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Men's and Women's Badminton both see victory

Another Wednesday another away day and this time we were off to play the Leicester 1st team; the team consisted of Neel Doshi and Tom Wade playing singles, with Ben Roberts partnering Zac Soh and Andrew Sheat with Rory Xiao for the doubles. A very enjoyable road trip for 5 of us was contrasted with Zac on the train - nursing a wine-tasting hangover- and spending half an hour looking lost, wondering around Leicester University campus. Eventually we all arrived at the basement sports hall, with the ceiling so low Andrew was at serious risk of head injury.


Tom was on for the first singles and was greeted by what can only be called a hostile set of home fans, however a dominant start to the match left all of the fans stupefied – that is, apart from one of them who was adamant that Tom’s opponent was losing early on ‘to get in his head’. This however was an optimistic view as Tom let his badminton do the talking and easily dispatched of his opponent in straight sets. Unfortunately, due to very strong opponents and some severe harassment by the spectators, Andrew and Rory fell just short losing the second end 22-20, just as the Cambridge team were finding their voices - rest assured that for the rest of the match the usual shouts of ‘Huge shot’ and ‘teach me’ could be heard ringing around the hall.


Neel then went on against their first singles player, having won the first battle by swapping out his usual pair of swim shorts for a sportier alternative, but sadly a combination of mistakes and a strong opponent saw him lose in two with a very fiery second set from both players. However, Ben and Zac levelled the scoreboard with a straightforward win against Leicester’s second doubles pair making the overall score 2-2.


Zac & Ben and Andrew & Rory then all went on for their second matches resulting in a significant quietening of the Leicester fans due to confident starts. In similar fashion to Tom in his first game, Neel easily won his second singles in straight sets playing some great badminton. Andrew and Rory followed suit and, despite a slight wobble at the end, really asserted their dominance on a doubles court beating Leicester’s second pair within two ends. As a result, if Zac and Ben beat the opponent’s strongest doubles pair it would secure a deserved win for Cambridge. They struggled slightly more in the second end, after winning the first, but a great performance from Zac saw them come through in straight sets against tough opponents; funnily enough by this stage any vocalisation from the hosts had been extinguished due to three back to back displays of supreme control from the visitors.


The final game, Tom against their first singles player, was therefore for the 6-2 win. After unfortunately losing the first end, a shattered Tom found a second wind and, in a gargantuan effort, took his match in three sets winning 21-18 in the third; this secured an emphatic first league win of the season and earnt him a well-deserved man of the match award.


However, if the badminton was good, it was nothing compared to the post-match meal; being in Leicester we were only ten minutes away from Neel’s parents house so, sending Zac off to get the train back, we went to Neel’s and were greeted by an absolute feast of Indian cuisine. While bonding with Neel’s parents over a bit of light-hearted slating of their son’s medical career, we ate; we certainly wouldn’t have a meal that good for a while- well Andrew might. Afterwards, with everyone having enjoyed at least thirds, or in some cases fifths, of dinner and some amazing hospitality we set off back to Cambridge having opened CUBaC Men’s account for the season and, I’m sure the team would agree more importantly, had an unreal team meal.

Written by Ben Roberts 


The women’s team trekked to Lincoln this Wednesday for their 4th fixture of the season. After a mixed start to the season (a win, a draw, a loss) the girls were keen to get a win. The light blues side consisted of Diya Rajan and Neha Madhotra playing singles, whilst Becky Donaldson & Felicity Coan and Katie Clark & Amy Chen took on the doubles.


Things started off well, with now seasoned pair Becky and Felicity taking a comfortable win against Lincoln’s second pair. Katie and Amy, still stiff from the long drive, took longer to warm up, losing their first set against the 1st pair 21 - 13. They soon picked up though, taking the second set 21-19. Despite all their efforts, a strong Lincoln pair won the 3rd set 21-18.


Diya and Neha were on court next for singles. Neha took her singles against Lincoln’s 2nd player with ease, puting Cambridge one game ahead. Diya (in her first ever BUCS match!) against Lincoln’s first player, suffered a noble defeat, quickly leaving the teams back neck and neck.


At this point, what looked like a very close match took a turn; both light blue doubles pairs won their next games comfortably. Rushing to get Becky home for a class, they sprinted to the car park, while Neha and Diya stayed to secure the victory. Another convincing win for Neha (21-10, 21-7), followed by a decisive victory for Diya too (21-13, 21-19). Final score, Cambridge 6 - Lincoln 2!