through the age groups and they have left the younger generation still in group 3 for 2021.
Overall a weekend where we had a great team spirit and thanks to Megan for coming and helping the team every day with all her positive vibes. Well done team – onwards and upwards – here we go Cambs – Commitment, Ambition, Motivation, Belief and Sportsmanship.