With the crucial match at Lancaster next week in what is a title decider, UCLan’s 2nd team eased to a 6-2 win over the University of Cumbria at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.
There was one change from the team that beat Liverpool Hope University last week, Paul Spencer coming in to replace Alex Pedley. He partnered captain Christian Lane.
Robert Cubiss and Michael Finch got the ball rolling for UCLan with a comfortable 21-4, 21-11 victory in the doubles.
It looked as though Cumbria would provide stern competition when they soon levelled the scores at 1-1.
Christian Lane and Paul Spencer lost in 3 games, 21-14 15-21 and 10-21. It would turn out to be a false sense of hope for Cumbria however as UCLan surged back into action.
The home side took control of the match thanks to two outstanding displays in the singles.
Ziming Lin showed no signs of the ankle injury he suffered from last week, storming to victory and winning 21-15, 21-9.
Chris Nicolson followed this up with a win of his own. He overcame his opponent 21-14, 21-11.
With UCLan 3-1 ahead at the halfway mark, it was clear to see that it would require a huge effort from Cumbria to get themselves back into the match.
UCLan had grown with confidence as the afternoon went on and showed the kind of form that has taken them to within touching distance of the league title.
Ziming Lin started proceedings in the second round of matches with another confident showing. He ran out with a 21-11, 21-10 victory.
Captain Christian Lane and Paul Spencer enjoyed a victory as well, bouncing back superbly from their opening round defeat. They saw off their opponents with a confident 21-13, 21-11 display.
Chris Nicolson punished Cumbria further with a 21-17, 21-13 win of his own, taking the overall score to 6-1 in UCLan’s favour.
So with the result already a formality, Cumbria showed admirable spirit in the final match of the afternoon.
It was a close encounter that went to 3 games, but it was Cumbria who overcame the team of Robert Cubiss and Michael Finch 21-12 16-21 21-18 to earn themselves their second and final point of the day.
So it finished 6-2 to UCLan, a seemingly perfect way to head into next week’s mammoth clash with Lancaster. However, captain Christian Lane being the perfectionist that he is, did not see it that way.
“I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get the 8-0 to be honest. Two silly little giveaways, we won the first set and then just crumbled. After that we won all our singles and won the doubles so we should be alright. We just need to get our full team back and we’ll hit the road for Lancaster.”