BY JACK CLARKE
UCLan’s 2nd team sealed the league title in convincing fashion yesterday by seeing off Edge Hill 5-3 in the final game of the season.
What’s more, they did it with a weakened side. The team of Ashley Brown and Alex Wai made their first appearances of the season with regular Robert Cubiss unavailable and captain Christian Lane playing unusually in singles competition.
UCLan got off to an expected strong start with Ziming Lin dominating his opponent who never stood a chance. Lin won 21-8, 21-2.
Christian Lane proved he too can excel as a singles player winning his opening match in three games. The final score being 20-22, 21-10, 21-5.
With the home side already 2-0 up and seemingly on their way to the title, it was the turn of the doubles teams to take to the courts.
Alex Pedley and Michael Finch were able to continue the winning trend for the champions elect. They battled hard and despite Edge Hill’s best efforts, they came out on top 21-13, 21-15.
In the final match of the first round, it was the turn of stand in pairing Ashley Brown and Alex Wai to try and prove to everyone they weren’t just there to make up the numbers.
Although the result didn’t go their way, they certainly impressed. However, they lost 15-21, 17-21 leaving the half time score 3-1 in favour of UCLan.
With the focus returning to singles competition, Ziming Lin once again proved his ability by winning comfortably 21-8, 21-14 to give UCLan a 4-1 lead meaning the best Edge Hill could manage was a draw, and that meant the title was UCLan’s.
You couldn’t tell though because, professional as always, the 2nd team played on until the end and showed full respect to their visitors.
Captain Christian Lane then took to the court for his final game of the season. He was pushed hard in the first game but settled himself in the second and won 21-18, 21-11.
In the final two doubles matches of the afternoon, Edge Hill found some fantastic form and played courageously, winning both games to leave the score line looking respectable.
Alex Pedley and Michael Finch succumbed to a 15-21, 15-21 defeat and Ashley Brown and Alex Wai unfortunately fell victim to Edge Hill’s stubborn form as well. They lost 21-11, 18-21, 7-21 leaving the final score 5-3 to UCLan.
They had deservedly won the league title and Christian Lane was delighted following his side’s achievement.
“Obviously we thought we’d done it as soon as we beat Lancaster but it was just finishing the job off really” said Christian.
“We were two players down on our best team so it was always going to be touch and go but it’s a good feeling.”
Asked whether he and the team had any special celebrations planned, he responded: “I know we’re going to the Guild but I don’t think there’s anything like that!”
The season is over, but they will now turn their thoughts to the upcoming varsity game in a month or so.