Playing in Prestwick, South of Scotland was a great weekend for the boys and flying from Stansted airport, nearly got off to the worst possible start with Ben Clark losing his passport for 5 minutes. Once the heart had started beating again after he eventually found the little red book, the tennis was fantastic with some great play from all members of the team.
Playing in the new format which consists of two groups of three in one venue, it meant that Cambridgeshire had to play four singles rubbers against South of Scotland followed by another four singles rubbers against Lancashire plus the doubles against the latter.
South of Scotland didn’t put up too much resistance and Tom Hands and Kian Ahyahee both won without dropping a game while Ben Clark lost only one game which meant we were 3-0 up and looking very good for a whitewash. Josh Wilson won a tougher match 7-5 6-2 to make it a 4-0 win with the doubles to play the following day.
Lancashire put up more resistance and number one Josh Wilson was rested to allow his back injury to heal which meant there was a debut for Dom Lea who came in at number 4. Having lost the first set 3-6, Dom turned it around very well winning the next two sets 7-5, 6-2 and, clinch what was a very important rubber. Tom Hands came through easily winning 6-1, 6-2 and Kian had a tough 6-3 6-3 win to again make it 3-0 with the number 1 to play.
New number 1 Ben Clark got off to a good start winning the 1st set 6-2 before his opponent, Charlie Hutchings raised his game and took the 2nd 6-3. Knowing that this match could be pivotal with the two doubles to play, Ben raised his game with some deft touches and won 6-2.
With the new changes to the group and order of play, it meant we were playing doubles against Lancashire the same day (it was the 3rd match for most of our players) and Tom Hands and Dom Lea gave us a 5-0 lead with a straight sets win. Clark and Wilson then teamed up to make it a whitewash 6-0 win. This meant we topped our mini group of 3 and will play Middlesex on the Sunday for the right to play at the Nationals Finals in Nottingham.
Midddlesex proved a much tougher contest and they soon went one rubber up with a 6-2 6-1 win over Tom Hands. Kian Ahyahee didn’t fair much better but put up more resistance in a 1-6 4-6 loss to Miren Shah. Ben Clark lost a very tight two sets to Stephen Searle 4-6 4-6 which left the number 1’s to battle it out. Josh Wilson took the 1st set 6-4 with some breathtaking power play but succumbed in the 2nd 3-6. Enrique Vidal finished strong and came back from 1-4 in the deciding set to take an enthralling contest 6-4.