Noticeboard Post

Cambridge 1 vs Melbourn 1 (14th February 2024)

Melbourn lost 8-16

Fresh off the back of a key win against March last week the 1sts travelled to Churchill College to take on Cambridge 1sts.

The home side are involved in a tight four-way battle to win the County title this season – they came into this game in fourth place, but only 8 points adrift of then leaders Hunts County. 8 points is a very slender advantage in a league that awards up to 20 points per round. The pressure was therefore all on Cambridge, whilst our boys, with their 30 point advantage on the bottom two (courtesy of that 20-1 win over March), were able to play with freedom.

The result was a very tight match… both overall and at each string. Every single encounter included at least one tie-break game with each string having the potential to go the other way. Melbourn held the upper hand at the top of the order as Matt Sampson (1) claimed a 3-2 win against Ali Dawson (11-3, 11-13, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7) and Chris Shaw (2) came through a closer match with Stefan Ranoszek than the 3-0 final score in his direction indicates, cf. the “at least one tie-break” thing; in this case the second as Chris won 11-8, 13-11, 11-7.

Cambridge struck back in the lower order with Melbourn’s Miles Jeanneret (4) and Mark Oppen (5) both going down 3-1 to Cameron Gibb and Joseph Reeds respectively… though if Oppen had won an extended tie-break in his fourth game then who knows? Miles game scores were 10-12, 11-8, 4-11, 7-11 and Mark’s 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 12-14.

Arguably the decisive clash of the night was the middle string, where Mike Herd was seriously underrepresented by the final score of 3-0 in favour of Cambridge’s Grant Bryant.  Herd was intensely competitive in every single game but saw all three games go to the wire and twice well beyond it before Grant took the critical points as Mike went down 9-11, 15-17, 11-13.

The final score was 16-8 in Cambridge’s favour keep their title challenge up (they rose to second spot, in fact) but also edging the 1sts a spot higher up the Division 1 table to sit sixth.