Joseph Powell

Cambridge University Badminton Club (CUBaC) women’s team got off to a blistering start in their first match up of the new season, dropping only one rubber from 8 to triumph over Lincoln 7-1. 

Playing on home territory at the University Sports Centre, the Light Blues started confidently. Briony Whitfield secured a 21-3/21-9 victory over Rose Jang – with Whitfield landing several back corner shots to take the first game in rapid time, before demonstrating superior movement around the court to take the second. 

In the adjacent match Karen Gao played out a much closer encounter with Aileen Cook, in what would be the only blemish on the Cambridge scorecard of the afternoon. Both displayed good judgement in letting shots drift out of bounds but it was Cook who would take the match in two games, displaying good stamina for 21-19 and 21-17 wins. 

Doubles followed with Light Blues captain Felicity Coan and Amy Chen, as well as Sylvia Ma and Claire Zhang pairing up against Ellie Thompson and Rachel Capley, and Laura Pellegrini and Capley again respectively. In the former, Coan showed quick reflexes throughout in response to repeated barrages from Lincoln, complimenting Chen’s forceful back hand to see the match out in two games, with 21-14 and 21-18 the scores. In the latter, Zhang and Ma offered a more consistent and measured display than their opponents to take the set 21-11/21-17, despite some close boundary calls. 

Singles then resumed as Whitfield faced off against Cook and Gao played Jang. Whitfield displayed agility characteristic of her afternoons performance, combining this with precise forehand play to take another match in two games, 21-17/21-7. On the other court, Gao showed no signs of set back from her earlier encounter to land precise shots back of court to take the first 21-9 and the second 21-12. 

The final two rubbers witnessed the closest encounter of the session. Ma and Zhang paired up again to take on Thompson and Capley, narrowly losing the first game 20-22 before recovering to take the final two 21-14/21-19 in the only three game matches of the afternoon.

In the last, Coan and Chen registered another confident performance, barely allowing their opponents to reach double digits. The duo secured victory with scores at 21-11/21-9 to close out a resounding afternoon for the Light Blues, as dominant individual and team performances impart momentum to allow CUBaC to charge head first into the coming season. 

Cambridge are next in action away to Nottingham Trent in two week’s time (30/10/19), whilst Lincoln return back home to face De Montford on the same afternoon. 

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