The team of Megan, Kira, Chaaya, Neha, Lydia, Aisha, Natasha and Sama travelled to Shrewsbury for 18 County Cup in Group 3b on Thursday 28th February.
They were in a group with Staffordshire, Norfolk and Somerset.
On the Friday they played Staffordshire and first up was Aisha at number 6 and she beat Daniela 6/4, 6/2 to get the team off to a good start. This was followed by Lydia beating Alice very convincingly 6/1, 6/1 to help Cambs to a 2/0 lead. Chaaya at three had a tough game against Eloise and lost 2/6, 2/6 and Neha on her County Cup debut was out played by Adeola and lost 2/6, 0/6. So after two rounds Cambs were tied with Staffs but then up stepped Kira in her first match for a year after knee surgery and she played amazingly to beat Kia 6/1, 6/2. Megan at number one then played Mae and again played a really solid and highly competitive match and won 7/5, 6/4 to give Cambs the advantage after the singles and a 4/2 lead.
The third pair doubles of Lydia and Natasha then beat Isabelle and Amy 6/0, 6/2 to ensure Cambs the 5 rubbers needed to win this match. Although Megan and Sama at pair two doubles competed well they lost to Adeola and Eloise 4/6, 4/6 and the top pairing of Kira and Aisha lost to Kia and Mae 1/6, 6/7. The day ended with a 5/4 win to Cambs and set them up for a good weekend. The highlight was seeing Kira back on the match court and playing so well.
On the Saturday Cambs took on Norfolk who were strengthened with their number one player Vianne. Kira was rested for the singles so Natasha came in at number 6 and got the team off to a really good start with a 6/2, 6/1 win over Amelia. This was followed with a 6/1, 6/0 win for Aisha over Sian Next up at number 4 was Lydia who comfortably beat Alix 6/1, 6/1 giving Cambs a 3/0 lead. The top 3 singles however took on a different look and were all very competitive matches. Neha at number 3 had a really tough battle with Hannah before being edged out 6/3, 4/6, 3/6. Chaaya at two then had a very good match with Emily and came back well in the second set but just lost out in the third 3/6, 7/5, 3/6. The overall match was then evenly poised as Megan took on Vianne. Megan won the first set comfortably 6/2, lost the second 3/6 and was well up in the third before Vianne staged a comeback and then narrowly lost 5/7 to put the overall score at 3 matches each.
Cambs third pairing of Natasha and Lydia got the team off to a good start in the doubles beating Hannah and Hannah
6/3, 6/4. The first pair of Kira and Aisha were really fired up and easily beat Emily and Vianne 6/2, 6/0 to ensure Cambs were 5/3 up. Sama and Megan then faced Emily and Amelia and came back from 2/5 down to win the first set 7/6 and then from 2/5 down to win the second set 5/7 to finish the day with a 6/3 overall win.
This set up a final day with Cambs and Somerset both on two wins each although Somerset had won their respective matches 9/0 and 8/1!!! On paper Somerset were the stronger team but Cambs gave it their best shot and all the singles players put their heart and lungs out on the court for the County. Three courts were used so numbers 6,5 and 4 all started at the same time. First to finish was Natasha and she got the team off to a great start with a 6/4, 6/3 win over Amelia. Lydia had a tough battle against Annabelle and lost 2/6, 2/6 while Aisha was having a marathon match against Francesca. Aisha lost the first set 3/6 and was 3/5 down in the second and later match points down but eventually managed to win the set 7/5. Chaaya then started against Caitlin and despite some good play was beaten 2/6, 3/6. Aisha then went 4/1 up in the third before her opponent came back to 4/4 but then pulled the match round and won the third set 6/4. This left the match score at 2 matches a piece. Next up was Kira Reuter and Megan – they both played very well but Megan lost 2/6, 3/6 to Grace but Kira pulled her match round – she won the first set 6/2, dropped the second 3/6 and then got an early break in the third and held onto this and then broke again to win 6/2 in the third – great effort.
After the singles we were 3 matches all.
Cambs needed to win the third doubles match as our pair one were realistically going to have a tough match. Lydia and Natasha got off to a flying start and went 3/0 up and even had a deuce point to go 4/0 against Amelia and Annabelle. Once their opponent’s got a game then they started to get into the match. Had Cambs taken the three deuce points after this in the set then they would have won the set but unfortunately lost it 5/7 and then the Somerset pair gained more confidence and took the third set 6/2. As expected the Somerset first pair of Grace and Nirva then beat Megan and Chaaya 6/2, 6/3 – at this point Aisha and Kira at pair two were in a tie break in their first set and after losing it 6/7 they conceded as Somerset were already promoted.
Overall the girls really played their hearts out on the Sunday and were so unlucky not to get promoted – it was a great team effort and captain Sue Rich was really proud of the team.